Topology and New Kinds of Order in Condensed Matter Physics
Module PH2246
Module version of SS 2020 (current)
There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.
Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.
available module versions  

SS 2020  SS 2019  SS 2018  SS 2017 
Basic Information
PH2246 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.
This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.
 Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
 Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
 Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
 Complementary catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
 Specialization Modules in EliteMaster Program Theoretical and Mathematical Physics (TMP)
If not stated otherwise for export to a nonphysics program the student workload is given in the following table.
Total workload  Contact hours  Credits (ECTS) 

300 h  90 h  10 CP 
Responsible coordinator of the module PH2246 is Frank Pollmann.
Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions
Content
With the discovery of the integer and fractional quantum Hall effect in the 1980s, it was realized that not all phases of matter occurring in nature can be understood using Landau’s theory. The quantum Hall state represents a distinct phase of matter which can occur even when there is no local order parameter or spontaneous breaking of a global symmetry. Phases of this new kind are now usually referred to as topological phases. This module gives an introduction to different theoretical aspects of topological phases and their experimental signatures. The following topics are covered in this module:
 Kosterlitz–Thouless transitions
 Graphene, Dirac Hamiltonian and Chern insulators
 Topological insulators in 2D and 3D
 Weyl semimetals
 Symmetry protected topological phases
 Topological superconductors and Majorana chains
 Spin liquids and frustrated magnetism
 Axiomatic description of topological order
 Exactly solvable models: toric code and string net models
 Topological quantum computing
Learning Outcome
After successful completion of the module the students have an overview of the recent developments and open questions related to topological phases of matter in condensed matter physics. In particular, the students are able to
 classify phases of matter according to symmetry and topology
 derive topological invariants from band structures
 understand the topological phenomena of the quantum Hall effects, topological insulators, and topological metals
 understand the axiomatic description of topological order and anyon theories
 solve exactly solvable models that exhibit topological order
 understand the bascis of topological quantum computing
Preconditions
No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the Master’s program in Physics.
Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature
Courses and Schedule
Type  SWS  Title  Lecturer(s)  Dates  Links 

VO  4  Topology and New Kinds of Order in Condensed Matter Physics  Pollmann, F. 
eLearning 

UE  2  Open Tutorial to Topology and New Kinds of Order in Condensed Matter Physics 
Bibo, J.
Rakovszky, T.
Responsible/Coordination: Pollmann, F. 
dates in groups  
UE  2  Tutorial to Topology and New Kinds of Order in Condensed Matter Physics 
Bibo, J.
Rakovszky, T.
Responsible/Coordination: Pollmann, F. 
Learning and Teaching Methods
The lecture is designed for the presentation of the subject, usually by blackboard presentation. The focus resides on theoretical foundations of the field, presentation of methods and simple, illustrative examples. Command of basic methods is deepened and practised through homework problems, which cover important aspects of the field. The homework problems should develop the analytic skills of the students and their ability to perform calculations. The homework problems are discussed in the exercise classes by the students themselves under supervision in order to develop the skills to explain a physics problem logically.
Media
Blackboard lectures, written notes for download, exercise sheets, course homepage
Literature
 A. Bernevig & T. Hughes: Topological Insulators and Topological Superconductors, Princeton University Press, (2013)
 E. Fradkin: Field Theories of Condensed Matter Physics, Cambridge University Press, (2013)
 X.G. Wen: Quantum Field Theory of ManyBody Systems: From the Origin of Sound to an Origin of Light and Electrons, Oxford University Press, (2007)
 J. Preskill: Lecture notes, California Institute of Technology, (2004) http://www.theory.caltech.edu/~preskill/ph219/topological.pdf
 C. Nayak et al.: NonAbelian Anyons and Topological Quantum Computation, arXiv, (2008) http://arxiv.org/pdf/0707.1889v2.pdf
Module Exam
Description of exams and course work
The achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using presentations independently prepared by the students. The exam of 25 minutes consists of the presentation and a subsequent discussion.
For example an assignment in the exam might be:
 Describe the nonlocal order parameters for symmetry protected topological phases.
 What are the characteristic surface state of a topological insulator?
 How can Majorana modes in semiconductor nanowires be realized?
 What is the "topological entanglement" and how can it be determined?
Participation in the exercise classes is strongly recommended since the exercises prepare for the problems of the exam and rehearse the specific competencies.
There will be a bonus (one intermediate stepping of "0,3" to the better grade) on passed module exams (4,3 is not upgraded to 4,0). The bonus is applicable to the exam period directly following the lecture period (not to the exam repetition) and subject to the condition that the student passes the midterm of active participation in the tutorials and at least 50% of exercise points
Exam Repetition
The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.