Papers, lectures, talks, and posters:

Foster group, Physics & Astronomy Department, Rice University

Curriculum Vitae of Matthew S. Foster


0. Papers on arXiv

All papers

• Recent papers:

1. Spectrum-wide quantum criticality at the surface of class AIII topological phases: An "energy stack" of integer quantum Hall plateau transitions   (Sbierski, Karcher, and Foster 2020)

"Quantum Hall effect ‘reincarnated’ in 3D topological materials" (news blurb)

In the absence of spin-orbit coupling, the conventional dogma of Anderson localization asserts that all states localize in two dimensions, with a glaring exception: the quantum Hall plateau transition (QHPT). In that case, the localization length diverges and interference-induced quantum-critical spatial fluctuations appear at all length scales. Normally QHPT states occur only at isolated energies; accessing them therefore requires fine-tuning of the electron density or magnetic field. In this paper we show that QHPT states can be realized throughout an energy continuum, i.e. as an "energy stack" of critical states wherein each state in the stack exhibits QHPT phenomenology. The stacking occurs without fine-tuning at the surface of a class AIII topological phase. Spectrum-wide criticality is diagnosed by comparing numerics to universal results for the average value of and the distribution function for the longitudinal Landauer conductance, as well as wave function multifractality at the QHPT. Results are obtained from an effective 2D surface field theory and from a bulk 3D lattice model. We demonstrate that the stacking of quantum-critical QHPT states is a robust phenomenon that occurs for AIII topological phases with both odd and even winding numbers. The latter conclusion may have important implications for the still poorly-understood logarithmic conformal field theory believed to describe the QHPT.

The observation of "critical stacking" of integer quantum Hall plateau transitions at the surface of a class AIII bulk topological phase is consistent with our previous study of 3D topological superconductors in class CI. In that case, we showed that surface states exhibit critical stacking of the spin quantum Hall transition, associated to the conformal field theory governing 2D geometric percolation (see also below).











2. Power-law Temperature Dependence of the Penetration Depth in a Topological Superconductor due to Surface States   (Wu, Pal, Hosur, and Foster 2020)

We study the temperature dependence of the magnetic penetration depth in a 3D topological superconductor (TSC), incorporating the paramagnetic current due to the surface states. A TSC is predicted to host a gapless 2D surface Majorana fluid. In addition to the bulk-dominated London response, we identify a T 3 power-law-in-temperature contribution from the surface, valid in the low-temperature limit. Our system is fully gapped in the bulk, and should be compared to bulk nodal superconductivity, which also exhibits power-law behavior. Power-law temperature dependence of the penetration depth can be one indicator of topological superconductivity.












3. Criticality Across the Energy Spectrum from Random, Artificial Gravitational Lensing in Two-Dimensional Dirac Superconductors   (Ghorashi, Karcher, Davis and Foster 2020)

We numerically study weak, random, spatial velocity modulation ["quenched gravitational disorder" (QGD)] in two-dimensional massless Dirac materials. QGD couples to the spatial components of the stress tensor; the gauge-invariant disorder strength is encoded in the quenched curvature. Although expected to produce negligible effects, wave interference due to QGD transforms all but the lowest-energy states into a quantum-critical "stack" with universal, energy-independent spatial fluctuations.

We study five variants of velocity disorder, incorporating three different local deformations of the Dirac cone: flattening or steepening of the cone, pseudospin rotations, and nematic deformation (squishing) of the cone. QGD should arise for nodal excitations in the d-wave cuprate superconductors (SCs), due to gap inhomogeneity. Our results may explain the division between low-energy "coherent" (plane-wave-like) and finite-energy "incoherent" (spatially inhomogeneous) excitations in the SC and pseudogap regimes.

The model variant that best matches the cuprate phenomenology possesses quenched random pseudospin rotations and nematic fluctuations. This model variant and another with pure nematic randomness exhibit a robust energy swath of stacked critical states, the width of which increases with increasing disorder strength. By contrast, quenched fluctuations that isotropically flatten or steepen the Dirac cone tend to produce strong disorder effects, with more rarified wave functions at low- and high-energies. Our models also describe the surface states of class DIII topological SCs.















4. Fractionalization Waves in 2D Dirac Fermions: Quantum Imprint from 1D   (Davis and Foster 2019)

"Ultracold atoms could provide 2D window to exotic 1D physics" (news blurb)

Transport of strongly correlated fermions in more than one spatial dimension (1D) remains poorly understood. We consider an exactly solvable case, in which correlations in a system of decoupled 1D chains are imprinted via quantum quench upon two-dimensional Dirac fermions. As a probe, we calculate the density waves emitted from an initial Gaussian density bump. A nonzero fermion anomalous dimension in the initial state launches relativistic "fractionalization waves" along the chains, while coupling together noninteracting chains induces perpendicular dispersion. These orthogonal motions could be easily distinguished in an ultracold gas experiment.

A primary focus of modern condensed matter physics is the collective behavior of strongly interacting matter, and in particular transport in strongly correlated electron systems. Correlations can destroy the notion of well-defined quasiparticles; without the latter, the conventional frameworks that predict transport from the motion of individual particles (e.g., the semi-classical kinetic equation, or the quantum non-linear sigma model) may not apply.

The quasiparticle picture breaks down when the electron operator acquires an anomalous dimension, due to interactions. This smears the one-particle spectral function at arbitrarily low energies, interpreted as the "fractionalization" of the electron into collective excitations. In the absence of a momentum relaxation mechanism, however, this one-particle property typically does not directly affect transport, a two-particle observable. Indeed, although a 1D Luttinger liquid generically exhibits charge fractionalization, zero temperature dc transport through ideal leads is indistinguishable from that through a noninteracting single-channel quantum wire.

Here we consider a case where a nonzero fermion anomalous dimension directly determines density wave dynamics in a two-dimensional (2D) fermion system. In our setup, Luttinger liquid correlations in a system of initially decoupled 1D chains are imprinted upon two-dimensional Dirac fermions. This is accomplished via a quantum quench that couples together the chains into a 2D pi-flux lattice model. Our results should hold over a tunable transient time window wherein interparticle collisions in the post-quenched state can be ignored. At later times these collisions will thermalize the system.






5. Percolation (almost) all the way down on the surface of a topological superconductor   (Ghorashi, Liao, and Foster 2018)

We present evidence that strongly suggests the equivalence between disordered surface states of topological superconductors (TSCs) and geometric percolation. Percolation is known to play a role in quantum Hall systems with magnetic fields. Our unexpected result implies that percolation applies to TSC surface states, in the absence of time-reversal symmetry breaking.

We numerically study the surface states of time-reversal TSCs in class CI with generic bulk winding numbers and quenched disorder. The low-energy states are predicted to be described by a Wess-Zumino-Novikov-Witten conformal field theory (WZNW-CFT), with universal wave function statistics that depend only on the bulk winding number. In this class, finite energy surface states were expected to be Anderson localized. We verify the WZNW-CFT results at low energy, but find critical delocalization at finite energy. The statistics at finite energy are universal and match those of the spin quantum Hall plateau transition in class C, which is "equivalent" to percolation.

Our result is surprising for a number of reasons. The most remarkable aspect is that percolation typically occurs only with fine-tuning, e.g. of the fluid level when water floods a landscape [Fig. (a)], or of the chemical potential in regular 2D quantum Hall physics. Here instead we find a stack of 2D critical states spanning the bulk gap of the TSC [Fig. (b)], where each state has statistics consistent with the spin quantum Hall plateau transition (critical percolation). Our result is also surprising because all states EXCEPT the special one at zero energy were expected to be localized in this case.

Our finding of critical delocalization at the surface throughout the bulk gap is consistent with all other known topological edge or surface states (quantum Hall, 2D and 3D topological insulators), where these states are prevented from Anderson localization at all energies in the gap by the topology. Our work implies that delocalization throughout the gap may be a general principle for topological edge or surface states. Our results also imply that the logarithmic conformal field theories believed to govern critical wave function statistics at quantum Hall plateau transitions are closely connected to the much-better understood WZNW-CFTs.




6. Dephasing catastrophe in 4 - ε dimensions: A toy model for the ergodic to many-body-localized phase transition   (Liao and Foster 2018)

In recent years, many-body localization (MBL) has become a subject of intense study. Although much has been established about the MBL phase and the associated quantum transition between the ergodic and MBL phases in one dimension, fundamental questions regarding the nature (or even the existence) of these in higher dimensions remain unanswered. In this paper, we propose a new strategy to attack the 2D ergodic metal-to-MBL insulator transition. Our work explores the possibility that the seed of MBL resides within the diffusive metal (ergodic) phase. The key idea is to treat quantum conductance corrections and the dephasing thereof on equal footing, since dephasing is the only mechanism in an isolated, interacting quantum system that prevents Anderson localization at all energy densities (temperatures) in two dimensions.

For an isolated fermion system with short-range interactions, the self-generated thermal bath responsible for dephasing is itself diffusive. This should be contrasted with the conventional case of screened long-range Coulomb interactions, which leads to an effective Markovian bath. The Markovian dephasing problem was solved exactly long ago by Altshuler, Aronov, and Khmelnitsky (1982). The exact solution turns out to be the same as a standard approximation (self-consistent Born approximation, SCBA) in this case. We study the self-dephasing of the lowest order weak localization conductance correction due to the diffusive bath. The SCBA gives a finite dephasing rate for any finite temperature T, and this was conventionally accepted to imply that there is no true localization except at T = 0. However, in light of MBL this needs to be re-examined. The strongly non-Markovian character of the diffusive bath implies that long-range space and time correlations in the bath neglected in the SCBA can become important.

We cast the dephasing caused by a diffusive bath as a geometric statistical-mechanics problem of a polymer loop with self-interactions, and use the renormalization group (RG) approach to look for a critical point at nonzero temperature. In other words, we ask the question of whether dephasing can fail at sufficiently low temperature, owing to correlations in the bath. The answer turns out to be yes, at least within an epsilon-expansion about four spatial dimensions. We identify a renormalization group fixed point at which the dephasing length (the length scale of the curled-up polymer "blob") diverges. This occurs for T > 0 in d < 4 spatial dimensions. Our RG analysis suggests that this critical point is associated with a toy version of the ergodic-MBL phase transition, provided that it survives to 2D.

The dephasing problem considered here is the lowest order correction in the standard theory of the ergodic phase in d > 1 spatial dimensions (the interacting Finkel'stein sigma model). We recently recast this as finite-temperature Keldysh response theory suitable for calculations in any of the 10 symmetry classes. This allows the correct incorporation of real and virtual processes for transport, as well as Altshuler-Aronov corrections and interaction renormalization. See



1. Lecture notes

• Topological Materials Physics [Guest lecture]

Slides for a guest lecture in undergraduate solid state physics being taught at Rice in Spring 2017. This is an introduction to topological materials, mainly by way of the dimerized chain (Su-Schrieffer-Heeger) model.

"Modern" mathematical physics I: Mainly Lie algebra representation theory [Course notes]

These are course notes for a class being taught in Fall 2016 at Rice on Lie algebras and their representations. Most of the material will be standard, but the plan is for the presentation to be unabashedly applied, emphasizing visualization and algorithms at the expense of rigor and generality. I am following roughly the presentation in Robert Cahn's excellent Semi-simple Lie Algebras and Their Representations, available on the web here. The main difference is that I will work many examples and elaborate on various topics. All lecture notes will be posted here. These are intended to be complete enough for self study, and I hope they will prove generally useful for physics students that wish to learn this material. As the current course is being taught at the graduate level, I hope to cover some advanced topics by the end (some subset of Riemannian symmetric spaces and random matrix theory; classification of topological phases; affine Lie algberas, WZNW models, quantum equivalence; quantum groups, anyons, fusion and braiding rules).

1. Rotations, so(3) and su(2). [v2.0]
2. Lie groups as manifolds. SU(2) and the 3-sphere. [v1.4]
2A. SU(n), SO(n), and Sp(2n) Lie groups. [v1.4]
3. Introduction to su(3). [v1.6]
4. Killing form and commutation relations. [v1.5]
5. Roots and weights. [v1.9]
6. Cartan classification of Hamiltonians: The 10-fold way. [v1.1]
7. The classical and exceptional Lie algebras. [v1.4]
8. Highest-weight representations. [v2.3]
8b. Informal lecture--some applications. [v1.0]
9. Casimir, characters, dimension and strange formulae. [v1.6]
10. Spinor representations of SO(N). [rough notes]
11. Affine Lie algebra representation theory I. [rough notes]


2. Talks


• Dephasing in quasi-1D wires redux: Non-Markovian noise and correlations beyond Born due to itinerant spin interactions

1. 2020 Virtual seminar

2. 2019 Spins in a quantum 1D multi-particle environment: from exotic phases and non-trivial topology to protected transport

Talks given at the 2019 conference hosted by the Arnold Sommerfeld Center for Theoretical Physics, Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, and as a virtual seminar in 2020. As a potential window into the transition between the ergodic and many-body-localized phases, we study the dephasing of weakly disordered fermion systems due to a diffusive, non-Markovian noise bath. Such a bath is self-generated by the fermions, via inelastic scattering mediated by short-ranged interactions. We calculate the dephasing of weak localization due to the diffusive bath, using both a perturbative expansion for quasi-1D wires, as well as an epsilon expansion below the upper critical dimension (which is four). We find evidence for "rephasing" contributions beyond lowest order, which correspond to the smearing out in time of the coupling between the Cooper and the noise bath due to the non-Markovian character of the bath itself. The talks summarize the key results of two papers,











• Turtles all the way down: Spectrum-wide quantum criticality in topological, and maybe high-Tc superconductors

1. Localisation 2020

2. The 2019 Euler Symposium on Theoretical and Mathematical Physics

Quantum criticality typically occurs only with fine-tuning. In the context of Anderson localization, this is tuning to the mobility edge. In topological Anderson insulators such as the quantum Hall effect, criticality is realized at the quantum Hall plateau transition (QHPT). In a trio of recent papers, we have used exact diagonalization to revisit the problem of 2D Dirac fermions, subject to special kinds of "pure gauge" disorder. These include abelian and nonabelian vector potentials (quenched 2+0-D QED or QCD), and stress tensor disorder (quenched gravitational disorder). These models arise naturally as theories for dirty surface states of 3D topological superconductors (TSCs) in classes CI, AIII, or DIII. Alternatively, these dirty Dirac fermions can be realized in 2D by fine-tuning the details of microscopic disorder potentials, as might be relevant for the high-Tc cuprate superconductors. Conventional wisdom predicted only localization (CI, AIII) or weak antilocalization (DIII) for finite-energy states of these models. Instead, we find that most of the finite-energy states form a "stack" of critical wave functions with universal, energy-independent statistics. For two cases, the stacked states appear to correspond to the spin and charge QHPTs. This is evidence for a new, deep link between 2D QHPTs transitions in classes (C, A), and surface states in (CI, AIII). For quenched gravitational disorder (DIII), a new class of stacked criticality is identified, which may correspond to the class D thermal QHPT. When the gravitational model is restricted to nematic fluctuations and rotations, the phenomenology is similar to STM studies of BSCCO.

Talks given at the conferences "Localisation 2020", hosted virtually from Sapparo, Japan in August 2020, "Random Geometries and Multifractality in Condensed Matter and Statistical Mechanics", hosted by IIP in Natal, Brazil, July 2019, and "The 2019 Euler Symposium on Theoretical and Mathematical Physics", hosted by the Euler Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 2019. References:








• Summary on surface physics of 3D topological superconductors

1. 2019 Quantum Many Body States

2. 2018 RCQM Topological Superconductors Workshop

Talks given at the Workshops "Quantum Many Body States 2019," hosted by KAIST in Daejeon, Korea, May 2019, and "Topological superconductors: Materials, topological order, and quenched disorder," hosted by the Rice Center for Quantum Materials in April 2018. Both talks provide summaries of the key results obtained in my group on bulk topological superconductor surface states over the past 6 years. The main results discussed in the 2019 KAIST talk were obtained in our papers







• Two new applications of geometric critical phenomena for disordered electron systems

1. 2018 Seminar
(I) Critical percolation without fine-tuning on the surface of a topological superconductor, and
(II) Dephasing catastrophe in 4 - ε: A possible instability of the ergodic phase
2. 2017 From MBL to black holes

Talks given at Caltech in Spring 2018 and at the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics in Fall 2017. I discuss results relating to electrons in two spatial dimensions (2D), subject to the effects of quenched disorder (impurities) and quantum interference [Anderson (de)localization]. In both cases, the key physics is tied to classical geometric critical phenomena in 2D. I first present numerical evidence that most surface states of 3D topological superconductors exhibit universal critical statistics in the presence of nonmagnetic disorder. This is highly unusual, since critical (multifractal) statistics typically arise only by fine-tuning to a mobility edge. For a particular class, we show that (almost) every state within the surface energy band shows universal statistics consistent with the plateau transition of the spin quantum Hall effect ("equivalent" to critical percolation in 2D). Thus critical percolation can be robustly realized at the surface of a topological superconductor without fine tuning. Our results may facilitate new approaches to the logarithmic conformal field theories believed to describe plateau transitions, using perturbed WZNW models. Second, I discuss a "hole" in the standard theory of the ergodic phase in 2D. I demonstrate that the self-dephasing of weak localization for an isolated many-fermion system with short-ranged interactions is described by a strongly coupled auxiliary quantum field theory. The problem can be cast as a type of self-interacting walk. I present analytical results of a controlled expansion which suggest that dephasing can fail at sufficiently low temperatures, and speculate on the possible connection to many-body localization.
The material in these talks is derived from our papers,




• Topological protection from random Rashba spin-orbit backscattering in 2D topological insulators

1. 2016 SLT Universal transport at the edge: Disorder, interactions, and topological protection
2. 2016 Colloquium

Topological insulators and superconductors provide condensed matter realizations of the holographic principle: a global property of the bulk translates into an anomalous time-reversal symmetry at the material surface. This symmetry underlies "topological protection" of the edge or surface states. Protection from disorder effects (Anderson localization) is particularly nontrivial, because surfaces are low dimensional. While this was previously understood for noninteracting models of edge and surface states, the more complicated problem of combined disorder and interaction effects had not been addressed until recently. Here I consider the edge states of 2D topological insulators with Rashba spin-orbit coupling (RSOC). With RSOC, disorder induces a backscattering term in the edge theory. We have shown that transport remains perfectly ballistic in a model that incorporates this term and interactions. The solution involves a mapping to a spin 1/2 moment that executes perfect adiabatic evolution in a random magnetic field. This work was published in Phys. Rev. Lett.,

The SLT link is a video for a talk given at the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics in June 2016 combining this edge state physics and our topological superconductor work described below. The second link gives slides for the edge state part of a colloquium given at Texas A&M in March 2016.




• 3D Topological superconductors: Universal transport and stability

1. 2015 MBL Program (KITP) Transport and delocalization at the surface of a 3D topological superconductor
2. 2015 SPICE Junior Research Leaders
3. 2015 Colloquium

The KITP and SPICE workshop talks were given in Fall 2015. The colloquium is a condensed, less technical version that was given at the University of Houston in February 2015. These talks try to connect and contrast the attributes of 2D Majorana fluids (expected to form at the surface of a 3D topological superconductor) with the physics of the integer quantum Hall effect. Key results are presented from 4 of our papers,

Our emphasis here is twofold: we ask (1) what are the robust physical characteristics of such a fluid, and (2) how stable is it to the combined effects of disorder and interactions, which are inevitable at the surface of a real superconductor. We show that Majorana surface fluids are not always stable, but when they are we predict universal heat and (if conserved) spin transport coefficients that encode the bulk winding number. The implication is that transport measurements could provide a smoking gun for the detection of a bulk topological superconductor, and this is important because spectroscopic measurements like ARPES have limited energy resolution that might preclude direct imaging for a small bulk gap. 2D Majorana surface fluids also turn out to be amenable to a wide variety of powerful analytical tools, including 2D conformal field theory (to treat the effects of disorder) and a large winding number expansion (to treat interactions).




• Quantum quench dynamics of a p+ip topological superfluid

1. 2016 RCQM IQSDOoE Quenched BCS superfluids: Topology and spectral probes
2. 2014 TOMAEQ14 Far from equilibrium topological p-wave superfluids

These talks provide an overview of our work on quenched p-wave BCS superfluids, given at the Rice Center for Quantum Materials in May 2016 and the MPIPKS in Dresden in March of 2014. In this work we study the dynamics of the amplitude ("Higgs") mode of a fermionic superfluid, following an instantaneous quench of the coupling strength. What is new relative to previous studies of quenched s-wave superfluids are the topological aspects relevant to 2D p+ip pairing. The talks include a discussion of the dynamical phase diagram characterized by different steady-state behaviors of the Higgs mode, pseudospin versus "spectral" (retarded GF) winding numbers far from equilibrium, quench-induced Floquet edge states, and bulk RF signatures of the topology following a quench. Timescales relevant to ultracold lithium are discussed, and a proposal for using a quench to overcome the problem of 3-body losses that plague adiabatic cooling schemes. The backup slides at the end of the 2014 talk give a lightning introduction to the Lax spectral method used to solve the (classically integrable) dynamics.

One of the main takeaways is that far from equilibrium, one must distinguish two different notions of quantum topology. There is the topology of the state, i.e. the pseudospin winding number that can be (partly) obtained from an equal-time measurement such as time-of-flight. Then there is the topology of the spectrum of excitations on top of the non-equilibrium state. The latter encodes whether you have Majorana edge modes, for example, and can be probed through a non-equal-time measurement such as RF spectroscopy, wherein one drives transitions to "nearby" states. The reconciliation of these two notions (which are equivalent in equilibrium) leads to the prediction of quasiparticle population inversion in the non-equilibrium spectrum of excitations, whenever there is a mismatch. Both talks contain results from my papers with Maxim Dzero, Victor Gurarie, and Emil Yuzbashyan,

The RCQM talk also features results obtained by Yunxiang Liao comparing different spectroscopic measures (RF, tunneling, ARPES) in the self-generated Floquet topological state. Here there is an interesting interplay between the Floquet states and the quench-induced population inversion of these states. This work was published in




• Hydrodynamic transport in graphene

1. 2009 March meeting Slow imbalance relaxation and thermoelectric transport in graphene

Older talk on slow imbalance relaxation and hydrodynamic ("interaction-limited") thermoelectric transport in graphene. Contains the main results from my paper with Igor Aleiner,

Recent experiments have confirmed the crossover into the hydrodynamic regime, including our collaboration with Fereshte Ghahari and Philip Kim on TEP in ultraclean graphene:

See also Hong-Yi Xie's poster (2016), described below.



• Critical wavefunction statistics at the Anderson metal-insulator transition

1. 2009 MESO09 Termination of typical wavefunction multifractal spectra at the Anderson metal-insulator transition

Older talk on the "termination" of the typical multifractal spectrum of wavefunction probability amplitudes, at the Anderson metal-insulator transition. Results obtained via an extended non-linear sigma model and the operator product expansion, combined with a functional renormalization group that maps the problem to the propagation of a front in a 1D non-linear diffusion equation (KPP). Contains the main results of



• Broad audience talks

1. 2012 Colloquium When Quantum Waves Crash upon Strange Shores: Splash Statistics in Disordered Media, and Correlated Fronts Far from Equilibrium

Research overview talk given at Rice in 2012. The second half discusses our studies of quench dynamics in the quantum sine Gordon and XXZ models. The main result is the observation of a "supersoliton" that is generated by the quench from an initial density inhomogeneity, whenever there is relative fractionalization between the (effective) free fermion descriptions of the initial and final Hamiltonians. The former is used to define the initial state (taken as the ground state of the initial Hamiltonian), while the latter generates the dynamics. Contains results from 4 papers,




3. Posters

1. Thermoelectric transport in hydrodynamic graphene: Impurities, interactions, and optical phonons (2016)

Poster by Hong-Yi Xie on thermoelectric power (TEP) and thermal conductivity (TC) in graphene, in the interaction-dominated hydrodynamic regime. Motivated by recent thermopower measurements performed by Fereshte Ghahari and Philip Kim, we consider thermoelectric transport in ultraclean (boron-nitride encapsulated) graphene. In monolayer graphene, the TEP and TC are predicted to be strongly enhanced relative to the Mott and Wiedemann-Franz laws, respectively. These "classic" relations are valid when elastic impurity scattering dominates transport, but fail when inelastic carrier-carrier scattering becomes more efficient. The latter should occur for temperatures greater than 100 K in relatively clean samples. By numerically solving the Boltzmann transport equation incorporating collision integrals for quenched disorder, Coulomb interactions, and electron-optical-phonon scattering, we demonstrate the crossover of the TEP and TC from the Fermi liquid to hydrodynamic regimes as a function of density or interaction strength. On the other hand, we find that optical phonons become non-negligible at relatively low temperatures and prevent saturation of the TEP to the upper hydrodynamic bound. Combining all of these scattering mechanisms, we obtain the thermopower that quantitatively coincides with the experimental data.





2. Helical Quantum Edge Gears in 2D Topological Insulators (2015)

Poster by Yang-Zhi Chou on Coulomb drag in helical edge states of 2D topological insulators (TIs) with Rashba spin-orbit coupling. A remarkable and as-yet-unexploited aspect of topological insulator physics is the topology of the edge states, i.e. the fact that the edge liquid of a 2D TI forms a closed, unbreakable loop in the absence of electrical contacts or magnetic fields. We propose a novel experimental setup in which edge loops rotate as interlocking "gears" through Coulomb drag, in topological insulators with Rashba spin-orbit coupling. We show that this allows a simple two-terminal measurement of the Luttinger parameter that encodes electron correlations, a quantity that is otherwise notoriously difficult to measure. Our results should trigger new experiments and may open a new venue for edge gear-based electronic devices.





3. Distribution functions and probes of far-from-equilibrium topological matter (2015)

Poster by Yunxiang Liao on spectroscopic probes of isolated non-equilibrium quantum matter. Using our quench-induced Floquet topological p+ip superfluid as an example, we consider probes that are sensitive (radio-frequency spectroscopy, rf) and not (tunneling) to the distribution function that determines the occupation of the Floquet states. The post-quench Cooper pairs occupy a linear combination of "ground" and "excited" Floquet states, with coefficients determined by the distribution function. For a realization in ultracold atoms, the rf signal is well-captured by a quasi-equilibrium approximation, and shows a robust gap. The tunneling signal in a solid state realization is ignorant of the distribution function, being determined only by the Floquet (retarded) Green's function. It does not show a gap for deep quenches. Results are obtained from the exact analytical solution to the quench-induced Floquet topological superfluid in terms of elliptic functions.



4. Universal Surface Transport Coefficients of 3D Topological Superconductors (2014)

Poster by Hong-Yi Xie on the surface transport coefficients of bulk topological superconductors. Altshuler-Aronov quantum conductance corrections are shown to vanish in two schemes: (i) perturbative in the interactions, and (ii) in a large winding number expansion. Both schemes treat the effects of disorder exactly.

I also presented an overview of our work on 3D topological superconductors in a 2014 poster at the 26th Annual Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium.

5. Quantum Critical Phenomena in Disordered Topological Superconductors (2014)

Poster by Yang-Zhi Chou on wavefunction and energy level statistics for disordred Dirac fermions in 2D. The model can be realized on the surface of a dirty topological superconductor, or in artificial graphene with a textured pattern of bonds. The strong randomness limit exhibits a frozen regime wherein individual wavefunctions appear almost localized. Despite this, our numerics confirm the analytical prediction of power-law Chalker scaling with energy between different wavefunction profiles, and Wigner-Dyson energy level statistics.

6. Quench spectroscopy of a Luttinger liquid: Fractionalized density waves in the XXZ chain (2011)

Lattice version of the "supersoliton" induced by quenching a gapless Luttinger liquid to a gapped insulator, in the presence of fractionalization. DMRG and analytical results from bosonization.