The world as topological insulator



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PIRSA Number: 
19040050

Abstract

Over the years, many rich ideas have been exchanged between particle theory and condensed matter theory, such as particle/hole theory, superconductivity and dynamical symmetry breaking, universality and critical phenomena. Here I discuss the interesting case of how the two fields converged independently along different paths on the physics of symmetry-protected topological order: condensed matter physicists motivated by the quantum Hall effect and superconductivity, the particle physicists driven by the desire to understand anomalies and chirality, and to compute QCD and supersymmetry on a lattice -- where the Quantum Hall effect, the Quantum Spin Hall effect and Majorana surface modes have all played a role in practical computations since the 1990s.