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Condensed Matter

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The Department of Physics at Stanford University hosted a special colloquium featuring Robert Laughlin, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences.

The Majorana fermion is a hypothetical fermionic particle which is its own anti-particle.  Intense research efforts focus on its experimental observation as a fundamental particlein high energy physics and as a quasi-particle in condensed matter systems.  Professor Zhang discusses the theoretical prediction and the experimental discovery of the chiral Majorana fermion in a topological state of quantum matter.

For the past 60 years, progress in information technology has been governed by Moore's law, which states that the number of transistors on a semiconductor chip doubles every 18 months. However,  this remarkable trend is drawing to a close, mostly because the electrons that carry current in chips move like cars driving through a crowded marketplace, swerving around obstacles and dissipating too much of their energy as heat.

Professor Steven Kivelson of the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics (SITP) introduces the physics of supercondictivity and condensded matter physics.

Professor Steven Kivelson of the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics (SITP) introduces the physics of supercondictivity and condensded matter physics.

Black holes have the remarkable property of irreversibility: if you fall into a black hole you can't get out (classically). This immediately suggested a connection with the other famous irreversibility in physics: the law of increase of entropy. Since the 70s, this connection between black holes and thermodynamic systems has been fleshed out in increasing detail and has lead to surprising conclusions.

Black holes have the remarkable property of irreversibility: if you fall into a black hole you can't get out (classically). This immediately suggested a connection with the other famous irreversibility in physics: the law of increase of entropy. Since the 70s, this connection between black holes and thermodynamic systems has been fleshed out in increasing detail and has lead to surprising conclusions.

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