You are cordially invited to the 2021
Richard E. Prange Prize and Lectureship
in Condensed Matter Theory and Related Areas
The Emergence of Topological Quantum Matter
Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Physics
University of Pennsylvania
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
3:30 p.m. – Refreshments
4–5 p.m. EDT – Lecture
Room 1412, John S. Toll Physics Building
Parking is available in the Regents Drive Garage. Enter via Stadium Drive; an attendant will direct visitors within the garage. Additionally, the free #104 ShuttleUM bus runs between the College Park Metro Station and Regents Drive at about 12-minute intervals.
Questions? Contact the Department of Physics at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-405-5946.
Matter can arrange itself in the most ingenious ways. In addition to the solid, liquid and gas phases that are familiar in classical physics, electronic phases of matter with both useful and exotic properties are made possible by quantum mechanics. In the last century, the thorough understanding of the simplest quantum electronic phase - the electrical insulator - enabled the development of the semiconductor technology that is ubiquitous in today's information age. In the present century, new "topological" electronic phases are being discovered that allow the seemingly impossible to occur: indivisible objects, like an electron or a quantum bit of information, can be split into two, allowing mysterious features of quantum mechanics to be harnessed for future technologies. Our understanding of topological phases builds on deep ideas in mathematics. We will try to convey that they are as beautiful as they are fundamental.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Charles Kane is an eminent theoretical physicist whose groundbreaking work on topological insulators—materials with a special kind of electrical conduction on their surface—has initiated a new field in condensed matter physics and garnered external recognition at the highest levels. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and he has received numerous awards, including the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute, the Dirac Prize of the International Center for Theoretical Physics, the Oliver Buckley Prize of the American Physical Society and the Physics Frontiers Prize of the Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation. In addition to his research, Kane has taught physics courses at all levels, ranging from topics in quantum condensed matter for advanced graduate students to introductory honors electromagnetism for freshmen, for which he received the University of Pennsylvania's Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.
ABOUT THE LECTURE
Hosted by the University of Maryland Department of Physics and the Condensed Matter Theory Center, the Richard E. Prange Prize and Lectureship in Condensed Matter Theory and Related Areas honors Professor Prange, whose distinguished career at Maryland spanned four decades. The prize, which carries a $10,000, honorarium, was made possible by the generosity of Prange's wife, Dr. Madeleine Joullié of the University of Pennsylvania.
Prange accepted a position at the University of Maryland in 1961. Until his retirement in 2000, he played a vital role in the life of the Department of Physics. He led a substantial reform of its undergraduate major program and served energetic and innovative terms as chair of crucial departmental entities, including the Salary, Priorities, and Appointment, Promotion and Tenure committees. His was an important and highly-respected voice in all departmental deliberations.
Prange was the editor of a well-known book on the Quantum Hall Effect, but his interests reached well beyond condensed matter, into every substantive aspect of theoretical physics, including some pioneering work on quantum chaos. He was at complete ease discussing subjects as disparate as ferromagnetism and the cosmological constant. His interests also included history and travel.