- Value: Fees and maintenance
- Number of awards: 1
- Deadline: On-going
- Key benefits: This project is available as part of the Leeds-SUSTech Split-Site PhD Programme
The fractional quantum Hall effect (FQHE) is a remarkable phenomenon where a two-dimensional electron gas forms topological phases of matter – the new kinds of quantum liquids with exotic “topological” order and excitations that behave differently from any known elementary particle. The investigations into the QHE have revolutionised condensed matter physics and led to Nobel prizes in 1998 (for the experimental discovery by Tsui and Stomer, and the first theoretical description by Laughlin) and in 2016 for applications of topology to condensed matter physics (awarded to Thouless and Haldane). It has also been proposed that exotic FQHE phases may be used as building blocks for topologically-protected quantum computers, which makes their study important for quantum technology.
For the past 30 years, the theoretical research has mostly focused on isotropic quantum Hall phases. Since Haldane’s work in 2011 [Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 115801 (2011)], it has been realised that much new physics is hiding in anisotropic FQH systems. For example, anisotropy can reveal the dynamical degrees of freedom of FQH systems that behave like “quantum geometry”, with many exciting connections to high-energy physics. This project will build upon our recent work [selected as “Editors Suggestion” in Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 146403 (2017)] where we generalised the theoretical formalism known as “Haldane pseudopotentials” to describe the anisotropic FQHE. With the help of this formalism, we will explore new types of anisotropic non-Abelian states, such as the celebrated Moore-Read state whose excitations are “Majorana fermions”, the intriguing possibility of the nematic FQHE, and the experimental consequences of anisotropy in graphene materials, where beautiful observations of FQHE have recently been reported [see arXiv:1611.07113].
The project is suitable for highly motivated candidates with excellent analytical skills in the general area of quantum many body physics. Additionally, computational background is required as the project will also involve numerical simulations of FQHE (using techniques such as exact diagonalisation and density matrix renormalisation group).
Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree in Physics or a related discipline, or equivalent.
How to apply
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you have English language proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 with no component below 6.0, or equivalent.
Applications should be submitted via SUSTech in the first instance. Following nomination by SUSTech, formal applications for Split-site research degree study should then be made online through the University of Leeds website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is ‘Anisotropic fractional quantum Hall effect (SUSTech candidates only)’ as well as Dr Zlatko Papic as your proposed supervisor.
If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office e: email@example.com