Topological insulators are new states of quantum matter which cannot be adiabatically connected to conventional insulators and semiconductors. They are characterized by a full insulating gap in the bulk and gapless edge or surface states which are protected by time-reversal symmetry. These topological materials have been theoretically predicted and experimentally observed in a variety of systems, including HgTe quantum wells, BiSb alloys, and Bi2Te3 and Bi2Se3 crystals. Theoretical models, materials properties, and experimental results on two-dimensional and three-dimensional topological insulators are reviewed, and both the topological band theory and the topological field theory are discussed. Topological superconductors have a full pairing gap in the bulk and gapless surface states consisting of Majorana fermions. The theory of topological superconductors is reviewed, in close analogy to the theory of topological insulators.
Topological insulators are electronic materials that have a bulk band gap like an ordinary insulator but have protected conducting states on their edge or surface. These states are possible due to the combination of spin-orbit interactions and time-reversal symmetry. The two-dimensional (2D) topological insulator is a quantum spin Hall insulator, which is a close cousin of the integer quantum Hall state. A three-dimensional (3D) topological insulator supports novel spin-polarized 2D Dirac fermions on its surface. In this Colloquium the theoretical foundation for topological insulators and superconductors is reviewed and recent experiments are described in which the signatures of topological insulators have been observed. Transport experiments on HgTe/CdTe quantum wells are described that demonstrate the existence of the edge states predicted for the quantum spin Hall insulator. Experiments on Bi1-xSbx, Bi2Se3, Bi2Te3, and Sb2Te3 are then discussed that establish these materials as 3D topological insulators and directly probe the topology of their surface states. Exotic states are described that can occur at the surface of a 3D topological insulator due to an induced energy gap. A magnetic gap leads to a novel quantum Hall state that gives rise to a topological magnetoelectric effect. A superconducting energy gap leads to a state that supports Majorana fermions and may provide a new venue for realizing proposals for topological quantum computation. Prospects for observing these exotic states are also discussed, as well as other potential device applications of topological insulators.
A broad review of fundamental electronic properties of two-dimensional graphene with the emphasis on density and temperature-dependent carrier transport in doped or gated graphene structures is provided. A salient feature of this review is a critical comparison between carrier transport in graphene and in two-dimensional semiconductor systems (e. g., heterostructures, quantum wells, inversion layers) so that the unique features of graphene electronic properties arising from its gapless, massless, chiral Dirac spectrum are highlighted. Experiment and theory, as well as quantum and semiclassical transport, are discussed in a synergistic manner in order to provide a unified and comprehensive perspective. Although the emphasis of the review is on those aspects of graphene transport where reasonable consensus exists in the literature, open questions are discussed as well. Various physical mechanisms controlling transport are described in depth including long-range charged impurity scattering, screening, short-range defect scattering, phonon scattering, many-body effects, Klein tunneling, minimum conductivity at the Dirac point, electron-hole puddle formation, p-n junctions, localization, percolation, quantum-classical crossover, midgap states, quantum Hall effects, and other phenomena.
The problem of electron-electron interactions in graphene is reviewed. Starting from the screening of long-range interactions in these systems, the existence of an emerging Dirac liquid of Lorentz invariant quasiparticles in the weak-coupling regime is discussed, as well as the formation of strongly correlated electronic states in the strong-coupling regime. The analogy and connections between the many-body problem and the Coulomb impurity problem are also analyzed. The problem of the magnetic instability and Kondo effect of impurities and/or adatoms in graphene is also discussed in analogy with classical models of many-body effects in ordinary metals. Lorentz invariance is shown to play a fundamental role and leads to effects that span the whole spectrum, from the ultraviolet to the infrared. The effect of an emerging Lorentz invariance is also discussed in the context of finite size and edge effects as well as mesoscopic physics. The effects of strong magnetic fields in single layers and some of the main aspects of the many-body problem in graphene bilayers are briefly reviewed. In addition to reviewing the fully understood aspects of the many-body problem in graphene, a plethora of interesting issues are shown to remain open, both theoretically and experimentally, and the field of graphene research is still exciting and vibrant.
A theoretical perspective is provided on the glass transition in molecular liquids at thermal equilibrium, on the spatially heterogeneous and aging dynamics of disordered materials, and on the rheology of soft glassy materials. We start with a broad introduction to the field and emphasize its connections with other subjects and its relevance. The important role played by computer simulations in studying and understanding the dynamics of systems close to the glass transition at the molecular level is given. The recent progress on the subject of the spatially heterogeneous dynamics that characterizes structural relaxation in materials with slow dynamics is reviewed. The main theoretical approaches are presented describing the glass transition in supercooled liquids, focusing on theories that have a microscopic, statistical mechanics basis. We describe both successes and failures and critically assess the current status of each of these approaches. The physics of aging dynamics in disordered materials and the rheology of soft glassy materials are then discussed, and recent theoretical progress is described. For each section, an extensive overview is given of the most recent advances, but we also describe in some detail the important open problems that will occupy a central place in this field in the coming years.
Modern nanotechnology allows one to scale down various important devices (sensors, chips, fibers, etc.) and thus opens up new horizons for their applications. The efficiency of most of them is based on fundamental physical phenomena, such as transport of wave excitations and resonances. Short propagation distances make phase-coherent processes of waves important. Often the scattering of waves involves propagation along different paths and, as a consequence, results in interference phenomena, where constructive interference corresponds to resonant enhancement and destructive interference to resonant suppression of the transmission. Recently, a variety of experimental and theoretical work has revealed such patterns in different physical settings. The purpose of this review is to relate resonant scattering to Fano resonances, known from atomic physics. One of the main features of the Fano resonance is its asymmetric line profile. The asymmetry originates from a close coexistence of resonant transmission and resonant reflection and can be reduced to the interaction of a discrete (localized) state with a continuum of propagation modes. The basic concepts of Fano resonances are introduced, their geometrical and/or dynamical origin are explained, and theoretical and experimental studies of light propagation in photonic devices, charge transport through quantum dots, plasmon scattering in Josephson-junction networks, and matter-wave scattering in ultracold atom systems, among others are reviewed.
Feshbach resonances are the essential tool to control the interaction between atoms in ultracold quantum gases. They have found numerous experimental applications, opening up the way to important breakthroughs. This review broadly covers the phenomenon of Feshbach resonances in ultracold gases and their main applications. This includes the theoretical background and models for the description of Feshbach resonances, the experimental methods to find and characterize the resonances, a discussion of the main properties of resonances in various atomic species and mixed atomic species systems, and an overview of key experiments with atomic Bose-Einstein condensates, degenerate Fermi gases, and ultracold molecules.
Modified gravity theories have received increased attention lately due to combined motivation coming from high-energy physics, cosmology, and astrophysics. Among numerous alternatives to Einstein's theory of gravity, theories that include higher-order curvature invariants, and specifically the particular class of f(R) theories, have a long history. In the last five years there has been a new stimulus for their study, leading to a number of interesting results. Here f(R) theories of gravity are reviewed in an attempt to comprehensively present their most important aspects and cover the largest possible portion of the relevant literature. All known formalisms are presented-metric, Palatini, and metric affine-and the following topics are discussed: motivation; actions, field equations, and theoretical aspects; equivalence with other theories; cosmological aspects and constraints; viability criteria; and astrophysical applications.
Ever since its discovery the notion of Berry phase has permeated through all branches of physics. Over the past three decades it was gradually realized that the Berry phase of the electronic wave function can have a profound effect on material properties and is responsible for a spectrum of phenomena, such as polarization, orbital magnetism, various (quantum, anomalous, or spin) Hall effects, and quantum charge pumping. This progress is summarized in a pedagogical manner in this review. A brief summary of necessary background is given and a detailed discussion of the Berry phase effect in a variety of solid-state applications. A common thread of the review is the semiclassical formulation of electron dynamics, which is a versatile tool in the study of electron dynamics in the presence of electromagnetic fields and more general perturbations. Finally, a requantization method is demonstrated that converts a semiclassical theory to an effective quantum theory. It is clear that the Berry phase should be added as an essential ingredient to our understanding of basic material properties.
The anomalous Hall effect (AHE) occurs in solids with broken time-reversal symmetry, typically in a ferromagnetic phase, as a consequence of spin-orbit coupling. Experimental and theoretical studies of the AHE are reviewed, focusing on recent developments that have provided a more complete framework for understanding this subtle phenomenon and have, in many instances, replaced controversy by clarity. Synergy between experimental and theoretical works, both playing a crucial role, has been at the heart of these advances. On the theoretical front, the adoption of the Berry-phase concepts has established a link between the AHE and the topological nature of the Hall currents. On the experimental front, new experimental studies of the AHE in transition metals, transition-metal oxides, spinels, pyrochlores, and metallic dilute magnetic semiconductors have established systematic trends. These two developments, in concert with first-principles electronic structure calculations, strongly favor the dominance of an intrinsic Berry-phase-related AHE mechanism in metallic ferromagnets with moderate conductivity. The intrinsic AHE can be expressed in terms of the Berry-phase curvatures and it is therefore an intrinsic quantum-mechanical property of a perfect crystal. An extrinsic mechanism, skew scattering from disorder, tends to dominate the AHE in highly conductive ferromagnets. The full modern semiclassical treatment of the AHE is reviewed which incorporates an anomalous contribution to wave-packet group velocity due to momentum-space Berry curvatures and correctly combines the roles of intrinsic and extrinsic (skew-scattering and side-jump) scattering-related mechanisms. In addition, more rigorous quantum-mechanical treatments based on the Kubo and Keldysh formalisms are reviewed, taking into account multiband effects, and demonstrate the equivalence of all three linear response theories in the metallic regime. Building on results from recent experiment and theory, a tentative global view of the AHE is proposed which summarizes the roles played by intrinsic and extrinsic contributions in the disorder strength versus temperature plane. Finally outstanding issues and avenues for future investigation are discussed.
Rydberg atoms with principal quantum number n >> 1 have exaggerated atomic properties including dipole-dipole interactions that scale as n(4) and radiative lifetimes that scale as n(3). It was proposed a decade ago to take advantage of these properties to implement quantum gates between neutral atom qubits. The availability of a strong long-range interaction that can be coherently turned on and off is an enabling resource for a wide range of quantum information tasks stretching far beyond the original gate proposal. Rydberg enabled capabilities include long-range two-qubit gates, collective encoding of multiqubit registers, implementation of robust light-atom quantum interfaces, and the potential for simulating quantum many-body physics. The advances of the last decade are reviewed, covering both theoretical and experimental aspects of Rydberg-mediated quantum information processing.
Quantum impurity models describe an atom or molecule embedded in a host material with which it can exchange electrons. They are basic to nanoscience as representations of quantum dots and molecular conductors and play an increasingly important role in the theory of "correlated electron" materials as auxiliary problems whose solution gives the "dynamical mean-field" approximation to the self-energy and local correlation functions. These applications require a method of solution which provides access to both high and low energy scales and is effective for wide classes of physically realistic models. The continuous-time quantum Monte Carlo algorithms reviewed in this article meet this challenge. Derivations and descriptions of the algorithms are presented in enough detail to allow other workers to write their own implementations, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the methods, summarize the problems to which the new methods have been successfully applied, and outline prospects for future applications.
Two fundamental ingredients play a decisive role in the foundation of fluctuation relations: the principle of microreversibility and the fact that thermal equilibrium is described by the Gibbs canonical ensemble. Building on these two pillars the reader is guided through a self-contained exposition of the theory and applications of quantum fluctuation relations. These are exact results that constitute the fulcrum of the recent development of nonequilibrium thermodynamics beyond the linear response regime. The material is organized in a way that emphasizes the historical connection between quantum fluctuation relations and (non) linear response theory. A number of fundamental issues are clarified which were not completely settled in the prior literature. The main focus is on (i) work fluctuation relations for transiently driven closed or open quantum systems, and (ii) on fluctuation relations for heat and matter exchange in quantum transport settings. Recently performed and proposed experimental applications are presented and discussed.
Physical interactions in quantum many-body systems are typically local: Individual constituents interact mainly with their few nearest neighbors. This locality of interactions is inherited by a decay of correlation functions, but also reflected by scaling laws of a quite profound quantity: the entanglement entropy of ground states. This entropy of the reduced state of a subregion often merely grows like the boundary area of the subregion, and not like its volume, in sharp contrast with an expected extensive behavior. Such "area laws" for the entanglement entropy and related quantities have received considerable attention in recent years. They emerge in several seemingly unrelated fields, in the context of black hole physics, quantum information science, and quantum many-body physics where they have important implications on the numerical simulation of lattice models. In this Colloquium the current status of area laws in these fields is reviewed. Center stage is taken by rigorous results on lattice models in one and higher spatial dimensions. The differences and similarities between bosonic and fermionic models are stressed, area laws are related to the velocity of information propagation in quantum lattice models, and disordered systems, nonequilibrium situations, and topological entanglement entropies are discussed. These questions are considered in classical and quantum systems, in their ground and thermal states, for a variety of correlation measures. A significant proportion is devoted to the clear and quantitative connection between the entanglement content of states and the possibility of their efficient numerical simulation. Matrix-product states, higher-dimensional analogs, and variational sets from entanglement renormalization are also discussed and the paper is concluded by highlighting the implications of area laws on quantifying the effective degrees of freedom that need to be considered in simulations of quantum states.
In the past decade, resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS) has made remarkable progress as a spectroscopic technique. This is a direct result of the availability of high-brilliance synchrotron x-ray radiation sources and of advanced photon detection instrumentation. The technique's unique capability to probe elementary excitations in complex materials by measuring their energy, momentum, and polarization dependence has brought RIXS to the forefront of experimental photon science. Both the experimental and theoretical RIXS investigations of the past decade are reviewed, focusing on those determining the low-energy charge, spin, orbital, and lattice excitations of solids. The fundamentals of RIXS as an experimental method are presented and then the theoretical state of affairs, its recent developments, and the different (approximate) methods to compute the dynamical RIXS response are reviewed. The last decade's body of experimental RIXS data and its interpretation is surveyed, with an emphasis on RIXS studies of correlated electron systems, especially transition-metal compounds. Finally, the promise that RIXS holds for the near future is discussed, particularly in view of the advent of x-ray laser photon sources.
The interaction of subpicosecond laser pulses with magnetically ordered materials has developed into a fascinating research topic in modern magnetism. From the discovery of subpicosecond demagnetization over a decade ago to the recent demonstration of magnetization reversal by a single 40 fs laser pulse, the manipulation of magnetic order by ultrashort laser pulses has become a fundamentally challenging topic with a potentially high impact for future spintronics, data storage and manipulation, and quantum computation. Understanding the underlying mechanisms implies understanding the interaction of photons with charges, spins, and lattice, and the angular momentum transfer between them. This paper will review the progress in this field of laser manipulation of magnetic order in a systematic way. Starting with a historical introduction, the interaction of light with magnetically ordered matter is discussed. By investigating metals, semiconductors, and dielectrics, the roles of (nearly) free electrons, charge redistributions, and spin-orbit and spin-lattice interactions can partly be separated, and effects due to heating can be distinguished from those that are not. It will be shown that there is a fundamental distinction between processes that involve the actual absorption of photons and those that do not. It turns out that for the latter, the polarization of light plays an essential role in the manipulation of the magnetic moments at the femtosecond time scale. Thus, circularly and linearly polarized pulses are shown to act as strong transient magnetic field pulses originating from the nonabsorptive inverse Faraday and inverse Cotton-Mouton effects, respectively. The recent progress in the understanding of magneto-optical effects on the femtosecond time scale together with the mentioned inverse, optomagnetic effects promises a bright future for this field of ultrafast optical manipulation of magnetic order or femtomagnetism.
This review provides a perspective on the recent developments in the transmission of light through subwavelength apertures in metal films. The main focus is on the phenomenon of extraordinary optical transmission in periodic hole arrays, discovered over a decade ago. It is shown that surface electromagnetic modes play a key role in the emergence of the resonant transmission. These modes are also shown to be at the root of both the enhanced transmission and beaming of light found in single apertures surrounded by periodic corrugations. This review describes both the theoretical and experimental aspects of the subject. For clarity, the physical mechanisms operating in the different structures considered are analyzed within a common theoretical framework. Several applications based on the transmission properties of subwavelength apertures are also addressed.
The basic aspects of electrons in graphene (two-dimensional graphite) exposed to a strong perpendicular magnetic field are reviewed. One of its most salient features is the relativistic quantum Hall effect, the observation of which has been the experimental breakthrough in identifying pseudorelativistic massless charge carriers as the low-energy excitations in graphene. The effect may be understood in terms of Landau quantization for massless Dirac fermions, which is also the theoretical basis for the understanding of more involved phenomena due to electronic interactions. The role of electron-electron interactions both in the weak-coupling limit, where the electron-hole excitations are determined by collective modes, and in the strong-coupling regime of partially filled relativistic Landau levels are presented. In the latter limit, exotic ferromagnetic phases and incompressible quantum liquids are expected to be at the origin of recently observed (fractional) quantum Hall states. Furthermore, the electron-phonon coupling in a strong magnetic field is discussed. Although the present review has a dominant theoretical character, a close connection with available experimental observation is intended.
An introduction to the transport properties of graphene combining experimental results and theoretical analysis is presented. In the theoretical description simple intuitive models are used to illustrate important points on the transport properties of graphene. The concept of chirality, stemming from the massless Dirac nature of the low-energy physics of the material, is shown to be instrumental in understanding its transport properties: the conductivity minimum, the electronic mobility, the effect of strain, the weak (anti) localization, and the optical conductivity.
This article offers a comprehensive survey of results obtained for solitons and complex nonlinear wave patterns supported by nonlinear lattices (NLs), which represent a spatially periodic modulation of the local strength and sign of the nonlinearity, and their combinations with linear lattices. A majority of the results obtained, thus far, in this field and reviewed in this article are theoretical. Nevertheless, relevant experimental settings are also surveyed, with emphasis on perspectives for implementation of the theoretical predictions in the experiment. Physical systems discussed in the review belong to the realms of nonlinear optics (including artificial optical media, such as photonic crystals, and plasmonics) and Bose-Einstein condensation. The solitons are considered in one, two, and three dimensions. Basic properties of the solitons presented in the review are their existence, stability, and mobility. Although the field is still far from completion, general conclusions can be drawn. In particular, a novel fundamental property of one-dimensional solitons, which does not occur in the absence of NLs, is a finite threshold value of the soliton norm, necessary for their existence. In multidimensional settings, the stability of solitons supported by the spatial modulation of the nonlinearity is a truly challenging problem, for theoretical and experimental studies alike. In both the one-dimensional and two-dimensional cases, the mechanism that creates solitons in NLs in principle is different from its counterpart in linear lattices, as the solitons are created directly, rather than bifurcating from Bloch modes of linear lattices.