Beecroft building

Condensed Matter Theory Forum - What we can learn from unwinding SPT phases

19 Jan 2022
Seminars and colloquia
Beecroft Seminar Room
Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU

Dr Abhishodh Prakash

Seminar series
CMT Forum
Knowledge of physics?
Yes, knowledge of physics required
For more information contact


Symmetry protected topological (SPT) phases are arguably the simplest non-trivial gapped phases of matter and are characterized by protected boundary modes and a 'topological' response to gauge fields. The program of systematically classifying SPT phases has provided important insights into the many ways symmetries are 'anomalously' manifested in quantum many-body systems and the constraints imposed on their dynamics. Using examples of lattice and continuum toy models, I will show how these insights can be arrived at by attempting to 'unwind' a non-trivial SPT phase to a trivial one. I will also describe how, more recently, this has been used to demonstrate the existence of novel gapless states of matter and exotic phase diagrams. 

A zoom link will be available for this hybrid talk. Please contact Max McGinley ( if you wish to join online.