Predicting the behavior of material systems based on their structure and composition. Exotic phases of matter, emergent phenomena, origin of physical law, topological phenomena.
Theoretical condensed matter physics at Stanford is focused on understanding the macroscopic and collective properties of condensed matter systems. What is the relation between the macroscopic properties and the microscopic physics at the single electron or single molecule scale? In particular what are the consequences of strong correlation effects in electronic materials and devices where the low energy properties are qualitatively different from those of a noninteracting electron gas? How do new phases of matter fit into field theories that describe the collective behavior of electrons in solids and how can these be detected in experiments? Central areas of research include quantum entanglement, the quantum spin Hall effect, topological insulators, quantum spintronics, cuprate and pnictide superconductors, superfluidity, and holographic duality.