The idea behind topological systems is simple: if there exists a quantity, which cannot change in an insulating system where all the particles are localized, then the system must become conducting and obtain propagating particles when the quantity (called a "topological invariant") finally changes.
The practical applications of this principle are quite profound, and already within the last eight years they have lead to prediction and discovery of a vast range of new materials with exotic properties that were considered to be impossible before.
What will you gain from this course?
What is the focus of this course?
What tools does this course use?
This course is a joint effort of Delft University of Technology, QuTech, NanoFront, University of Maryland, and Joint Quantum Institute.
Are there any books that are required for the course?
No, the course will only rely on materials and software freely available online.
Is it possible to get credit for this course at my university?
Not by default, but we invite anyone to use the course materials as a basis for a graduate course, with course materials studied as preparation and followed by a classroom discussion. Such courses are planned at universities of Copenhagen, Delft, Leiden, and University of Maryland. Following such a course will obviously give you credit points.
Would it not be better to take a more formal approach, and to describe the math in a more rigorous and systematic way?
While advanced math is certainly relevant for some researchers, in our experience it is the simple things that are the most confusing. We aim for the course to stay accessible and relevant to advanced undergraduate/beginner graduate students, both the theorists and experimentalists.
I do not know enough about condensed matter physics, but I have attended an exciting talk/read a cool article, and I'd like to learn more. Would the course be useful for me?
We are not sure. On the one hand, we will aim the course at people familiar with basic condensed matter physics and the necessary math, hence we will always assume that we don't need to explain e.g. band structures from scratch. However, a good share of the course materials are just discussions which would give you some sort of overview and understanding what this is all about.
Why didn't you discuss my favorite topic, which is certainly relevant and exciting?
Hey, that's a great idea! We aim to start from covering the basic questions, and then let the course evolve together with the field. So if you want, please help us by preparing the materials that would be helpful for the course, and they will become a bonus topic. By the way, same holds if you spot an error, or know how to improve the course: everything about this course is open, so don't hesitate to contribute.
The course materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) 4.0 International License.
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EdX a été fondée par le Massachusetts Institute of Technology et par l'université Harvard en mai 2012. En 2014, environ 50 écoles, associations et organisations internationales offrent ou projettent d'offrir des cours sur EdX. En juillet 2014, elle avait plus de 2,5 millions d'utilisateurs suivant plus de 200 cours en ligne.
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