Focus |

Topological matter

Topology has returned to prominence in physics thanks to the discovery of topological insulators — a class of materials that are characterized by topological properties. This Focus showcases the recent advances in realizing and exploiting topological phases in condensed matter and beyond.

Content

  • Nature Physics | Editorial

    Topology has journeyed from the purely mathematical arena to feature throughout physics.

  • Nature Physics | Commentary

    An old branch of mathematics has paved the way for discovering new phases of matter.

    • Manuel Asorey
  • Nature Physics | Commentary

    Topological matter can host low-energy quasiparticles, which, in a superconductor, are Majorana fermions described by a real wavefunction. The absence of complex phases provides protection for quantum computations based on topological superconductivity.

    • Carlo Beenakker
    •  &  Leo Kouwenhoven
  • Nature Physics | Commentary

    Electronic topological insulators have inspired the design of new mechanical systems that could soon find real-life applications.

    • Sebastian D. Huber
  • Nature Physics | Commentary

    The topological state of matter depends on its dimension. Remarkably, topological properties of quasiperiodic systems are found to emerge from higher dimensions.

    • Yaacov E. Kraus
    •  &  Oded Zilberberg
  • Nature Physics | Commentary

    Optics played a key role in the discovery of geometric phase. It now joins the journey of exploring topological physics, bringing bosonic topological states that equip us with the ability to make perfect photonic devices using imperfect interfaces.

    • Ling Lu
    • , John D. Joannopoulos
    •  &  Marin Soljačić