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Uploaded on Feb 4, 2014
Lecture Date: Tuesday January 28th, 2014. For the past 60 years, progress in information technology has been governed by Moore's law, which states that the number of transistors on a semiconductor chip doubles every 18 months. However, this remarkable trend is drawing to a close, mostly because the electrons that carry current in chips move like cars driving through a crowded marketplace, swerving around obstacles and dissipating too much of their energy as heat. The recent discovery of a new state of matter -- the topological insulator -- may lead to a new paradigm of information processing, in which electrons moving in opposing directions are separated into well-ordered lanes, like automobiles on a highway. This talk explains the basic principles behind this amazing discovery.
Shoucheng Zhang is the J.G. Jackson and C.J. Wood Professor of Physics at Stanford University. He is a condensed matter theorist known for his work on topological insulators, spintronics and high temperature superconductivity. He received his bachelor's degree from the Free University of Berlin in 1983 and PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1987. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara from 1987 to 1989 and a research staff member at the IBM Almaden Research Center from 1989 to 1993. He joined the faculty at Stanford in 1993. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007, the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award in 2009, the Johannes Gutenberg Research Award in 2010, the Europhysics Prize in 2010, the Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize in 2012, the Dirac Medal and Prize in 2012 and the Physics Frontiers Prize in 2013 for his theoretical prediction of the quantum spin Hall effect and topological insulators. Lecturer: Shoucheng Zhang, Stanford