Professor Taylor Hughes received his bachelorâ€™s degrees in physics and mathematics from the University of Florida in 2003, graduating summa cum laude. He subsequently worked as a software engineer for a year as a department of defense contractor. He went on to obtain a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2009, working in the condensed matter theory group of Professor Shou-Cheng Zhang. His research covered a broad range of subjects from spintronics, to graphene/graphite, to topological insulators. His two primary research contributions as a graduate student are the collaborations which predicted of the existence of a quantum spin Hall state in HgTe/CdTe quantum wells, and secondly constructed the topological response theory of 3D time-reversal invariant topological insulators.
Professor Hughes then moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a postdoc under Professor Eduardo Fradkin. During these two years he began developing methods to characterize states of matter using quantum entanglement, most notably, disordered fermionic systems and topological insulator/ordered systems. Additionally he began working on the theory of the topological visco-elastic response in topological insulators.
Professor Hughes joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in the Fall of 2011.
My research interests are focused in three main areas:
1. Topological insulators/Superconductors
2. Using quantum information/entanglement techniques to characterize quantum condensed matter systems.
3. Mesoscopic transport in low-dimensional materials or heterostructures
Other interests include topological order, quantum Hall effect, spin-orbit coupled electronic systems, connections between high-energy physics, gravity, and condensed matter.
Some of my recent work has been on connections between torsion, gravity, and viscosity in topological insulators, characterizing disordered topological insulators using the entanglement spectrum, and transport calculations in graphene/superconductor junctions.
Interested students should contact me via email and be willing to work on a broad range of topics. Before contacting me please look at some of my selected publications below, or on the arxiv to get an idea of which subjects are of the most interest to you.
I have several opportunities for research projects/reading courses for undergraduates who are highly-motivated and can program or proficiently use either Matlab, Mathematica, or C/C++/FORTRAN.