- Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
- Condensed Matter Theory
A team of experimental physicists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have made the first observation of a specific type of TI that’s induced by disorder. Professor Bryce Gadway and his graduate students Eric Meier and Alex An used atomic quantum simulation, an experimental technique employing finely tuned lasers and ultracold atoms about a billion times colder than room temperature, to mimic the physical properties of 1D electronic wires having precisely tunable disorder. The system starts with trivial topology just outside the regime of a topological insulator; adding disorder nudges the system into the nontrivial topological phase.