Seminars occur on Wednesday afternoons in ISB 130 and run between 12:00-1:00 PM Pacific with a hybrid option over Zoom unless otherwise posted. To join the mailing list, please contact Prof. Ken Wharton at with the words "Seminars and Events" included in the subject heading.

This Week

Intersections of strong correlations and topological phase
Dr. Sarah Grefe
CSU Long Beach
Wednesday, 4/17/2024, 12:00-1:00pm Pacific

Headshot of Sarah Grefe.Abstract: According to computational models, topological semimetals and other topological phases have been identified in about 20,000 existing material compounds so far, with further opportunities in the realm of strongly correlated electron compounds which are ironically computationally expensive to investigate. In this talk, I will show how the very correlations that pose a challenge to calculating topological phases can actually be key to their formation, using a theoretical heavy fermion model as a demonstration of several design principles. I will also show how the many-body effects which shrink the effective energy scales beyond where conventional probes can detect topological phases opens new possibilities for experimental probes. This lays the foundation for investigating strongly correlated topological matter at its extremes through applying a powerful driving optical field to study many-body correlations and electronic energy band topology through the nonequilibrium current responses.

Bio: Sarah Grefe was born in Long Beach, California. Through a high school senior art project with scientific and existential themes combined with studying how to represent real and cartoon physical movements, she eventually turned to studying physics. She obtained her BS and MS at Long Beach State University, where she performed experimental and computational research projects. In 2020, she earned her physics Ph.D. at Rice University, studying spin liquids and topological semimetals in heavy fermion systems. After a postdoctoral research position at Los Alamos National Laboratory in their Theoretical Division 4, she joined the faculty at Long Beach State University as an assistant professor in 2023.

AY2023/2024 Schedule

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