On March 20th Prof. Eugene Mele, SJU class of 1972 (Physics), was a speaker for the McGroddy Frontiers in Science Seminar Series and delivered a talk entitled “Topological Insulators: Mind the Gap”. The seminar addressed questions such as: What is a topological insulator? What is its relation to the iconic warning posted on the London tube? And how about Brexit? Prof. Mele’s talk gave an introduction to topological quantum states of matter, explained why they are important and offered at least a guess at how they might be used.
Prof. Mele is the 2019 recipient of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics along with his colleague Prof. Charlie Kane, both of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University of Pennsylvania.