Revealing the quantum geometry of the graphene lattice

18 diciembre 2014

Among the most revolutionary concepts of modern physics is that the laws of nature are inherently non-local. One striking manifestation of this non-locality was famously predicted by Aharonov and Bohm: a magnetic field confined to the interior of a solenoid can alter the behavior of electrons outside it, shifting the phase of their wave-like interference although they never directly encounter the magnetic field. Originally regarded as a mere curiosity, such «geometric phase shifts» are now known to have dramatic consequences for electron transport in solid-state materials, e.g., allowing unimpeded current flow along the edges of a material that is insulating in the bulk.