Time: 3 pm Eastern/noon Pacific
Title: Geometry from quantum matter and quantum matter from geometry
Abstract: Geometry is inseparable from the visual world. We have come to understand, however, that nature leverages geometry at other length scales. In particular, the last decade has seen the dawn of a new age of “quantum matter” in which topology and geometry play a key role at microscopic scales. A good understanding of how geometry manifests here leads to the potential for new materials and physical systems that leverage more exotic geometries. This is not only an opportunity for pure mathematicians to interact with physics in new ways, but also to reconsider how we engineer and print materials at nanoscales. As these research directions take shape, there are increasingly many opportunities for research contributions by students. I will describe the ideas at play and how researchers and students in the quanTA Lab in the west of Canada are putting these ideas in motion.
Bio: Steven Rayan is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Saskatchewan. He is a geometer by training but is also interested in algebra and representation theory and how all of these areas connect to physics. He founded the Centre for Quantum Topology and Its Applications (quanTA) in the west of Canada in 2019 and serves as its current director. The centre is both a GLU lab and a Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences Collaborative Research Group. He holds a New Frontiers in Research – Exploration grant (2018) and a Canada Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders Fund award (2020). He is also the chair of the Canadian Mathematical Society’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusiveness Committee and believes that research experiences can be an empowering force.