Physics Club: Michael Zaletel, University of California Berkeley, “Electrically charged skyrmions and superconductivity”

Event time: 
Monday, March 7, 2022 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Michael Zaletel, University of California Berkeley
Event description: 

Skyrmions, first proposed in the context of nuclear physics, elegantly realize Kelvin’s dream of understanding particles as topological defects in an underlying field.
When skyrmions arise in 2D quantum materials with band topology, Berry-phase effects can endow them with an electric charge in addition to their magnetic moment, with intriguing implications for electrical transport. In this talk I’ll explain how charged skyrmions may even pair into charge-2 bosons which Bose condense, potentially giving a new route to electron-mediated superconductivity in materials like twisted bilayer graphene, and show how recent scanning tunneling microscopy experiments can “image” charged skyrmions in graphene.
Host: Leonid Glazman (
The Colloquium series of the Yale Physics Department is called the Physics Club. The name dates to the late 1890s, the era of J Willard Gibbs, who influenced the intellectual life at Yale through a number of “graduate clubs”. He was one of the founders of the Mathematics Club which originated in 1877; he served as its executive officer for ten years. The Physics Club first met on the evening of Oct. 31, 1899, with 13 in attendance. Ever since, Physics Club has met regularly through each academic year, though in a break with tradition, we do no meet on the evening of Halloween. (Reference: Suha Gürsey, The History of Physics at Yale 1701-1970 (c) 2000.)
Physics Club is a weekly colloquium of general interest to the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics. The series is aimed at graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, research staff and faculty. For more information, or to request a Zoom link to attend, please send an E-mail with your name and institutional affiliation to Taylor Dunnigan, Departmental Events Coordinator.