Photonic Topological Insulators (17w5144)


Mikael Rechtsman (Pennsylvania State University)

Marin Soljacic (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Michael Weinstein (Columbia University)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Photonic Topological Insulators" workshop from September 10th to September 15th, 2017.

“Topological insulators” are a new class of materials that have been recently discovered. As electricity passes through a topological insulator, it flows with perfect robustness: it experiences 100% transmission even if the material is highly defective. Even more recently, it has been shown that this robustness can be achieved in photonic devices (with applications in fiber optics, lasers, energy-efficient computing, among many other technologies). However, to date, the fundamentals of the physics and mathematics of such materials are still being heatedly researched and debated – with many open questions that lie at the interface of electrical engineering, experimental physics, theoretical physics, and deep mathematics. This workshop brings together researchers from across those fields in a forum that is highly conducive to brainstorming new interdisciplinary ideas and collaborations – with the goal of making progress on the understanding of the topological physics of light.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides
an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disc
iplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineeri
ng Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional
de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).