Congratulations to Prof. Dmitri Feldman, and Prof. Brad Marston.

A new direction in building quantum computers: 2D material “lego”
Reducing a material to the atomic 2-dimensional limit has been shown to have profound effects on its properties. Since the successful exfoliation of graphene from bulk graphite [4], a large family of layered van der Waals materials have been thinned down to a single atomic layer, forming a new material platform covering a wide range of physical properties. The van der Waals assembly technique allows any 2D material to be re-assembled into a designer structure, which has recently led to a flurry of discoveries establishing 2D material heterostructure as a new paradigm for discovering novel quantum phenomena and advancing our understanding of quantum science. Here, we propose a new direction to study an entangled quantum phenomenon called Majorana mode, which is at the heart of topological quantum computation. The PIs plan to develop the capability of thermal transport measurement on materials that are one-atomic layer thin. Measurements of quantized thermal conductance in these materials will offer direct and unambiguous identification of Majorana modes. This effort will build on the established expertise of the PI and co-PI. Prof. Li has developed the necessary techniques of working with 2D materials and performing quantum transport measurements, Prof. Plumb is a leading expert in bulk material growth and neutron scattering, and Prof. Feldman has done pioneering research on Majorana modes in the 2D limit. The proposed effort will establish Brown University as a center for studying and engineering future 2D magnetic material and nano-scale quantum technology.
PI: Jia (Leo) Li, Assistant Professor of Physics
Co-PIs: Kemp Plumb, Assistant Professor of Physics; Dmitri Feldman, Professor of Physics
Funded: $45,000

Search for Topological Waves in Magnetized Gaseous Plasmas
Funds are requested to purchase electronic equipment and cover travel expenses to UCLA’s Basic Plasma Science Facility (BaPSF) to make a first observation of a plasma wave of topological origin using the Large Plasma Device (LAPD).  The search was inspired by my 2017 Science paper “”Topological Origin of Geophysical Waves”” that reported the surprising discovery that Kelvin and Yanai waves have a topological origin analogous to edge modes in the quantum Hall effect.  My collaborators and I have now theoretically predicted, and simulated, other waves of topological origin in a magnetized plasma. We used a realistic model of the LAPD plasma, and the Director of BaPSF (Troy Carter) has granted us time on the LAPD to conduct experiments provided that we can supply the necessary microwave amplifier to drive the waves.  If the existence of the waves is confirmed by experiment, it would represent a breakthrough in plasma physics likely leading to both publication in prestigious journals and external funding.
PI: Brad Marston, Professor of Physics
Funded: $20,000

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