Topological Matter and Why You Should Be Interested
In two dimensional topological phases of matter, processes depend on gross topology rather than detailed geometry. Thinking in 2+1 dimensions, particle world lines can be interpreted as knots or links, and the amplitude for certain processes becomes a topological invariant of that link. While sounding rather exotic, we believe that such phases of matter not only exist, but have actually been observed (or could be soon observed) in experiments. These phases of matter could provide a uniquely practical route to building a quantum computer. Experimental systems of relevance include Fractional Quantum Hall Effects, Exotic superconductors such as Strontium Ruthenate, Superfluid Helium, Semiconductor-Superconductor-Spin-Orbit systems including Quantum Wires. The physics of these systems, and how they might be used for quantum computation will be discussed.