Research

My research interests focus on the theory of strong interactions and the physics of quantum matter. My publications (and citation statistics) are available here.

I am particularly interested in high energy nuclear physics and the transport in chiral matter, including the quark-gluon plasma, 2D crystals and Dirac/Weyl semimetals. One of the projects that I am most excited about is the Chiral Magnetic Effect (CME; a recent overview and references can be found here). CME refers to the generation of electric current induced by chirality imbalance  in the presence of magnetic field. 

In nuclear physics, CME opens a possibility to observe directly the effect induced by non-trivial topology of QCD. Topological effects in QCD may be responsible for much of the properties of the physical world, including the 95% of the mass of the visible Universe. 

CME also has potential real-world applications, as it allows to transport electric charge without dissipation, similarly to superconductivity. However unlike superconductivity CME does not require a formation of a Cooper pair condensate, and so can persist to much higher temperatures.

 Recently, the physics of chiral matter became a focus of many meetings worldwide, including the program on Quantum Anomalies, Topology, and Hydrodynamics at the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook. Most recent event has been the first Chiral Matter conference in Tokyo, December 2016.

I am also involved in research on the properties of graphene (a novel nano-material which is a single atomic layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice) and its use in nano-scale spintronic devices. (My interest in this problem stems from the observation that gapless quasi-particle modes in graphene which are subject to a strong Coulomb interaction behave similarly to massless strongly coupled quarks in the quark-gluon plasma).

This work has led to a 2013 US patent 20100109712 on Graphene-Magnet Multilayers (GMMs), with A. Tsvelik and I. Zaliznyak. GMM technology has a potential for becoming the base for re-writable nano-scale spintronic processors and storage devices.

Recently, together with the BNL-Stony Brook-Princeton-Berkeley collaboration we have reported in Nature Physics the observation of the chiral magnetic effect in ZrTe5, a Dirac semimetal with chiral quasi-particles. A simple description of this work can be found here.

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© Dmitri Kharzeev 2016