Department of Physics and the College
Michael Levin focuses his research on the theory of “topological phases.” These states of matter occur in certain materials at very low temperatures and have many novel properties. The Levin-Wen model, which bears his name, is well known in the subject of topological matter. He has also produced other highly recognized work, including the topological quantum entanglement work that has introduced a new definition of entanglement entropy; the introduction of a new fractional quantum Hall state (the “anti-Pfaffian” state), which is a possible non-Abelian quantum phase of matter; and a possible model for understanding interaction effects in topological insulator systems.
Levin is a co-author of a number of publications, including “Protected Edge Modes Without Symmetry,” “Fractional Topological Insulators,” and “Detecting Topological Order in a Ground State Wave Function.”
Levin holds a PhD in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a BA in mathematics from Harvard University. He was awarded a junior fellowship from the Harvard Society of Fellows and received a Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for his work in condensed matter theory at the University of Maryland. While at MIT, he received the Andrew M. Lockett Award for doctoral theoretical physics research, as well as a Presidential Compton Fellowship.
Levin joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2013.