Can states of matter take other forms besides the three familiar ones, namely gas, liquid, and solid?

Indeed, laws of quantum mechanics predict many other interesting states of matter; for example, states displaying superconductivity and the quantum Hall effect. Professor Zhang's group investigates the quantum physics of many interacting electrons. Recently, his group predicted a new electronic state that displays the quantum spin Hall effect without any external magnetic fields.

This effect has been subsequently observed experimentally. Beyond the fundamental importance of new states of matter, electronic circuits operating on these new principles could also offer alternatives to the current semiconductor chips, and extend the reach of Moore's law.

Current areas of Focus:
- High temperature superconductivity
- Quantum Spintronics
- Quantum spin Hall effect
- Magnetism

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Theoritical Physics - University of California, Santa Barbara (1987 - 1989)
  • Research Staff Member, IBM Almaden Research Center (1989 - 1993)
  • Professor of Physics, Stanford University (1993 - Present)
  • Professor of Applied Physics, by courtesy, Stanford University (1995 - Present)
  • Co-Director at IBM, Stanford Center for Spintronics Science and Application Center (2004 - Present)
  • Professor of Electrical Engineering, by courtesy, Stanford University (2004 - Present)
  • Professor in Physics, J.G. Jackson and C.J. Wood (2010 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • The Dirac Medal, International Centre for Theoretical Physics (2012)
  • Award, Fellowship, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011)

Professional Education

  • B.S., Free University of Berlin, Germany, Physics (1983)
  • Ph.D., State University of New York, at Stonybrook, Physics (1987)

2017-18 Courses