Richard Fletcher

2023 Fellow

Current Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Physics

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About Richard Fletcher's Work

Understanding the organization of interacting quantum particles into emergent states of matter presents one of the most challenging problems in physics. My group uses ultracold atomic gases to create highly-controlled, custom quantum worlds in which to explore the collective behavior of many-particle systems. In particular, we seek to understand the role of topology in quantum matter, which underpins remarkable properties such as frictionless flow along boundaries, immunity against noise and disorder, and exotic new particles. To deepen our understanding of how these phenomena emerge from the underlying microscopic physics it is crucial to develop clean, tunable arenas hosting such behavior. We will realize a topological superfluid of fermionic atoms, long sought as a minimal model for emergent topological physics but never created on any platform. These experiments will provide insights relevant to materials science, quantum information, and fundamental quantum physics.