seidel photo

Alexander Seidel

Associate Professor

Office Contact Information

355 Compton

Physics Department, CB 1105
Washington University
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899, USA

(314) 935-8933
(314) 935-6219

Research Interests

Dr. Seidel is working on the theory of quantum many-body systems in condensed matter physics. His main interests lie in strongly correlated systems, where new phenomena emerge that cannot be understood even at a crude level without properly taking into account the interactions between particles. In particular, this tends to be the case for systems where particles are constrained to move in less than three dimensions. Examples include quantum Hall systems, quantum magnets and nearby phases of matter such as high temperature superconductors, and quasi one-dimensional systems such as spin chains.

The challenge in studying these systems is two-fold: To identify the simplest possible description that captures the essence of a given phenomenon, and to develop working calculational tools to study the "simple" models that arise in this way. These tools may involve methods of quantum field theory, numerical methods, and the construction of exact or variational many-body wavefunctions.

One of the primary goals of research into strongly correlated matter is to understand and perhaps predict new paradigms according to which matter can behave. An example of such a new paradigm is that of so-called topological order, which applies to fractional quantum Hall states. These systems are host to a set of remarkable phenomena such as fractional charge quantum numbers and exotic braiding statistics. These properties are interesting both from a fundamental physics viewpoint, as well as for their potential use in building a fault-tolerant topological quantum computer. Recently, Dr. Seidel has been exploring new ways to understand the topological orders of fractional quantum Hall systems.

Selected Recent Publications

  • S-duality constraints on 1D patterns associated with fractional quantum Hal l states, A. Seidel, Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 026802 (2010)
  • Linear independence of the nearest neighbor valence bond states on the kagome lattice and construction of an SU(2)-invariant spin-1/2-Hamiltonian with a Sutherland-Rokhsar-Kivelson quantum liquid ground state, A. Seidel, Phys. Rev. B 80, 165131 (2009)
  • Pfaffian Statistics through adiabatic transport in the 1D coherent state representation, A. Seidel, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 196802 (2008)
  • Halperin (m,m',n) Bilayer Quantum Hall States on Thin Cylinders, Alexander Seidel and Kun Yang, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 036804 (2008)
  • Domain wall type defects as anyons in phase space, A. Seidel, D.-H. Lee, Phys. Rev. B 76, 155101 (2007)
  • Abelian and Non-abelian Hall Liquids and Charge Density Wave Quantum Number Fractionalization in One and Two Dimensions, A. Seidel, D.-H. Lee, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 056804 (2006)

Alexander Seidel's Complete Publications List


2003 Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Physics
1997 Vordiplom, University of Bayreuth, Physics


Professional History

2013-present Associate Professor at Washington University
2008-2013 Assistant Professor at Washington University
2006-2007 Postdoctoral Associate, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University
2003-2006 Postdoctoral Fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley


Honors and Awards

1995-2001 Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes