jay sau

Jay Sau

Associate Professor of Physics

University of Maryland

About me

I am a theoretical condensed matter physicist with a broad interest in quantum many-body physics relevant to experiments. At present, I am predominantly interested in applying topological principles to create protected solid-state and cold-atomic systems for quantum information processing. Such topological phenomena might provide the basis for quantum information processing.

Advances in experimental physics have pushed the design of materials and devices towards the regime of quantum many-body physics. At the same time conceptual advances at the boundary of theoretical condensed matter, quantum information and high-energy physics such as topological quantum field theories, entanglement entropy, holography and many-body localization all point to a new era of understanding new quantum mechanical many-body phenomena. I am primarily interested in searching for manifestations of these beautiful ideas in phenomena in the real world. One such phenomenon, which is at the heart of topological quantum field theory, is topological degeneracy of quantum states. Such degeneracy is a macroscopic quantum phenomenon where two many-body quantum states of the system are at exactly the same energy in a way that is immune to external perturbations. Potential candidates for topological superconductors that could support Majorana fermions and are being studied in on-going experiments provide examples of phases with similarly protected degeneracy. This creates the potential of storing and manipulating quantum information in macroscopic states of quantum materials, and ultimately, of leading to platforms for topological quantum computation. I am also interested in the search for quantum many-body phenomena in other systems where topological principles such as Weyl systems and spin-orbit coupled Bose gases as well as Josephson junction arrays.


Research Group

Condensed Matter Theory

Research Interest


Majorana fermions and topological superconductivity


Non-abelian phases and topological quantum computation


Spin-orbit coupling and quantum critical dynamics in cold atomic gases


Weyl semi-metals, chiral symmetry breaking and the chiral magnetic effect


Team member

Junhyun Lee

Postdoctoral Researcher


2123 John S. Toll Physics Building


Team member

Tamoghna Barik

Graduate Student


4404 Atlantic Building

Team member

Yi-Hua Lai

Graduate Student


4404 Atlantic Building

Team member

Huan-Kuang Wu

Graduate Student


4404 Atlantic Building

Team member

Yahya Alavirad

Graduate Student


0220 John S. Toll Physics Building




Past courses

Spring 2016 & Spring 2017 & Fall 2017

Physics 420: Principles of Modern Physics


Past courses

Fall 2013 & Fall 2014 & Fall 2015

Physics 622: Graduate Quantum Mechanics 1


Current course

Spring 2018 & Spring 2020

Physics 731: Solid State Physics Survey

Contact me

Office: 4441 Atlantic Building
Department of Physics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-4111

United States of America

Telephone: +1 301-405-6116
E-mail: jaydsau (at) umd (dot) edu