Tom Jackson headshot

Room 6-130J, Knudsen Hall
475 Portola Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Office: (310) 825-3162

Research interests

I’m a postdoc working with Prof. Rahul Roy on issues related to the role of interactions and/or disorder in topological insulators. Current and past research interests include

  1. Extending the current theory of the fractional quantum Hall effect to fractional Chern insulators by incorporating geometric degrees of freedom.
  2. Combinatorial models for the algebraic structure of conformal field theories and applications to conformal block wavefunctions for the fractional quantum Hall effect.
  3. The uses of quantum mechanical entanglement for characterizing many-body wavefunctions: entanglement spectrum and multipartite generalizations of the von Neumann entropy.
  4. New perspectives on the statistical mechanics of systems with quenched randomess: in particular, spin glasses (both classical and quantum) and their relationship to combinatorial optimization problems.

More broadly, I switched fields from astronomy to condensed matter physics because “more is different”: strongly interacting many-body systems represent a complexity frontier that, unlike other frontiers of physics, is a boundary set purely by our theoretical knowledge rather than technological capabilities. The sort of research I aspire to do addresses this problem through novel applications of mathematical techniques: my goal is to not merely perform computations, but to introduce new tools that provide a fresh perspective on established areas of study.

CV (PDF download)

My dorm room (c. fall 2000).