Zachariah Addison

Assistant Professor of Physics

My research focuses on the topological and geometric aspects of electronic dynamics in quantum condensed matter theory.

There are many types of electronic phases of matter: insulators, metals, semiconductors, (anti)-ferromagnets, (anti)-ferroelectrics, and superconductors to name a few. These canonical electronic phases and the phase transitions between them are distinguished by symmetry. Other electronic phases of matter, however, are described not by the symmetry of the material, but by the systems quantum topology (e.g. quantum hall systems, topological insulators, and skyrmion phases). Understanding both types of phases of matter requires the use of analytic and numeric techniques in quantum field theory. Burgeoning topics in these fields of research include quantum computation, quantum algorithms, linear and nonlinear optical responses, fractional quasiparticle dynamics, topological transport, and material functionalization.

My teaching interests include teaching a broad range of physics classes: from classical mechanics and electromagnetism to quantum mechanics and the physics of materials. I like to try and incorporate a diverse set of teaching tools (GUI, Mathematica calculations and visualizations, powerpoint, experimental demonstrations) to cater to a wide range of learning strengths and styles. I also try to involve students in my research and hope these efforts can serve as a platform for senior thesis writing and publication.

I have served as a reviewer for Physical Review B, Physical Review Letters, and Physical Review Research, and as editor for a special edition of the open access journal Symmetry. I am working on compiling a Wellesley intro-series text that will include topics covered in many of the classes in the first and second year physics major curriculum.

I am a avid classical violinist and love playing chamber music whenever I can.