First Name
Last Name
Professor Emeritus
Office Room
Hennings 406
Tel (Office)
(604) 822-2137

Students Wanted
not accepting

Bachelor's Degree
Trent, 1975, Physics & Mathematics

Master's Degree
Harvard, 1976, Physics

Doctoral Degree
Harvard, 1979, Physics

Employment History
  • Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows, 1979-1981
  • Assistant Professor, Princeton University, 1981-1987
  • Professor, U.B.C., 1987-2003
  • Professor, Boston University, 2001-2003
  • University Killam Professor, U.B.C., 2003-
  • Chercheur, Centre d'Etudes Nucleaires de Saclay, 1984-1985
  • Researcher,Institute for Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara, 1999-2000


Governor General's Medal 1975
Sloan Foundation Fellow 1983-1987
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research:
Fellow 1987-2001
Associate 2001-2008
Fellow 2008-
National Research Council Steacie Prize 1988
Canadian Association of Physicists Herzberg Medal 1990
Royal Society of Canada Rutherford Medal in Physics 1991
Fellow of Royal Society of Canada/Canadian Academy of Sciences 1991-
UBC Senior Killam Research Prize, 1992
UBC Jacob Biely Prize, 1992
Can. Assoc. of Physicists/Centre de Recherche Mathematique Prize for Mathematics/Theoretical Physics 1997
B.C. Science Council New Frontiers in Research Award 1998
Honourary Doctor of Laws degree Trent University 1998
Fellow, American Physical Society 2003
Can. Assoc. of Physicists Medal for Achievement in Physics 2006
Fellow of Royal Society (London) 2010
Onsager Prize, American Physical Society, 2012
Brockhouse Medal, Canadian Association of Physicists, 2014
Foreign Associate, French Academy of Sciences, 2016

Research Area
Condensed Matter

Research Topics
Superconductivity, Quantum Magnetism, Quantum Impurities, Topological Materials, Field Theory Methods in Condensed Matter Physics


I started my research career in high energy theory and enjoy applying methods from this field to problems in condensed matter theory - usually low dimensional strongly correlated systems. I have recently and am currently working in a number of different fields:

  • topological materials: I have been studying interactions of Majorana fermions - both a single isolated Majorana fermion at the end of a topological insulator interacting with ordinary electrons and a macroscopic number of Majorana fermions interacting with each other, as can occur in a superconducting vortex lattice on top of a topological insulator
  • spin chains: I have been using (1+1) dimensional field theory techniques to study the phase diagrams of both ordinary spin chains and their SU(n) generalization, which are relevant to cold atom experiments. Topological terms occur in the field theories, an observation that was recognzied in the 2016 Nobel Prize to Duncan Haldane.
  • quantum computers: I have been collaborating with Prof. Raussendorf and a post-doc on using SU(n) spin chains as qubits
  • graphene: I am currently studying the Kondo effect in graphene, resulting from isolated impurities and have previously studied ferromagnetism on the edges of graphene nanoribbons
  • entanglement entropy: I have recently worked on entanglement entropy in the 2-channel Kondo model which exhibits interesting non-Fermi liquid behavior