Skyrmions in Magnetic Materials

British-German WE-Heraeus-Seminar

01 Dec - 05 Dec 2019


Physikzentrum Bad Honnef

Scientific organizers:

Prof. Dr. Peter Hatton, Durham University, UK •
Prof. Dr. Christian Pfleiderer, TU München

In condensed matter physics and particle physics analogies exist between large scale effects of local quantum degrees of freedom. In recent years the topological character of complex field configurations in magnetic materials has received great interest, namely properties that remain unchanged under elastic deformations. Alluding to interdisciplinary similarities in nuclear physics, soft matter and quantum Hall systems, so-called skyrmions, vortices and monopoles in chiral or frustrated magnets are being studied intensely.

The topological aspects of magnetic order are not only appealing from an esthetical and conceptual point of view, but offer strikingly simple explanations in terms of an emergent electrodynamics of materials properties that may seem surprising and intractable at first sight. In particular, the unusual properties of skyrmions in chiral magnets and related spin textures promise major progress in spintronics applications.

The scope of this first „British-German Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Seminar“ will be to summarize and discuss the state of the art on skyrmions in magnetic materials, connecting this field also in an interdisciplinary spirit with nuclear physics, soft matter and quantum Hall systems. The conference language will be English. The Wilhelm and Else Heraeus-Foundation bears the cost of full-board accommodation for all participants.


On the initiative of the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation, the German Physical Society (DPG) together with the Foundation is pursuing a novel project called “Binational Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Seminars”. Building on the long tradition of close collaborations of the scientific communities in the United Kingdom, France, Poland, and Germany, these Seminars aim to foster the exchange and scientific cooperation between research groups in these countries on a bi-national level as a means to promote the European spirit.  The seminars reflect also a long tradition of prestigious bi-national awards, namely the Max-Born-Award (Institute of Physics & DPG), the Gentner-Kastler-Award (Société Française de Physique & DPG), and the Marian Smoluchowski - Emil Warburg Physics Prize (Polskie Towarzystwo Fizyczne & DPG). In recognition of this notable tradition, the recent prize winners are invited to (co)organize one of the seminars.