Erhai Zhao

Erhai Zhao

Assistant Professor

Primary Research: Condensed Matter Theory
Department: SPACS

Office: 207 Planetary Hall Phone: 703-993-4571
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 2:00–3:00 PM.
Personal Website:

Current Research Interests

  1. The many body physics of quantum gases. At ultracold (e.g. one billionth degree above absolute zero) temperatures, gases of atoms or molecules trapped and cooled by laser beams offer a well-controlled setting to test and advance our basic understanding of strongly interacting quantum particles. The insights gained from studying these systems will help the manipulation of quantum matter/materials in general. Current research topics include topological states of cold atoms on optical lattice, and the quantum phases of dipolar Fermi gases.
  2. Heterostructures of quantum materials, transport in quantum devices and circuits. Novel phenomena arise when rather different materials, e.g. a superconductor and a topological insulator, or a superconductor and a ferromagnet, are brought into contact with each other. New modes emergent at surfaces or interfaces will dominate the properties of these hybrid structures at the mesoscopic to nanometer scale. This opens up opportunities to design the next generation quantum devices and circuits outperforming present day microelectronic technologies. Current research projects include hybrid structures of superconductors and topological insulators, and transport in nano devices involving topological insulators.

Teaching Interests

University Physics
Classical Electrodynamics
Quantum Mechanics

Instructional Faculty, Undergraduate Advisor - Incoming/Freshman/Sophomore, Undergraduate Advisor - Junior/Senior