2021 KPS Spring Meeting   April 21-23, 2021   Virtual Conference

"Chiral magnetic effect in a Weyl superconductor"


Prof. Carlo Beenakker

Lorentz Institute for Theoretical Physics, Leiden University
Leiden, The Netherlands




The chiral magnetic effect is the appearance of a current along the lines of magnetic flux, due to an imbalance between Weyl fermions of opposite chirality. In a Weyl semimetal this is a dissipative, non-equilibrium current. We will discuss how this current can flow in equilibrium, without dissipation, in the vortex lattice of a Weyl superconductor. The chirality imbalance appears when one of the two chiralities is confined to vortex cores. The confined states are charge-neutral Majorana fermions.


Professor Carlo Beenakker studied physics at Leiden University, earning a Ph.D. degree in 1984 on the theory of many-body hydrodynamic interactions in colloidal suspensions. After a postdoctoral year in Stanford and Santa Barbara (USA) he joined the Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven (The Netherlands). He returned to Leiden University in 1991 as professor of theoretical physics at the Lorentz Institute, a chair he holds to this date.


In 1987, while at Philips Research, Carlo Beenakker contributed to the discovery and explanation of conductance quantization in a quantum point contact, for which he shared the Royal Dutch Shell prize (1993) with his colleagues Henk van Houten and Bart van Wees. In Leiden he continued his research on quantum transport in nanostructures, honored with the Spinoza prize (1999), which is the highest scientific award in the Netherlands, the Physica prize (2003), and the AKZO Nobel Science Award (2006) “for his pioneering work in the field of nanoscience”. His recent research is in the field of topological superconductivity, focusing on the ways in which Majorana fermions can be used for topological quantum computations, in close collaboration with the QuTech laboratory in Delft.


Carlo Beenakker has co-authored over 350 publications and is recognized by the Web of Science as a “Highly-cited Researcher”. For his services to science and society he was elected member to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and knighted in the Order of the Dutch Lion.