- Fellowship in 2023 at Princeton University
- Scholarship in 2019 at University of Pennsylvania
About Pok Man Tam’s work
Dr Pok Man Tam’s research focuses on theoretical condensed matter physics, which concerns itself with every property of every possible phase of matter. This is considered interesting when the microscopic constituents are vast in number and strongly-interacting; their collective behaviour could lead to emergent phenomena at the macroscopic scale.
Recently, Dr Tam’s work has focused on one of these phenomena, the fractional quantum Hall effect. This is where topology and physics meet and conspire. Fractional quantum Hall states have topological order, meaning that they have very robust properties under continuous deformation, and more importantly, they host particle-like excitations that do not usually exist under ordinary conditions. These exotic particles, known as "anyons", are promising candidates for building quantum memory and quantum computers.
Dr Tam has studied the interplay between topology and symmetry in these gapped systems, where the properties of anyons can be affected by translational symmetry, leading to their mobility constraints. With collaborators, he introduced the nondiagonal quantum Hall states and the toric code insulator as physical systems that possess translation symmetry-enriched topological orders.
Aside from studying gapped quantum matters, Dr Tam has also contributed to a recent program that characterises universal features of gapless metals from a novel perspective. With collaborators, he has studied the topological structure of the Fermi sea and has identified a fundamental relation between the Fermi sea topology and the quantum information content of the metal, with the latter characterised by a real-space multipartite entanglement. He has also explored accessible experimental probes for the Fermi sea topology, such as the quantized transport along linear Josephson junctions.
Currently, Dr Tam plans to pursue a topological classification for more exotic systems of gapless interacting electrons, known as non-Fermi liquids, which are important for understanding high-temperature superconductivity. In general, Dr Tam is excited about integrating quantum information science with condensed matter physics, and combining theoretical ideas with experiments, to enhance our understanding of the material world.
Dr Pok Man Tam completed his undergraduate studies at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, graduating in 2018 with a BSc in Physics. While there, he was awarded the Academic Achievement Medal and the Paul and May Chu Research Award. Following that, with the support of a Croucher Scholarship, he pursued his PhD studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was awarded the Werner Teutsch Memorial Prize and the Elias Burstein Prize. He is currently pursuing his postdoctoral studies at Princeton, with the support of a PCTS Fellowship and a Croucher Fellowship.