Fiona Burnell

Blonde woman with black coat

Fiona Burnell

Assistant Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy


John T. Tate Hall
Room 130-13
116 Church Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Ph.D., Princeton, 2009 

B.Sc., University of British Columbia, 2002

Professional Background

Post-doctoral Research Fellow, All Souls College, 2009-2013

Research Interests

My work focuses on understanding exotic phases of matter -  phases which are not described by the conventional Landau classification based on broken symmetries. This encompasses topologically ordered phases, such as the fractional quantum Hall states in which the low-energy excitations are neither fermions nor bosons, but have "fractional" statistics. It also includes symmetry-protected phases, such as topological insulators, where unusual properties arise at the surface or boundary of the system. Two of my main foci are understanding the phase diagrams and phase transitions of these systems, and in identifying the possible types of exotic phases in 3 dimensions. These are big questions, which my research addresses by studying specific examples, often through identifying models whose behavior we can understand analytically. For example, I have been involved in studying 3D models whose surfaces are topologically ordered, some of which realize new symmetry-protected phases of matter.

Honors and Awards
  • NSERC post-graduate scholarship, 2003-2007
  • Lloyd G. Elliott Prize, 2002
  • NSF CAREER DMR-1352271
  • Sloan foundation fellowship FG-2015-65927
Selected Publications

*Full Publications List*, [download Publications_current.pdf]

  1. F.J. Burnell and J.T. Chalker, Frustration and Correlations in Stacked Triangular Lattice Using Antiferromagnets, Phys. Rev. B 92, 220417
  2. C.W. von Keyserlingk and F.J. Burnell, Walker-Wang models and axion electrodynamicsPhys. Rev. B 91, 0451340
  3. F.J. Burnell, Correlated parity measurements as a probe of non-Abelian statistics in 1-D superconducting wiresPhys. Rev. B 89, 224510
  4. Xie Chen, F.J. Burnell, Ashvin Vishwanath, and Lukasz Fidkowski, Anomalous symmetry fractionalization and surface topological order, Phys. Rev. X 5, 041013
  5. F.J. Burnell, Alexander Shnirman, and Yuval Oreg, Measuring fermion parity correlations and relaxation rates in one-dimensional topological superconducting wiresPhys. Rev. B 88: 224507 (2013)
  6. Michael Mulligan and F.J. Burnell, Topological insulators avoid the parity anomalyPhys. Rev. B 88: 085104 (2013)
  7. Curt Von Keyserlingk, F.J. Burnell, and Steven H. Simon, Three-dimensional topological lattice models with surface anyonsPhys. Rev. B 87: 045107
  8. Anushya Chandran, F.J. Burnell, Vedika Khemani, and S.L. Sondhi, Kibble-zurek scaling and string-net coarsening in topologically ordered systems, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 25 (2013) 404214
  9. Michael Levin, F.J. Burnell, Maciej Koch-Janusz, and Ady Stern, Exactly soluble models for fractional topological insulators in two and three dimensionsPhys. Rev. B, 84:235145, (2011)
  10. F.J. Burnell, Steven H. Simon, and J.K. Slingerland, Condensation of achiral simple currents in topological lattice models: Hamiltonian study of topological symmetry breakingPhys. Rev. B, 84:125434, (2011)
  11. F.J. Burnell and Chetan Nayak, SU(2) slave fermion solution of the Kitaev honeycomb lattice modelPhys. Rev. B, 84:125125, (2011)
  12. F.J. Burnell, Jiangping Hu, Meera Parish, and B. Andrei Bernevig, Leggett mode in a strong-coupling model of iron arsenide superconductorsPhys. Rev. B, 82:144506, (2010)
  13. F.J. Burnell, Meera Parish, N.R. Cooper, and S.L. Sondhi, Devil’s staircases and supersolids in a one-dimensional dipolar Bose gasPhys. Rev. B, 80:174519, (2009)
  14. F.J. Burnell, B. Andrei Bernevig, and D. Arovas, Scenario for Fractional Quantum Hall Effect in Bulk Isotropic MaterialsPhys. Rev. B 79: 155310 (2009)