Topological effects can also be caused in mechanical systems. This field is called topological mechanics and has become a separate research area.
Topological Chain: Simulated Quantum Material
This chain has a blue and a red section. The struts can only be moved at one spot – on the border between red and blue where the colors overlap. The topological chain simulates an exotic phenomenon determining the properties of quantum materials: When two systems with different topology meet (here blue and red), a special state arises at the interface. In quantum materials, this occurs when topological electrons and air meet at the surface. A special class of materials showing this effect are topological insulators. Their special feature: Inside, they are insulators but on the surface, they conduct electricity – and, remarkably, without loss. In 2007, a scientist of the Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat succeeded in detecting such a topological insulator for the first time worldwide.