Leon Balents



  • Program Co-Director
  • Quantum Materials


  • University of California Santa Barbara
Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics


  • United States


PhD (Physics), Harvard University
BSc (Physics and Mathematics), Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Leon Balents is a theoretical physicist who works broadly in the area of correlated electron systems, quantum magnetism and complex materials.

His interests include correlation effects in one-dimensional systems, exotic quantum critical phenomena, topology in the solid state and spin liquids in frustrated magnets.


US National Academy of Science (2019)
American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2018)
Yzurdiaga Chair of Theoretical Physics (2017)
American Physical Society Fellow (2013)

Relevant Publications

Ye, M., Hal ́asz, G.B., Savary, L., & Balents, L. (2018). Quantization of the thermal hall conductivity at small hall angles. Phys. Rev. Lett., 121, 147201.
Savary, L., & Balents, L. (2017). Quantum spin liquids: a review. Reports on Progress in Physics, 80(1), 016502.
Ross, K.A., Savary, L., Gaulin, B.D., & Balents, L. (2011). Quantum excitations in quantum spin ice. Phys. Rev. X, 1, 021002. 
Burkov, A.A., & Balents, L. (2011). Weyl semimetal in a topological insulator multilayer. Phys. Rev. Lett., 107, 127205.
Moore, J. E. & Balents, L. (2007). Topological invariants of time-reversal-invariant band structures. Physical Review B, 75, 121306.


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