Unexpected connections between hard and soft condensed matter physics

Profs. Tom Lubensky and Charles Kane have a paper on the cover of Nature Physics this month. Their work has established the mathematical relationship between the 'floppy modes' of isotatic lattices (like arrays of masses and springs that verge on mechanical instability) and the boundary modes that occur in quantum electronics systems like quantum Hall effect devices and topological insulators hence revealing unexpected connections between theories of hard and soft matter.