Tensor network trial wave functions for topological phases

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The construction of trial wave functions has proven itself to be very useful for understanding strongly interacting quantum many-body systems. Two famous examples of such trial wave functions are the resonating valence bond state proposed by Anderson and the Laughlin wave function, which have provided an (intuitive) understanding of respectively spin liquids and fractional Quantum Hall states. Tensor network states are another, more recent, class of such trial wave functions which are based on entanglement properties of local, gapped systems. In this talk I will discuss the use of tensor network states for topological phases, and what we can learn from this approach. I will consider one- and two-dimensional systems, consisting of both spins and fermions. The focus will be on the different connections that can be made using tensor networks, such as connecting theory to numerics, and physical properties to ground state entanglement.