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Fracton Quantum Matter

Michael Hermele, University of Colorado Boulder
Monday, January 8, 2024 - 4:00pm
PAA A-102

The last twenty years have witnessed extraordinary and continuing progress in our understanding of quantum many-body systems. This includes the discovery of new families of quantum phases of matter, and new kinds of critical phenomena at quantum phase transitions. A key underlying theme is the power of effective quantum field theories to describe universal properties of quantum systems, via a well-established paradigm developed over many years.

Today, this paradigm is being challenged by a new class of quantum systems known as fracton matter, defined by the presence of point-like excitations of restricted mobility. In this talk, I will introduce fracton systems and some of their surprising properties. I will also discuss why it has been challenging to build a general theory of fracton phases of matter; in particular, I will explain why the role of continuum quantum field theory in understanding fracton systems remains unclear.

Video Link (requires UW NetID)

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