Xie Chen, Ph.D.Professor, Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology
Simons Foundation Presidential Lectures are free public colloquia centered on four main themes: Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Neuroscience and Autism Science. These curated, high-level scientific talks feature leading scientists and mathematicians and are intended to foster discourse and drive discovery among the broader NYC-area research community. We invite those interested in the topic to join us for this weekly lecture series.
Quantum systems are weird. A large quantum system where all the constituent quantum particles strongly interact with each other is even weirder. The recently discovered fracton systems are excellent examples of this. The constituent particles interact so strongly that single-particle features are obscured, and the low energy dynamics of the system is dominated by local defects that look completely different. They can have different charge, different statistics, and more surprisingly, they can be completely immobile, rendering even simple notions like momentum and mass inadequate.
In this lecture, Xie Chen will tell the story of how such an unexpected discovery made in the quest for a quantum hard drive led to surprising developments. Such developments include the redefinition of fundamental concepts like phase and universality based on foliation in manifolds and the re-formulation of field theory. Along the way, the quest connected researchers in quantum information, condensed matter and high-energy theory, all inspired by the endless weirdness of strongly interacting quantum many-body systems.
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