Dartmouth Events

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium - Gerald A. Goldin, Rutgers University

Title: "Quantum Kinematics, the Prediction of Anyons, and Some Wider Implications"

Friday, September 16, 2022
3:30pm – 4:30pm
Wilder 104
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Arts and Sciences, Lectures & Seminars

Abstract: A single local symmetry group, through its unitary representations, provides a foundational classification for all possible quantum configurations and quantum statistics in any smooth physical space. In this talk, I will first highlight the unifying power of this description, and describe its relation to Heisenberg quantization and to the topology of configuration space. The many examples include our unexpected, independent prediction, with Menikoff and Sharp, of “anyon” statistics in 1980-81, and of “nonabelian anyons” in 1985. Anyons are quantum particles or excitations in two space dimensions whose exchange statistics interpolate bosons and fermions, first conjectured by Leinaas and Myrheim in 1977. They are associated with surface phenomena in the presence of magnetic flux. Their prediction is often attributed exclusively and incorrectly to Wilczek, who coined the name “anyon” in his 1982 article. Theoretical applications are numerous, e.g., the fractional quantum Hall effect, quantized vortices in thin films, and quantum computing. In 2020 experimentalists first succeeded in creating anyonic excitations. I shall also address some implications of scientists’ and journalists’ failure to accurately attribute scientific achievements – including the dishonest refusal by some to provide straightforward, undisputed corrections. The “anyon” case is not unique. Disturbing consequences for physics include non-recognition and career obstacles that disproportionately hurt women, minorities, and scientists in developing countries. Young scientists have much to lose by speaking out. The issue is systemic, often unnoticed, and challenges the integrity of the wider science community. 

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Passcode: physics
For more information, contact:
Tressena Manning

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.