Composite fermions: Exotic emergent particles in condensed matter

From QCLab
  • Speaker: Jainendra K. Jain (Penn State Univ)
  • Date: Wed May 09, 2012 17:00
  • Place: Science Building Room 433

Some of the most beautiful physics arises when complex systems of strongly interacting particles exhibit surprisingly simple behavior. The fractional quantum Hall effect is such an amazing state of matter, which arises when electrons are confined to two dimensions, cooled to near absolute zero, and exposed to a strong magnetic field. The dramatic properties of this system are understood in terms of the emergence of a new class of particles called composite fermions, which are bound states of electrons and quantized vortices and experience a reduced magnetic field. I will review how composite fermions lead to a remarkably detailed and accurate understanding of the FQHE, and how interactions between composite fermions can lead to even more complex states with "Majorana" particles.