Prof. Dr. Nandini Trivedi (Ohio State University), "The strange world of fractionalized quantum numbers in quantum matter"
I will describe the fascinating story of emergence in quantum matter-- the fact that the properties of a collective can be very different from those of the individual constituents. For example, we think of an electron as a fundamental particle with charge e and spin ℏ/2. And yet in a system with many interacting electrons new states with fractionalized charge e/3 can emerge. These fractionalized particles can have exchange statistics that are different from the usual fermions and bosons. Fractionalized particles are proving to be important as topological qubits that are protected from decoherence by the environment and have unique potential to encode information in quantum computers.