MSU Events Calendar
Michael Manfra - Quantum Mechanics, Identical Particles, and the Strange Case of Anyons...
(Conferences / Seminars / Lectures)
"The fundamental particles of nature are indistinguishable-you cannot tell one electron from another by the color of its hair, or the shape of its ears, or the way it laughs. A basic tenet of quantum mechanics is that all elementary particles are either bosons or fermions. Loosely speaking, bosons like to flock together while fermions are solitary creatures that tend to repel each other. Ensembles of bosons or fermions behave differently due to differences in their underlying quantum statistics. Starting in the early 1980s it was theoretically conjectured that excitations that are neither bosons nor fermions may exist under special conditions in two-dimensional interacting electron systems. These unusual excitations were dubbed 'anyons.' Anyons possess fractional charge and fractional statistics. However, directly probing these properties presents experimental challenges. This lecture will focus on the development of electronic Fabry-Perot interferometers that resulted in the first direct observation of anyonic braiding in the fractional quantum Hall state at ν=1/3. These experiments demonstrate that ensembles of fundamental particles confined to reduced dimensions may act in concert to form new particles with properties all their own."