Fractionalization in a strongly correlated many-body system; Emergent gauge theory in exciton bose condensate

  Sung-Sik Lee MIT

Abstract: Fractionalization is a phenomenon where a particle is effectively splintered into multiple particles without actually being broken apart. In this talk, I will explain how this seemingly paradoxical phenomenon can happen in a strongly interacting many-body system, that is, an exciton (electron-hole composite in solid) system. Once exciton is fractionalized, emergent particles can have completely different physical properties such as statistics and charge from the original exciton. At the price of being `liberated' from exciton, the fractionalized particles are inevitably coupled to a new force mediator. Interestingly, the dynamics of the emergent force mediator is governed by gauge theory which has been the guiding principle to understand interactions of elementary particles.
  Fractionalization is a fascinating phenomenon because it not only constitutes a new state of matter of many-body systems but also sheds fresh insights on fundamental questions in physics, such as, what determines statistics of particle? and what is the origin of gauge principle? I will first review our understanding on statistics of identical particles and gauge principle based on first quantization path integral approach. Then, I will introduce an exciton system and its experimental realization. After generalizing the exciton system into a multi-band system, I will show how the mundane collection of non-relativistic neutral particles can end up being described by a relativistic gauge theory where either fractionalized boson or fermion arises as a long distance degree of freedom along with an emergent gauge field.