KTH/Nordita/SU seminar in Theoretical Physics

Fractional Charge in Time-Inversion Invariant Systems

by Roman Jackiw (MIT)



The essence of quantum mechanics is that dynamical entities, like energy or angular momentum, which can take arbitrary values within classical physics, become quantized within quantum physics. I shall describe an inverse phenomenon: Classical entities like particle number or charge possess an intrinsic integrality; but they can acquire fractional values upon quantization. I shall describe how this phenomenon is realized through zero modes of a Dirac equation, and how the effect manifests itself in condensed matter materials."