Xiao-Gang Wen and the 500 Phases of Matter

Article ID: 597646

Released: 21-Dec-2012 4:30 PM EST

Source Newsroom: Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

  • Credit: Perimeter Institute

    Perimeter Faculty member Xiao Gang-Wen

  • Credit: Xiao-Gang Wen/ Perimeter Institute

    Artist's impression of a string-net of light and electrons. String-nets are a theoretical kind of topologically ordered matter.

Newswise — Forget solid, liquid, and gas: there are in fact more than 500 phases of matter. In a major paper in today’s issue of Science, Perimeter Faculty member Xiao-Gang Wen reveals a modern reclassification of all of them.

Using modern mathematics, Wen and collaborators reveal a new system which can, at last, successfully classify symmetry-protected phases of matter. Their new classification system will provide insight about these quantum phases of matter, which may in turn increase our ability to design states of matter for use in superconductors or quantum computers.

This paper, titled, “Symmetry-Protected Topological Orders in Interacting Bosonic Systems,” is a revealing look at the intricate and fascinating world of quantum entanglement, and an important step toward a modern reclassification of all phases of matter.

Find accessible explanations of the research – including condensed matter physics, symmetry, and topological order – at Perimeter Institute’s website: http://perimeterinstitute.ca/news/entering-new-phase

About Xiao-Gang WenRegarded as one of the world’s leading condensed matter theorists, Xiao-Gang Wen holds the BMO Financial Group Isaac Newton Chair at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. The BMO/Newton Chair was established by a $4 million gift from the BMO Financial Group in 2010 and, in 2011, Wen joined Perimeter from MIT as its inaugural occupant.

For more information, contact:RJ TaylorExternal Relations Specialistrtaylor@perimeterinstitute.ca(226) 220-8387

About Perimeter InstitutePerimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is an independent, non-profit, scientific research organization working to advance our understanding of physical laws and develop new ideas about the very essence of space, time, matter, and information. Located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Perimeter also provides a wide array of research training and educational outreach activities to nurture scientific talent and share the importance of discovery and innovation among students, teachers, and the general public. In partnership with the Governments of Ontario and Canada, Perimeter is a successful example of public-private collaboration in scientific research, training, and outreach. http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/


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