Monday, October 8, 2012

Topology: The Secret Ingredient In The Latest Theory of Everything

Topology: The Secret Ingredient In The Latest Theory of Everything: Today, Wen combines topology, symmetry and quantum mechanics in a new theory that predicts the existence of new states of matter, unifies various puzzling phenomena in solid state physics and allows the creation artificial vacuums populated with artificial photons and electrons...

Xiao-Gang Wen's approach is to explore the properties of matter when the topological links between particles become much more general and complex. He generalises these links, thinking of them as strings that can connect many  particles together. In fact, he considers the way many strings can form net-like structures that have their own emergent properties...
That makes string nets a kind of "quantum ether" through which electromagnetic waves travel. That's a big claim.

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