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Why is it interesting?

The similarities between the vacuum of space and low-temperature phases of matter are legendary in physics. Not only are phases static, uniform quantum states, but their most subtle internal motions are physically indistinguishable from elementary particles very generally. This is one of the most astonishing facts in science, and something students always find upsetting and difficult to believe. But they even­tually become convinced after looking at enough experiments, for the evidence is plenti and consistent. In fact, the more one studies the mathematical descriptions of cold phases, the more accustomed one gets to using the parallel terminologies of matter and space inter­changeably. Thus instead of a phase of matter we speak of a vacuum. Instead of particles we speak of excitations. Instead of collective mo­tions we speak of quasiparticles. The prefix "quasi" turns out to be a vestige of the historical battles over the physical meaning of these ob­jects and conveys no meaning. In private conversations one drops the pretense and refers to the objects as particle.

page 112 in "A different Universe" by Robert Laughlin


In this section things should be explained by analogy and with pictures and, if necessary, some formulas.


The motto in this section is: the higher the level of abstraction, the better.





advanced_notions/quasiparticle.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/03 10:00 by jakobadmin