Speaker: Professor Andy Schofield
Date: 7th May 2010
Though in isolation the electron is a perfectly stable particle, when collections of electrons are confined to narrow wires it has long been conjectured theoretically that they could split. The electron would “fractionalize” splitting into magnetic carrying particles called spinons, and charge particles called holons. In a collaboration between theorists in Birmingham and experimentalists in Cambridge, we have “seen” these two fragments of the electron. This colloquium will introduce the concept of electron fractionalization and the quest to see this phenomenon.