Nandini Trivedi is a professor in the Department of Physics at The Ohio State University. Her research focuses on the effects of strong interactions in condensed matter systems and ultracold atoms in optical lattices.
Trivedi visited as a guest lecturer for PHYS 400 Seminar and spoke to the faculty and students of the Physics & Astronomy Department about a fascinating emergence in quantum matter. Her presentation focused on describing how the properties of a collective can be very different from those of the individual constituents in quantum matter.
She illustrated this by giving the example of an electron which is considered a fundamental particle with a charge e and spin h/2. However, in a system with many interacting electrons, new states with a fractionalized charge e/3 can emerge. This is significant since these fractionalized particles can have exchange statistics that are different from the usual fermions and bosons. They are proving to be important as topological qubits that are protected from decoherence by the environment and have the unique potential to encode information in quantum computers.