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Integers and fractions

Sen, Diptiman (1998) Integers and fractions. In: Current Science, 75 (10). pp. 985-987.


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The 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded jointly to Robert B. Laughlin, Stanford University, USA, Horst L. Störmer, Columbia University and Bell Labs, USA, and Daniel C. Tsui, Princeton University, USA, for ‘their discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations’ appearing in the fractional quantum Hall effect. The quantum Hall effect has two versions, the integer (which won an earlier Nobel Prize) and the fractional. These two versions share the remarkable feature that an experimentally measured quantity, characterizing one aspect of a complicated many-particle system, stays perfectly fixed at some simple and universal values even though many different parameters of the system vary from sample to sample (in fact, some parameters like disorder vary quite randomly). In addition, the fractional quantum Hall effect has the astounding property that the low-energy excitations of the system carry a charge which is a simple fraction of the charge of an electron, even though the system is composed entirely of particles like atoms, ions and electrons, all of whose charges are integer multiples of the electronic charge.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Current Science
Publisher: Indian Academy of Sciences
Additional Information: The copyright belongs to the Indian Academy of Sciences.
Keywords: fraction;integers;quantum hall effect
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Centre for Theoretical Studies (Ceased to exist at the end of 2003)
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2005
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:15
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/1482

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