Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Quantum Field Theory of Many-Body SystemsFrom the Origin of Sound to an Origin of Light and Electrons$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Xiao-Gang Wen

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199227259

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199227259.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 March 2020



Quantum Field Theory of Many-Body Systems

Xiao-Gang Wen

Oxford University Press

A quantitative change can lead to a qualitative change. The system with many degrees of freedom can demonstrate qualitatively new phenomena. This introductory chapter summarizes the principle of emergence, which states that the properties of material are mainly determined by the organizations (or the orders) of atoms in the material. The different organizations of microscopic degrees of freedom not only give rise to traditional symmetry breaking orders (such as crystal, magnets, superfluids, etc), they also give rise to new topological/quantum orders (such as fractional quantum Hall states, superconductors, etc). Those different orders lead to the rich properties of materials and phenomena that we see every day. The collective excitations in the new topologically ordered states can even be gauge bosons and fermions that satisfy Coulomb's law. So the principle of emergence in many-body systems may explain the origin of light and electrons, as well as the beauty in laws of physics.

Keywords:   symmetry breaking, effective theory, origin of light, origin of electron, topological order, quantum order, ether

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .