Talks & material
All presented talks are now online.
Meeting photos can be found here.
The last 50 years have seen several dramatic
transformations in our understanding of condensed matter physics, as well
as a remarkable fusion of ideas between condensed matter and
high-energy physics. Amongst the milestones, one can pick out the
development of Fermi liquid theory, the theory of superfluids and
superconductors, of topological field theories involving fractional charge
and fractional statistics, and theories of more complex
systems such as glasses, soft matter, and biological systems. During this
same period, the over-arching framework of effective field
theory, often formulated in the framework of
renormalisation and renormalisation group theory, has grown
enormously in depth, sophistication, and influence, as have 'model
Hamiltonians' which capture essential features of the physics.
It seems high time to assess all of this from a broader perspective,
including a look at some of the philosophical and historical
questions that may arise. We will be focussing on the themes of
superfluids, superconductors, Fermi liquid theory and its failings,
topological field theory and fractional charge and statistics, and the
renormalisation group. Along with this we will look at questions about
the general nature of effective field theories in condensed matter, and
how one should look at this in the broader context provided by quantum
field theory and statistical physics; this also raises interesting
historical questions. However we expect that other issues will come up -
indeed, a key feature of the 7 Pines meetings is the extensive time
devoted to discussion sessions.