XXXIX Workshop on Geometric Methods in Physics 19.06–25.06.2022
XI School on Geometry and Physics 27.06–1.07.2022
In order to secure the right conditions for our Workshop we have decided to exceptionally move (only for this year's meeting) the site of our Workshop to the campus of our University in Białystok.

Gerald Goldin

Predicting “Anyons”: Implications of History for Science

“Anyons” are quantum particles or excitations in two space dimensions whose exchange statistics can be intermediate between bosons and fermions. They are associated with surface phenomena in the presence of magnetic flux. Theoretical applications are numerous, and in 2020 experimentalists succeeded in creating anyonic excitations. Their prediction four decades earlier, which required fundamental changes in our understanding of quantum statistics, is often attributed exclusively and incorrectly to Frank Wilczek. I will outline the actual history, from predecessor ideas to the first clear, independent predictions in papers by Leinaas & Myrheim (1977) and Goldin, Menikoff, & Sharp (1980-81), followed by Wilczek’s 1982 articles and subsequent important group-theoretical insights by Goldin, Menikoff, & Sharp (1983, 1985). Then I shall discuss some wider implications for physics teaching, presentation to the public, and integrity in science. Why did such an easy concept elude physicists for so long? What then led to independent predictions within a short time of each other? What can we learn from this about science education? I shall conclude by addressing the painful implications of scientists’ and journalists’ systemic failure or refusal to accurately attribute scientific achievements – breaches of integrity occurring even when there is no dispute. The “anyon” case is not unique. The social consequences of such failure include non-recognition and career obstacles disproportionately hurting women, minorities, and scientists in developing countries, as well as intimidation and disillusionment of younger scientists.

Event sponsored by:
of Bialystok
University of Bialystok

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