Frank A. Wilczek
School of Natural Sciences
Institute for Advanced Study
Princeton, N.J.

" Some of the most subtle and surprising manifestations of quantum mechanics involve the appearance of phase factors as particles wind around another. The prototype of this is the Aharonov-Bohm effect, whereby charged particles are deflected as they orbit around a solenoid, even though there is no force acting. Similar ideas appear in the theory of quark confinement and in the theory of fractional statistics that has recently played an important role in understanding the quantized Hall effect. These ideas also appear prominently in theoretical thinking on high-temperature superconductors. Until now the physics has been treated on a semi-intuitive basis, but as we analyze more complicated cases, the lack of a complete and rigorous formal foundation is beginning to be felt. The beginnings of such a foundation have now appeared in two articles.

J. Frohlich, P. Marchetti,...

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