Sam (sampiano) wrote in theory_research,


Hello people in theory_research. I joined recently and thought I might introduce myself.

I'm a post-doc at ICTP, Trieste in condensed matter theory. I think most of you are in high energy physics, but we might still have a lot in common as I like playing with so called 'effective low-energy field theories', particularly of one dimensional systems so I use tools such as conformal field theory, integrability, etc...

My home page tells you more about my research. Just now, I'm working on a project to do with correlations in carbon nanotubes, but this is just one of many things. I'll gladly tell you about various things going on nowadays in condensed matter theory, when I get time. I'll also be happy to discuss life as a post-doc at ICTP, for any of you who might be interested in coming here.

I'd enjoy discussing differences in approaches to field theory between high-energy physics and condensed matter - we certainly use many of the same tools but have very different interpretations of them. For example, there is renormalization, which we use in the theory of phase transitions, or supersymmetry which we use in the theory of disordered systems.

Another thing very interesting to me is solitons - both quantum and classical. I'm very familiar with the sine-Gordon model - which is integrable (in one spacial-dimension) and supports solitons, etc... These solitons are topological in that they extrapolate between two different ground states, which leads to many topolgical conservation laws that in some sense define what a soliton is. Now go to another integrable model, the non-linear Schrodinger equation (NLSE) which I'm beginning to hear a lot more about in the context of non-linear optics. This also supports solitons - it is easy to write down a solution of the differential equation that corresponds to something moving without changing shape, and then see that solitons scatter of each other without losing identity, etc.. However in this case, there is a unique ground-state of the model (unless I am mistaken), so these are not topological solitons, at least not in the way I know it. The question that interests me then is this: is there another way of viewing the NLSE such that the solitons are topological, and so the solitonic behavour follows naturally from topological conservation laws like in the sine-Gordon model? Is this known? Is this interesting to anybody?

Well, that's all for now. I like the idea of this community, and I hope we can have some interesting discussions on it.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic