Ian Affleck, Professor

B.Sc., Trent (75); A.M., Ph.D., Harvard (76,79)
Junior Fellow, Harv. Soc. of Fellows (79-81)
Asst. Prof., Princeton (81-87)
Researcher, CEN-Saclay, France (84-85)
Steacie Prize (88)
A.P. Sloan Found. Fellow (83-87)
CIAR Fellow (87-), Hertzberg Medal (90), Rutherford Medal (91)
Killam Prize (92), Biely Prize (92), F.R.S.C.

Research Interests

My current research is at the interface between elementary particle theory and condensed matter theory. Elementary particle theory has developed many fascinating mathematical constructions such as string theory, which are often difficult to apply directly to the present-day experimental reality of particle physics. Condensed matter physics offers a host of exotic experimental systems which can sometimes provide applications for these sophisticated mathematical ideas.

I mention three examples:

A major challenge at present in condensed matter theory is to understand the new high-Tc superconductors.

Quasi-one dimensional antiferromagnets studied, for example, by neutron-scattering at Chalk River, Ontario. These provide experimental applications of quantum field theory in one space and one time dimension.

The technique of conformal field theory, which is the mathematical underpinning of string theory, has been recently developed to discover new aspects of possible interactions between magnetic impurities and conduction electrons in metals.

Selected Publications

"Field Theory Methods and Quantum Critical Phenomena", Fields, Strings and Critical Phenomena, p. 563-640 (ed. E. Brezin and J. Zinn-Justin North Holland, Amsterdam, 1990), I. Affleck.

"Critical Theory of Overscreened Kondo Fixed Points", Nucl. Phys. B360, 641-696 (1991), I. Affleck and A.W.W. Ludwig.

"Bose Condensation in Quasi-one-dimensional Antiferromagnets in Strong Fields", Phys. Rev. B43, 3215-3222 (1991), I. Affleck.

"Universal Non-Integer Groundstate Degeneracy in Critical Quantum Systems", Phys. Rev. Lett., 67, 161-164 (1991), I. Affleck and A.W.W. Ludwig.

"Exact Critical Theory of the Two Impurity Kondo Model", Phys.Rev.Lett., 68, 1046-1050 (1992), I. Affleck and A.W.W. Ludwig.

"Longitudinal Modes in Haldane Gap Antiferromagnets", Phys. Rev. B46, 8934-8953 (1992), I. Affleck and G.F. Wellman.