Xiao-Gang Wen

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Xiao-Gang Wen
Born (1961-11-26) 26 November 1961 (age 57)
NationalityChina, United States
Alma materUniversity of Science and Technology of China
Princeton University
Scientific career
InstitutionsInstitute for Theoretical Physics, UC Santa Barbara

Institute for Advanced Study
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Doctoral advisorEdward Witten

Xiao-Gang Wen (simplified Chinese: 文小刚; traditional Chinese: 文小剛; pinyin: Wén Xiǎogāng; born November 26, 1961) is a Chinese-American physicist. He is a Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Distinguished Visiting Research Chair at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. His expertise is in condensed matter theory in strongly correlated electronic systems. In Oct. 2016, he was awarded the Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize.

He is the author of a book in advanced quantum many-body theory entitled, Quantum Field Theory of Many-body Systems: From the Origin of Sound to an Origin of Light and Electrons (Oxford University Press, 2004).

Early life[edit]

In 1982, Wen came to the US for graduate school via the CUSPEA program, which was organized by Prof. T. D. Lee.


Wen studied superstring theory under theoretical physicist Edward Witten at Princeton University where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1987. He later switched his research field to condensed matter physics while working with theoretical physicists Robert Schrieffer, Frank Wilczek, Anthony Zee in Institute for Theoretical Physics, UC Santa Barbara (1987–1989).

Wen introduced the notion of topological order (1989) and quantum order (2002), to describe a new class of matter states. This opens up a new research direction in condensed matter physics. He found that states with topological order contain non-trivial boundary excitations and developed chiral Luttinger theory for the boundary states (1990). The boundary states can become ideal conduction channel which may lead to device application of topological phases. He proposed the simplest topological order — Z2 topological order (1990), which turns out to be the topological order in the toric code. He also proposed a special class of topological order: non-Abelian quantum Hall states. They contain emergent particles with non-Abelian statistics which generalizes the well known Bose and Fermi statistics. Non-Abelian particles may allow us to perform fault tolerant quantum computations. With Michael Levin, he found that string-net condensations can give rise to a large class of topological orders (2005). In particular, string-net condensation provides a unified origin of photons, electrons, and other elementary particles (2003). It unifies two fundamental phenomena: gauge interactions and Fermi statistics. He pointed out that topological order is nothing but the pattern of long range entanglements. This led to a notion of symmetry protected topological (SPT) order (short-range entangled states with symmetry) and its description by group cohomology of the symmetry group (2011). The notion of SPT order generalizes the notion of topological insulator to interacting cases. He also proposed the SU(2) gauge theory of high temperature superconductors (1996).[citation needed]


Professional record[edit]


Selected publications[edit]

  • Xiao-Gang Wen, F. Wilczek and A. Zee, Chiral Spin States and Superconductivity, Phys. Rev. B 39 11413 (1989).
  • Xiao-Gang Wen,Topological Orders in Rigid States, Int. J. Mod. Phys. B4 239 (1990).
  • Xiao-Gang Wen, Topological Orders and Edge Excitations in FQH States, Advances in Physics 44 405 (1995).
  • Xiao-Gang Wen, Gapless Boundary Excitations in the FQH States and in the Chiral Spin States, Phys. Rev. B 43 11025 (1991)
  • Xiao-Gang Wen, Theory of the Edge Excitations in FQH effects, Int. J. Mod. Phys. B6 1711 (1992).
  • Xiao-Gang Wen, Mean Field Theory of Spin Liquid States with Finite Energy Gaps and topological orders, Phys. Rev. B 44 2664 (1991).
  • B. Blok and Xiao-Gang Wen, Effective theories of Fractional Quantum Hall Effect at Generic Filling Fractions, Phys. Rev. B 42 8133 (1990)
  • B. Blok and Xiao-Gang Wen, Effective theories of Fractional Quantum Hall Effect: Hierarchical Construction, Phys. Rev. B 42 8145 (1990).
  • Xiao-Gang Wen and A. Zee, A Classification and Matrix Formulation of the abelian FQH states, Phys. Rev. B 46 2290 (1992).
  • Xiao-Gang Wen, Non-Abelian Statistics in the FQH states, Phys. Rev. Lett. 66 802 (1991).
  • Xiao-Gang Wen, Topological order and edge structure of nu=1/2 quantum Hall state, Phys. Rev. Lett. 70 355 (1993)
  • Xiao-Gang Wen and Y.-S. Wu, Transitions between the quantum Hall states and insulators induced by periodic potentials, Phys. Rev. Lett. 70 1501 (1993).
  • Xiao-Gang Wen, Continuous topological phase transitions between clean quantum Hall states, cond-mat/9908394, Phys. Rev. Lett. 84 3950 (2000).
  • Xiao-Gang Wen, Quantum Orders and Symmetric Spin Liquids, cond-mat/0107071, Phys. Rev. B 65 165113 (2002).
  • Xiao-Gang Wen and P. A. Lee, Theory of Underdoped Cuprates, cond-mat/9506065, Phys. Rev. Lett. 76 503 (1996).
  • Patrick A. Lee, Naoto Nagaosa, Xiao-Gang Wen, Doping a Mott Insulator: Physics of High Temperature Superconductivity, cond-mat/0410445, Rev. Mod. Phys. 78 17-85 (2006).
  • Michael Levin, Xiao-Gang Wen, String-net condensation: A physical mechanism for topological phases, cond-mat/0404617, Phys. Rev. B 71 045110 (2005).
  • Michael Levin, Xiao-Gang Wen, Fermions, strings, and gauge fields in lattice spin models, cond-mat/0302460, Phys. Rev. B 67 245316 (2003).
  • Xiao-Gang Wen, Quantum order from string-net condensations and origin of light and massless fermions, hep-th/0302201, Phys. Rev. D 68 065003 (2003).
  • Michael Levin and Xiao-Gang Wen, Detecting Topological Order in a Ground State Wave Function, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 110405 (2006).
  • Xiao-Gang Wen and Zhenghan Wang, Classification of symmetric polynomials of infinite variables: Construction of Abelian and non-Abelian quantum Hall states, arXiv:0801.3291, Phys. Rev. B 77 235108 (2008).
  • Xiao-Gang Wen and Zhenghan Wang, Topological properties of Abelian and non-Abelian quantum Hall states from the pattern of zeros, arXiv:0803.1016, Phys. Rev. B 78 155109 (2008); arXiv:1203.3268.
  • Zheng-Cheng Gu and Xiao-Gang Wen, Emergence of helicity +/- 2 modes (gravitons) from qbit models , arXiv:0907.1203. Nucl. Phys. B 863 90 (2012)
  • Chen, Xie, Zheng-Cheng Gu, and Xiao-Gang Wen. Local unitary transformation, long-range quantum entanglement, wave function renormalization, and topological order. Phys. Rev. B 82, 155138 (2010); arXiv:1004.3835.
  • Xie Chen, Zheng-Xin Liu, Xiao-Gang Wen, 2D symmetry protected topological orders and their protected gapless edge excitations Phys. Rev. B 84, 235141 (2011); arXiv:1106.4752.
  • Xie Chen, Zheng-Cheng Gu, Zheng-Xin Liu, Xiao-Gang Wen, Symmetry protected topological orders and the group cohomology of their symmetry group arXiv:1106.4772.
  • Xiao-Gang Wen and E. Witten, Electric and magnetic charges in superstring models, Nuclear Physics B 261:44, 651 (1985)
  • Xiao-Gang Wen and Qian Niu, Ground-state degeneracy of the fractional quantum Hall states in the presence of a random potential and on high-genus Riemann surfaces, Physical Review B 41 9377 - 9396 (1990)
  • Xiao-Gang Wen and A. Zee, Neutral superfluid modes and "magnetic" monopoles in multilayered quantum Hall systems, Physical Review Letters 69 1811 - 1814 (1992)

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