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Exotic State of Matter Described in New Physics Text by Jainendra K. Jain

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Jainendra K. Jain, the Erwin W. Mueller Professor of Physics at Penn State, has authored a graduate-level physics textbook titled Composite Fermions, soon to be published by Cambridge University Press. Composite fermions are exotic particles that Jain predicted in 1989 to explain the surprising phenomenon known as the fractional quantum Hall effect, whose discoverers, Horst Stormer and Daniel Tsui, shared the 1998 Nobel prize. Physicists subsequently observed composite fermions in numerous experiments and found that they have many fascinating properties. "Composite fermions form when electrons are confined to two dimensions, cooled to near absolute zero temperature, and subjected to a strong magnetic field," Jain explains. "The composite-fermion quantum fluid is an exotic new collective state of matter, which rivals superfluidity and superconductivity in both its scope and the elegance of the phenomena associated with it." Jain's book describes the theoretical principles and physical manifestations of composite fermions.

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The text has received high pre-publication praise from Horst Stormer, who describes Jain's book as "Everything you always wanted to know about composite fermions by its primary architect and champion." In describing the book's value, Stormer says, "For the initiated, an illuminating account of the relationship between the composite fermion model and other models on stage. For the novice, a lucid presentation and dozens of valuable exercises." Jayanth Banavar, professor and head of the Department of Physics at Penn State, explains, "Jain's monograph, destined to become a classic, brings out the extraordinary body of physics that has come out of his deep insight. It is a rare event when a new particle is predicted that generates so much physics."

Jain, who joined the Penn State faculty in 1998 as the first Erwin W. Mueller Professor of Physics, is a condensed-matter theorist whose research interest is the physics of low-dimensional systems, especially in situations where electrons behave in cooperative ways leading to unexpected behaviors. He is a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the American Physical Society. In 2002, he was honored as a co-recipient of the Oliver E. Buckley Prize of the American Physical Society. The honor is the highest prize in the United States in condensed-matter physics.

More information about Jain's new book is on the Web site of Cambridge University Press, http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521862325

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