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Anyons proven to exist

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--- Quote ---In the three-dimensional world we live in, there are only two types of particles: "fermions," which repel each other, and "bosons," which like to stick together. A commonly known fermion is the electron, which transports electricity; and a commonly known boson is the photon, which carries light. In the two-dimensional world, however, there is another type of particle, the anyon, which doesn't behave like either a fermion or a boson.

In a two-dimensional world, two identical anyons change their wavefunction when they swap places in ways that can't happen in three-dimensional physics:
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--- Quote ---After decades of exploration in nature’s smallest domains, physicists have finally found evidence that anyons exist. First predicted by theorists in the early 1980s, these particle-like objects only arise in realms confined to two dimensions, and then only under certain circumstances — like at temperatures near absolute zero and in the presence of a strong magnetic field.
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I won't even pretend that this stuff isn't waaay over my head - the concept of a 2D particle in 3D space is mindbending enough by itself - but regardless, the practical application is that these particles may be useful in quantum computers, allowing these computers to encode data more efficiently.

Also, I'm amazed at the sheer variety of subatomic stuff going on invisibly around us.  The ancient greeks hypothesized indivisible atoms, but we've dug so much further down than that, into electrons and protons and neutrons, and then further down into ferminions (quarks, leptons, antiquarks, antileptons), gauge bosons (aka force carriers - photons, W and Z bosons, gluons) and Higgs bosons.  Add to that quasiparticles - emergent properties of particles, kind of like flocks of birds.  (I hope I got that basically correct, even this short summary was taxing!)  And boy are there a lot of them.  We dig and dig and we just go down and down, seemingly forever...

My question is, how far can we dig until we hit bedrock?  Surely we can't keep discovering new subatomic particles forever - like some infinite russian doll.  Surely, there have to be the fundamental building blocks of reality somewhere down there.  And just how much of this stuff actually exists in reality and how much are convenient mathematical abstractions?

Yes, yes yes, no, yes, no,yes,yes,no,no, yes yes yes, no yes, yes

Maybe.  There have been fevered announcements of scientific utopia in every issue of Popular Science since I first got my haircut in a barber shop ;-)  And no, whatever the next scientific discovery might be, it doesn't mean that you won't have to work anymore and that the government will wither away ;-)  It took 80 years for General Relativity to have any practical impact on ordinary people (GPS satellite).  Special Relativity was useful in understanding muon decay for example, before that (time dilation of half life) ... but most people won't know or care.

Solid state physics has been of immense benefit, because of transistors.  But that doesn't take any Relativity theory to explain it.  Also liquid crystal technology has been of benefit for displays.  So far, plasma physics hasn't helped overcome the engineering difficulties of fusion power (except for frauds like cold fusion).  The physics of 1950 has been very fruitful for electronics, but Moore's Law was exhausted 10 years ago.  Cramming more transistors per square millimeter have reached a declining benefit per added transistor.  The major problem (see US Treasury hack) has been in software and administration.

Jason Harvestdancer:
2D objects in 3D space makes some sense - at least more sense than 3D objects in 2D space.

I read in Scientific American several years back that some scientists think that the spacial dimensions didn't all unwind at the same time, that during the early universe it was 1D, then 2D, then 3D.  Those same scientists think that in the great voids between galactic clusters the 4th spacial dimension is starting to unwind, creating 4D space.

Our galaxy is near the edge of the Local Void, which is why we've had so few major galactic collisions in billions of years. It may have been a minor collision with one of the Megallanic clouds that began the collapse of the pre-solar nebula.

 I 've read that in the centers of the voids the flow of time is faster, due to weak gravity, whereas the galaxies in clusters have a slower-flowing time. The universe is older deep in the voids than in the clusters. The time flow difference may not be large, but in the billions of years of the lifetime of the universe it has added up so that the central regions of voids are much older than we see it.


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