TNT Colloquium: "Anyonic particle-vortex statistics and the nature of dense quark matter"
Abstract : I discuss the recent theoretical observation of Z_3 -valued
particle-vortex braiding phases in high density quark matter.
Certain mesonic and baryonic excitations, in the presence of a
superfluid vortex, have orbital angular
momentum quantized in units of 1/3. Such non-local topological
features can distinguish phases
whose realizations of global symmetries, as probed by local order
parameters, are identical. If
Z_3 braiding phases and angular momentum fractionalization are absent
in lower density hadronic
matter, as is widely expected, then the quark matter and hadronic
matter regimes of dense QCD
must be separated by at least one phase transition.