Strong-weak dualities and quantum elasticity.

Together with Mukhin and Nussinov, Zaanen published a first rough version of the “elastic duality” in 2004 [107]. This in turn exerted an irresistible attraction to the most gifted students in the generations that followed since then. Cvetkovic cleaned out the first version, demonstrating a variety of dynamical observables associated with the strongly coupled quantum liquid crystals [126,141]. Beekman took over, concentrating on the further generalization to 3+1D, discovering in the process a staggering novelty in the context of the superconductor-insulator quantum phase transition in three space dimensions: the “type II Mott insulator [189]”. In collaboration with the postdoc Kai Wu they found out how the characteristic “torque rigidity” of the quantum nematic state emerges as a literal deconfinement phenomenon associated with the quantum proliferation of dislocations [196]. We wrapped up all these results in a 100 page review article for the 2+1D case Dual gauge field theory of quantum liquid crystals in two dimensions:

AJ Beekman, J Nissinen, K Wu, K Liu, RJ Slager, Z Nussinov, V Cvetkovic, …, Physics Reports 683, 1-110,

supplemented by a separate paper dealing with 3+1 dimension

Dual gauge field theory of quantum liquid crystals in three dimensions, AJ Beekman, J Nissinen, K Wu, J Zaanen, Physical Review B 96 (16), 165115

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