Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2012

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



In the theory of the fractional quantum Hall effect, much attention is paid to the correspondence between fractional quantum Hall wave functions and conformal blocks in certain rational conformal field theories (CFT). This correspondence is powerful, enabling the calculation of the fractional statistics of a state that would be difficult if not impossible to calculate directly from the wave functions. But it is, in general, conjectural, remaining without microscopic justification in many cases of interest, and involves heavy mathematical machinery. We detail an alternative method to calculate Abelian and non-Abelian fractional statistics, the coherent state method. The method relies on assumptions which are independent of those underlying the CFT correspondence, so it serves as an independent check of results for the statistics where they exist, and an alternative source of results when a CFT is not known. We show how the coherent state method can be used to derive the statistics of several increasingly complicated trial wave functions: ν=1/2 Laughlin, Moore-Read, and k=3 Read-Rezayi. We discuss implications of our method for a possible notion of braiding statistics of the Gaffnian state, a "nonunitary" quantum Hall state for which the ramifications of the CFT correspondence are less well understood. We go on to derive formulas for the counting of zero modes of all these states on the torus.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Alexander Seidel

Committee Members

Mark Alford, Renato Feres, Zohar Nussinov, Michael Ogilvie, Jung-Tsung Shen


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