Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics, Massachusett Institute of Technology
Center for Theoretical Physics
Professor Wilczek's professional work has touched on a large variety of questions in theoretical physics. Abiding interests include:
- "pure" particle physics, especially connections between ambitious theoretical ideas and concrete observable phenomena (e.g. applications of asymptotic freedom, unification of couplings);
- the behavior of matter at ultra-high temperature and/or density (e.g. phase structure of QCD, application to cosmology, neutron stars and stellar explosions);
- the application of insights from particle physics to cosmology (e.g. axions as dark matter candidates, search techniques for these and for WIMPs);
- the application of field theory techniques to condensed matter physics (e.g. exotic quantum numbers on solitons of various sorts, statistical transmutation and fractional statistics in the quantum Hall effect);
- the quantum theory of black holes (e.g. existence of quantum hair, classical hair and entropy of string-theoretic holes).
Professor Frank Wilczek is considered one of the world's most eminent theoretical physicists. He is known, among other things, for the discovery of asymptotic freedom, the development of quantum chromodynamics, the invention of axions, and the discovery and exploitation of new forms of quantum statistics (anyons). When only 21 years old and a graduate student at Princeton University, in work with David Gross he defined the properties of color gluons, which hold atomic nuclei together.
•Co-Recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics
•Co-Recipient of the 2003 High Energy and Particle Physics Prize of the European Physical Society
•2003 Faculty of Mathematics and Physics Commerative Medal, Charles University, Prague
•2003 Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society
•2002 Lorentz Medal of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
QCD: Foundational Papers
Ultraviolet Behavior of Non-Abelian Gauge Theories (with D. Gross), Phys. Rev. Lett.
30, 1343 (1973).
Asymptotically Free Gauge Theories, I (with D. Gross), Phys. Rev. D8, 3633 (1973).
Asymptotically Free Gauge Theories, II (with D. Gross), Phys. Rev. D9, 980 (1974).
Gauge Dependence of Renormalization Group Parameters (with W. Caswell), Phys.
Lett. B49, 291 (1974).
Possible Non-Regge Behavior of Electroproduction Structure Functions (with A.
DeRujula, S.L. Glashow, H.D. Politzer, S.B. Treiman and A. Zee), Phys. Rev. D10,
Scaling Deviations for Neutrino Reactions in Asymptotically Free Field Theories (with
S. Treiman and A. Zee) Phys. Rev. D10, 2881 (1974).
QCD - The Modern Theory of Strong Interactions, Ann. Rev. Nucl. Sci. V32, 177
Asymptotic Freedom, Lecture on receipt of the Dirac Medal, October 1994, published
by ICTP, Trieste, Italy.
QCD: High Temperature
Remarks on the Chiral Phase Transition in Chromodynamics (with R. Pisarski), Phys.
Rev. D29, 338 (1984).
Application of the Renormalization Group to a Second Order QCD Phase Transition,
Int. Jour. Mod. Phys. A7, 3911 (1992).
Static and Dynamic Critical Phenomena at a Second Order QCD Phase Transition
(with Krishna Rajagopal) Nucl. Phys. B399 (1993)
Emergence of Coherent Long Wavelength Oscillations After a Quench: Application
to QCD, (with Krishna Rajagopal), Nucl. Phys. B404 (1993) 577.
QCD: High Density
QCD at Finite Baryon Density: Nucleon Droplets and Color Superconductivity (with
M. Alford and K. Rajagopal), Phys. Lett. B 422, 247-256, (1998).
Color-Flavor Locking and Chiral Symmetry Breaking in High Density QCD, (with M.
Alford and K. Rajagopal), Nucl. Phys. B537, 443-458, (1999).
Imaginary Chemical Potential and Finite Fermion Density on the Lattice (with M.
Alford and A. Kapustin), Phys. Rev. D59, 054502, (1999).
High Density Quark Matter and the Renormalization Group in QCD with two and
three ﬂavors (with T. Sch¨aefer), Phys. Lett. B450, 325-331, (1999).
Continuity of Quark and Hadron Matter, (with Thomas Sch¨aefer), accepted in Phys.
Quark Description of Hadronic Phases (with T. Sch¨aefer), submitted to Phys. Rev.
Remarks on the New Resonances at 3.1GeV and 3.7GeV (with C.G. Callan, R.L.
Kingsley, S.B. Treiman and A. Zee), Phys. Rev. Lett. 34, 52 (1975).
Weak Decays of Charmed Hadrons (with R.L. Kingsley, S.B. Treiman and A. Zee),
Phys. Rev. D11, 1919 (1975).
Weak Decays of Charmed Hadrons, II: Soft Meson Theorems (with R.L. Kingsley, S.
Treiman and A. Zee), Phys. Rev. D12, 106 (1975).
Instantons and Spin Forces Between Massive Quarks (with A. Zee), Phys. Rev. Lett.
40, 83 (1977).
Low Energy Manifestations of Heavy Particles: Application to Neutral Current (with
J. Collins and A. Zee), Phys. Rev. D18, 242 (1978).
Eﬀect of Instantons on the Heavy Quark Potential (with C. Callan, R. Dashen, D.
Gross and A. Zee). Phys. Rev. D18, 4686 (1978).
SU(3) Predictions for Charmed Meson Decays (with S. Treiman), Phys. Rev. Lett.
43, 816 (1979).
Interference Eﬀects in Charmed Meson Decays (with S. Treiman), Phys. Rev. Lett.
43, 1059 (1979).
Standard Model Phenomenology
Rare Muon Decays, Heavy Leptons and CP Violations (with S. Treiman and A. Zee),
Phys. Rev. D16, 152 (1977).
Sum Rules for Spin-Dependent Electroproduction - Test of Relativistic Constituent
Quarks (with S. Wandzura), Phys. Lett. B72, 195 (1977).
Decay of Heavy Vector Mesons into Higgs Particles, Phys. Rev. Lett. 39, 1304 (1977).
Problems of Strong P and T Invariance in the Presence of Instantons, Phys. Rev. Lett.
40, 279 (1977).
Cosmology of Invisible Axions (with J. Preskill and M. Wise), Phys. Lett. B120, 127
Axions and Family Symmetry Breaking, Phys. Rev. Lett. 49, 1549 (1982).
Formation of Structure in an Axion-Dominated Universe (with M. Turner and A. Zee),
Phys. Lett. B125, 35, 519(E) (1983).
The U(1) Problem: Instanton, Axions, and Familons, in How Far Are We from the
Gauge Forces, ed. A. Zichichi (Plenum, 1985).
Calculations for Cosmic Axion Detection (with L. Krauss, J. Moody and D. Morris),
Phys. Rev. Lett. 55, 1797 (1985).
Supersymmetry and the Scale of Uniﬁcation (with S. Dimopoulos and S. Raby), Phys.
Rev. D24, 1681 (1981).
Supersymmetric Uniﬁed Models (with S. Dimopoulos), in The Unity of the Fundamental
Interactions, ed. A. Zichichi (Plenum, New York, 1983).
Proton Decay in Supersymmetry Theories (with S. Dimopoulos and S. Raby), Phys.
Lett. B112, 133 (1982).
Uniﬁcation of Couplings, (with S. Dimopoulos and S. Raby), Physics Today 44, October
1991, p.25. [91/63]
Suggested New Modes in Supersymmetric Proton Decay, (with K.S. Babu and J. Pati),
Phys. Lett. B 423, 337-347, (1998). hep-ph/9712307 [97/136]
Fermion masses, neutrino oscillations, and proton decay in the light of SuperKamiokande
(with K.S. Babu and J. Pati)
Other Beyond the Standard Model Phenomenology
Operator Analysis of Nucleon Decay (with A. Zee), Phys. Rev. Lett. 43, 1571 (1979).
Symmetry Relations in Nucleon Decay (with Anya Hurlbert), Phys. Lett. B92, 95
Families from Spinors (with A. Zee), Phys. Rev. D25, 553 (1982).
New Macroscopic Forces? (with J.E. Moody), Phys. Rev. D30, 130 (1984).
Bolometric Detection of Neutrinos (with B. Cabrera and L. Krauss), Phys. Rev. Lett.
55, 25 (1985).
Solar Neutrino Oscillations (with L. Krauss), Phys. Rev. Lett. 55, 122 (1985).
Solar System Constraints and Signatures for Dark Matter Candidates (with L. Krauss
and M. Srednicki), Phys. Rev. D33, 2079 (1986).
Matter-Antimatter Accounting, Thermodynamics, and Black Hole Radiation (with D.
Toussaint, S. Treiman and A. Zee), Phys. Rev. D19, 1036 (1979).
Elementary Examples of Baryon Number Generation (with D. Toussaint), Phys. Lett.
B81, 238 (1979).
Thermalization of Baryon Asymmetry (with S. Treiman), Phys. Lett. B95, 222 (1980).
Cosmic Asymmetry Between Matter and Antimatter, Scientiﬁc American, December
1980, p. 82.
Reheating an Inﬂationary Universe (with A. Aubrecht, P. Steinhart and M. Turner)
Phys. Rev. Lett. 48, 1437 (1982).
Might Our Vacuum be Metastable? (with M. Turner), Nature 298, 633 (1982).
Positivity Conditions on SU(5) Potentials (with R. MacKenzie), Phys. Rev. D26,
Particle Physics and Cosmology: Foundation andWorking Pictures, in The Very Early
Universe, eds. Gibbons, Hawking, Siklos (Cambridge University Press, 1983).
Fun with Monopoles and Axions, in The Very Early Universe, eds. Gibbons, Hawking,
Siklos (Cambridge University Press, 1983).
Conference Summary, in The Very Early Universe, eds. Gibbons, Hawking, Siklos
(Cambridge University Press, 1983).
Positron Line Radiation as a Signature of Particle Dark Matter in the Halo (with M.S.
Turner), Phys. Rev. D42, 1001 (1990).
Inﬂationary Axion Cosmology (with M.S. Turner), Phys. Rev. Lett. 66, 5 (1991).
Relic Gravitational Waves and Extended Inﬂation (with M.S. Turner), Phys. Rev.
Lett. 65, 3080 (1990).
Cosmological Implications of Axinos (with K. Rajagopal and M.S. Turner), Nucl.
Phys. B358, 447 (1991). [90/79]
Cosmology and Broken Discrete Symmetry (with S. Trivedi, J. Preskill and M.B.
Wise), Nucl. Phys. B363, 207 (1991). [91/11]
Quantum Properties of Solitons
Fractional Charge on Solitons (with J. Goldstone), Phys. Rev. Lett. 47, 986 (1981).
Illustrations of Vacuum Polarization by Solitons (with R. MacKenzie), Phys. Rev.
D30, 2194 (1984).
Examples of Vacuum Polarization by Solitons (with R. MacKenzie), Phys. Rev. D30,
Possible Form of Vacuum Deformation by Heavy Particles (with R. MacKenzie and
A. Zee), Phys. Rev. Lett. 53, 2203 (1983).
Adiabatic Methods in Field Theory, in TASI Lectures in Elementary Particle Physics,
ed. Williams (TASI Publications, Ann Arbor, MI, 1984).
Aharonov-Bohm Interaction of Cosmic Strings with Matter (with M. G. Alford), Phys.
Rev. Lett. 62, 1071 (1989).
Enhanced Baryon Number Violation Around Cosmic Strings (with M. Alford and J.
March-Russell), Nucl. Phys. B328, 140 (1989).
The Interactions and Excitations of Nonabelian Vortices (with M. Alford, K. Benson,
S. Coleman and J. March-Russell), Phys. Rev. Lett. 64, 1632 (1990). [89/69]
Zero Modes of Non-Abelian Vortices (with M. Alford K. Benson, S. Coleman, and J.
March-Russell), Nucl. Phys. B349, 414 (1991).
Internal Frame Dragging and a Global Analogue of the Aharonov-Bohm Eﬀect (with
J. March-Russell and J. Preskill), Phys. Rev. Lett. 68, 2567 (1992). hep-th/9112054
Statistical Transmutation, Anyons, and Chern-Simons Theory
Magnetic Flux, Angular Momentum, and Statistics, Phys. Rev. Lett. 48, 1144 (1982).
Remarks on Dyons, Phys. Rev. Lett. 48, 1146 (1982).
Quantum Mechanics of Fractional Spin Particles, Phys. Rev. Lett. 49, 957 (1982).
Linking Numbers, Spin, and Statistics of Solitons (with A. Zee), Phys. Rev. Lett. 51,
Statistical Mechanics of Anyons (with D. Arovas, J.R. Schrieﬀer and A. Zee), Nucl.
Phys. B251, [FS13], 917 (1985).
Peculiar Spin and Statistics in 2+1 Dimensions (with R. MacKenzie), Int. J. Mod.
Phys. A3, 2827 (1988).
Self-Dual Models with θ Terms (with A. Shapere), Nucl. Phys. B320, 669 (1989).
Field Corrections to Induced Statistics (with A. Goldhaber, R. MacKenzie), Mod.
Phys. Lett. A4, 21 (1989).
On Anyon Superconductivity, (with Y-H. Chen, E. Witten and B. Halperin), Int’l.
Jour. Mod. Phys. B3, 1001 (1989).
Space-Time Approach to Holonomy Scattering (with Y.-S. Wu), Phys. Rev. Lett. 65,
13 (1990). [90/2]
States of Anyon Matter, Int’l. Jour. of Mod. Phys. B5, 1273 (1991). [90/29]
Fractional Statistics and Anyon Superconductivity, a monograph and reprint collection,
World Scientiﬁc (September, 1990).
Disassembling Anyons, Phys. Rev. Lett. 69, 132 (1992). [91/70]
Cross-Conﬁnement in Multi-Chern-Simons Theories (with Lorenzo Cornalba), Phys.
Rev. Lett. 78, 4679, (1997). hep-th/9703131 [97/22]
Quantum Hall States
Fractional Statistics and the Quantum Hall Eﬀect (with D. Arovas and J.R. Schrieﬀer),
Phys. Rev. Lett. 53, 722 (1984).
Heuristic Principle for Quantized Hall States (with M. Greiter), Mod. Phys. Lett. B4,
1063 (1990). [90/35]
Paired Hall State at Half Filling (with M. Greiter and X.G. Wen), Phys. Rev. Lett.
66, 3205 (1991) [91/18].
Exact solutions and the adiabatic heuristic for quantum Hall states (with M. Greiter),
Nucl. Phys. B370, 577 (1992). [91/45]
Paired Hall States (with M. Greiter and X.G. Wen), Nucl. Phys. B374, 567 (1992).
Paired Hall States in Double Layer Electron Systems (with M. Greiter and X.G.Wen),
Phys. Rev. B46, 9586, (1992). [92/1],
Non-Fermi Liquid Fixed Point in 2+1 Dimensions, (with Chetan Nayak), Nucl. Phys.
B417, (1994) 359. cond-mat/9312086 [93/89]
Exclusion Statistics: Low Temperature Properties, Fluctuations, Duality, Applications,
(with C. Nayak), Phys. Rev. Lett. 73, (1994) 2740. cond-mat/9405017 [94/25]
Quantum Hall States of High Symmetry (with C. Nayak), Nucl. Phys. B 450, 558,
(1995). cond-mat/9501052 [94/109]
Spin-Singlet to Spin Polarized Phase Transition at ν = 2/3: Flux-Trading in Action
(with C. Nayak), Nucl. Phys. B 455, 493, (1995). cond-mat/9507016 [95/59]
Quantum Numbers of Textured Hall Eﬀect Quasiparticles (with C. Nayak), Phys. Rev.
Lett. 77, 4418, (1996). cond-mat/9512061 [95/104]
2n Quasihole States Realize 2n−1-Dimensional Spinor Braiding Statistics in Paired
Quantum Hall States (with Chetan Nayak), Nucl. Phys. B 479, 529, (1996). condmat/
A Chern-Simons Eﬀective Field Theory for the Pfaﬃan Quantum Hall State (with
E. Fradkin, C. Nayak, and A. Tsvelik), Nucl. Phys. B 516, 704-718 (1998). condmat/
Models of Condensed Matter
Solitons in Superﬂuid 3He-A: Bound States on Domain Walls (with J.L. Ho, J.R.
Fulco and J.R. Schrieﬀer), Phys. Rev. Lett. 52, 1524 (1984).
Chiral Spin States and Superconductivity (with X.G. Wen, A. Zee), Phys. Rev. B39,
Hydrodynamic Relations in Superconductivity, (with M. Greiter and E. Witten), Mod.
Phys. Letts. B3, 903 (1989).
Space-Time Aspects of Quasiparticle Propagation (with R. Levien and C. Nayak) Int.
J. of Mod. Phys. B 9, 3189, (1995). cond-mat/9501050 [94/108]
Possible Electronic Structure of Domain Walls in Mott Insulators (with C. Nayak),
Int. J. Mod. Phys. B 10, 2125, (1996). cond-mat/9602112 [95/111]
Populated Domain Walls (with C. Nayak), Phys. Rev. Lett., 78 , 2465, (1997). condmat/
Mathematics of Gauge Theory
Non-Uniqueness of Gauge Field Potentials (with S. Deser), Phys. Lett. 65B, 391
Inequivalent Embeddings of SU(2) and Instanton Interactions, Phys. Lett. 65B, 160
Geometry and Interaction of Instantons, Quark Conﬁnement and Field Theory: Proceedings
of a Conference at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, June 14-18,
1976, Stump and Weingarten, eds. (Wiley-Interscience, NY, 1977), pp. 211-219.
Discrete Gauge Symmetry in Continuum Theories (with L.M. Krauss), Phys. Rev.
Lett. 62, 1221 (1989).
Infrared Behavior at Negative Curvature (with C. Callan), Nucl. Phys. B340, 366
Mass Splittings from Symmetry Obstruction (with L. Cornalba), Phys. Lett. B 411,
112-116, (1997). hep-th/9706014 [97-48]
Some Examples in the Realization of Symmetry, Nucl. Phys. B 68 (Proc. Suppl.),
367, (1998). hep-th/9710135 [97/116]
Riemann-Einstein Structure from Volume and Gauge Symmetry, Phys. Rev. Lett., 80,
4851, (1998). hep-th/9801184 [97-142]
Geometric Phase and Applications
Appearance of Gauge Structures in Simple Dynamical Systems (with A. Zee), Phys.
Rev. Lett. 52, 2111 (1984).
Simple Realizations of Magnetic Monopole Gauge Fields: Diatoms and Spin Procession
(with J. Moody and A. Shapere), Phys. Rev. Lett. 56, 893 (1986).
Geometry of Self Propulsion at Low Reynolds Number (with A. Shapere), Jour. Fluid
Mech. 198, 557 (1989).
Two Applications of Axion Electrodynamics, Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 1799 (1987).
Self-Propulsion at Low Reynolds Number (with A. Shapere), Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 2051
Gauge Kinematics of Deformable Bodies (with A. Shapere), Am. J. Phys. 57, 514
Geometric Phases in Physics (a text and reprint volume, edited with A. Shapere)
(World Scientiﬁc, 1989).
Discrete Quantum Hair on Black Holes and the Nonabelian Aharanov-Bohm Eﬀect,
(with M. Alford and J. March-Russell), Nucl. Phys. B337, 695 (1990).
Dynamical Eﬀect of Quantum Hair (with S. Coleman and J. Preskill), Int’l. Jour.
Mod. Phys. Lett. A6, 1631 (1991). [91/17]
Growing Hair on Black Holes (with J. Preskill and S. Coleman), Phys. Rev. Lett. 67,
1975 (1991). [91/32]
Limitations on the Statistical Description of Black Holes (with P. Schwarz, A. Shapere
and S. Trivedi), Mod. Phys. Lett. A6, 2353 (1991). [91/34]
Quantum Hair on Black Holes (with S. Coleman and J.Preskill), Nucl. Phys. B378,
175 (1992). hep-th/9201059 [91/64]
Black Holes as Elementary Particles (with C.F.E. Holzhey), Nucl. Phys. B380, 447
(1992). hep-th/9202014 [91/71]
On Geometric Entropy, (with Curtis Callan), Phys. Lett. B333, (1994) 55-61. hepth/
Some Applications of a Simple Stationary Line Element for the Schwarzschild Geometry,
(with P. Kraus), Mod. Phys. Lett. A 9, 3713, (1994). gr-qc/9406042 [94/46]
Self-Interaction Correction to Black Hole Radiance, (with P. Kraus), Nucl. Phys. B
433, (1995) 403. gr-qc/9408003 [94/61]
Eﬀect of Self-Interaction on Charged Black Hole Radiance (P. Kraus), Nucl. Phys.
B437 (1995) 231. hep-th/9411219 [94/101]
Global Structure of Evaporating Black Holes (with M. Parikh), Phys. Lett. B449,
24-29, (1999). gr-qc/9807031 [98-57]
Compactiﬁcation of the Twisted Heterotic String (with V. Nair, A. Shapere and A.
Strominger), Nucl. Phys. B287, 402 (1987).
Dual Dilaton Dyons (with A. Shapere and S. Trivedi), Mod. Phys. Lett. A6, 2677
Internal Structure of Black Holes (with F. Larsen), Phys. Lett B 375, 37, 1996. hepth/
Resolution of Cosmological Singularities (with Finn Larsen), Phys. Rev. D 55, 4591,
(1997). hep-th/9610252 [96-108]
Popular and Semi-Popular Pieces
Longing for the Harmonies, [a book] W.W. Norton (January, 1988).
“Virtual Particles” [a sonnet] Norton Anthology of Light Verse, ed. Baker, 1986.
Anyons, Scientiﬁc American 264, #5, p. 58 (May, 1991).
1012 Degrees in the Shade (preprinted as “Hot Stuﬀ: The High Temperature Frontier”),
The Sciences, January/February 1994, 22. [93/50]
A crack in the Standard Model?, Nature Vol. 380, 19-20, (7 March 1996).
Panning for Gold at the K Stream, Nature 389, 671 (16 Oct. 1997).
Colour Takes The Field, Nature 390, 659 (18/25 Dec. 1998).
Neutrino Deﬁcit Challenges Conservation Laws, Nature 391, 123 (8 Jan. 1998).
Why are there Analogies between Condensed Matter and Particle Theory?, Physics
Today, 11 (Jan. 1998).
Liberating Quarks and Gluons, Nature, 391 , 330-331, (22 Jan. 1998).
Back to Basics at High Temperature, Physics Today, 11 (April 1998).
Particle Physics: The Standard Model Transcended, Nature 394, 13-15, (2 July 1998).
Nuclear and Subnuclear Boiling, Nature 395, 220-221 (17 September 1998).
The Persistence of Ether, Physics Today, 52, 11-13, (January 1999).
Cosmic Molasses for Particle Masses, New Scientist, (April 1999).
Particle-Antiparticle Annihilation in Diﬀuse Motion (with D. Toussaint), Jour. Chem.
Phys. 78, 2642 (1983).
Realization of the Fredkin Gate Using A Series of One- And Two-body Operators,
(with H.F. Chau), Phys. Rev. Lett 75 748 (1995). quant-ph/9503005 [95/15]
Minimal Potentials with Very Many Minima (with Marin Soljaˇci´c). cond-mat/9904190
The Future of Particle Physics as a Natural Science, Published in “Critical Problems
in Physics” in celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Princeton University, November
1996, eds. Fitch, Marlow, and Dementi, Princeton University Press; also in Int. Jour.
Mod. Phys. A 13, 863, (1998); also in Magazine of Physics, Science & Ideas Vol. 1
No. 2) 12-25, (Dec. 1996). hep-ph/9702371 [97-11]
Quantum Field Theory, in the American Physical Society Centenary issue of Rev.
Mod. Phys. 71, S85-S95, (1999); More Things in Heaven and Earth– A celebration
of Physics at the Millennium, ed. B. Bederson, (Springer-Verlag, New York), (1999).
Getting Its from Bits Nature 397, 303-306 (28 Jan. 1999).
Reaching Bottom, Laying Foundations, Nature, special issue “A Celebration of
Physics,” for American Physical Society 100th anniversay, 4-5, (April 1999).