The Chern-Simons term versus the monopole

Ian Affleck, Jeffrey Harvey, Laszlo Palla, Gordon Semenoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)


Monopoles lead to linear confinement of electric charge in compact (2 + 1)-dimensional QED. On the other hand, the addition of a Chern-Simons term renders the Coulomb interaction short-range. We consider here continuum, compact QED with a Chern-Simons term and show that integrating over a collective coordinate associated with large gauge transformations cancels the monopole contribution to the partition function (or, more accurately, leads to confinement of monopole-antimonopole pairs). Thus compact (2 + 1)-dimensional QED with a Chern-Simons term can have deconfined electric charges with fractional statistics as predicted classically. If also true on the lattice, this result has crucial implications for some theories of high-Tc superconductors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-584
Number of pages10
JournalNuclear Physics, Section B
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 25 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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