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Concept# Skyrmion

Summary

In particle theory, the skyrmion (ˈskɜrmi.ɒn) is a topologically stable field configuration of a certain class of non-linear sigma models. It was originally proposed as a model of the nucleon by (and named after) Tony Skyrme in 1961. As a topological soliton in the pion field, it has the remarkable property of being able to model, with reasonable accuracy, multiple low-energy properties of the nucleon, simply by fixing the nucleon radius. It has since found application in solid-state physics, as well as having ties to certain areas of string theory.
Skyrmions as topological objects are important in solid-state physics, especially in the emerging technology of spintronics. A two-dimensional magnetic skyrmion, as a topological object, is formed, e.g., from a 3D effective-spin "hedgehog" (in the field of micromagnetics: out of a so-called "Bloch point" singularity of homotopy degree +1) by a stereographic projection, whereby the positive north-pole spin is mapped onto a far-off edge circle of a 2D-disk, while the negative south-pole spin is mapped onto the center of the disk. In a spinor field such as for example photonic or polariton fluids the skyrmion topology corresponds to a full Poincaré beam (a spin vortex comprising all the states of polarization mapped by a stereographic projection of the Poincaré sphere to the real plane). A dynamical pseudospin skyrmion results from the stereographic projection of a rotating polariton Bloch sphere in the case of dynamical full Bloch beams.
Skyrmions have been reported, but not conclusively proven, to be in Bose–Einstein condensates, thin magnetic films and in chiral nematic liquid crystals.
As a model of the nucleon, the topological stability of the skyrmion can be interpreted as a statement that the baryon number is conserved; i.e. that the proton does not decay. The Skyrme Lagrangian is essentially a one-parameter model of the nucleon. Fixing the parameter fixes the proton radius, and also fixes all other low-energy properties, which appear to be correct to about 30%.

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Lagrangian (field theory)

Lagrangian field theory is a formalism in classical field theory. It is the field-theoretic analogue of Lagrangian mechanics. Lagrangian mechanics is used to analyze the motion of a system of discrete particles each with a finite number of degrees of freedom. Lagrangian field theory applies to continua and fields, which have an infinite number of degrees of freedom.

Skyrmion

In particle theory, the skyrmion (ˈskɜrmi.ɒn) is a topologically stable field configuration of a certain class of non-linear sigma models. It was originally proposed as a model of the nucleon by (and named after) Tony Skyrme in 1961. As a topological soliton in the pion field, it has the remarkable property of being able to model, with reasonable accuracy, multiple low-energy properties of the nucleon, simply by fixing the nucleon radius. It has since found application in solid-state physics, as well as having ties to certain areas of string theory.

Non-linear sigma model

In quantum field theory, a nonlinear σ model describes a scalar field Σ which takes on values in a nonlinear manifold called the target manifold T. The non-linear σ-model was introduced by , who named it after a field corresponding to a spinless meson called σ in their model. This article deals primarily with the quantization of the non-linear sigma model; please refer to the base article on the sigma model for general definitions and classical (non-quantum) formulations and results.

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