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Generalized global symmetries and dissipative magnetohydrodynamics

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Just as ordinary global symmetries in quantum field theory are associated with conserved currents that count particle numbers, “generalized” global symmetries are associated with higher-form conserved currents that can be understood as counting higher-dimensional objects such as strings. I will discuss how this idea applies to the long-distance structure of theories of electromagnetism in four dimensions, where a key role is played by a higher-form conserved current that counts the density of magnetic flux lines. I will then use this higher form current to reformulate dissipative magnetohydrodynamics from the point of view of generalized symmetries and effective field theory.

This talk is part of the Theoretical Physics Colloquium series.

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