I will begin with a brief review of the current research area of the classification of phases of matter culminating with the introduction of the fracton phase, the latest entrant in the fray. Fracton phases are characterized by excitations that have mobility restrictions which can be realized both in a discrete lattice or a continuum setting. Focussing on the continuum setting, I will describe a general field theoretical framework that generalizes Maxwell electromagnetism to support fractonic excitations of various kinds. I will go to show an example of fractons that we encounter in daily life, on a piece of paper! I will offer a fractonic perspective on a common observation -- a piece of paper can be folded only along a straight line if one wants to avoid additional creases and tears. Finally, if time permits, I will describe our recent work on discrete gauge theory defined on tree graphs (graphs without loop) and demonstrate several fractonic phenomena in them.
Vijay Shenoy completed his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1998. After a short stint at IIT Kanpur until 2002, he moved to IISc Bangalore where he is now a professor in the Department of Physics. His research dwells on theoretical condensed matter physics where he has recently investigated the physics of topological insulators and fracton phases.