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Magnetohydrodynamics and Generalised Superfluids

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Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) describes the low-energy physics of electromagnetically conducting plasmas. In the conventional formulation of MHD, one introduces dynamical electromagnetic fields on top of the usual hydrodynamic setup by hand. In this talk, we will explore an alternate effective view of MHD purely based on symmetries, as a "string fluid" of magnetic field lines, without any assumption about the underlying microscopic field content. We will argue that MHD is described by a novel theory of superfluidity with a partially broken one-form symmetry. We will also discuss the implications of this broken symmetry for constructing hydrostatic partition functions describing MHD. The talk is based on [arXiv:1808.01939, arXiv:1811.04913].