Confinement transitions and quench dynamics of monopoles and strings in spin ice

  • 29 November 2023
  • 13:00 - 14:00
  • DAV.0.29

Speaker: Prof. Stephen Powell

I did my PhD at Yale with Subir Sachdev and postdocs at Oxford with John Chalker and JQI (Maryland) with Sankar Das Sarma. I was briefly an assistant professor at Nordita (Stockholm) before moving to Nottingham in 2013, where I'm now an associate professor in the Condensed Matter Theory group.

Conventional magnetic materials, like ferromagnets and antiferromagnets, are disordered at high temperature and form ordered states when cooled. If this ordering is hindered, or "frustrated", unusual states of matter can appear at low temperatures. A prominent example is spin ice, which exhibits a Coulomb phase, a classical spin liquid with topological order and emergent magnetic monopoles, as well as exotic phase transitions beyond the standard Landau paradigm. In this talk, I will show how these emergent behaviours can appear in systems with simple constituents and how we can understand them through effective field theories. I will also present theoretical results on quench dynamics following a field quench and demonstrate a crossover from dynamics driven by nucleation and growth of strings at short time to percolating clusters at long time.


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