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Unless otherwise noted, the physics colloquia are held in Room 307 of the Science and Engineering Research Facility. Refreshments are served at 3:00 p.m. with the talk following at 3:30. The colloquia are available via Webcast archives.

Spring 2017 Schedule

January 16: MLK Holiday




January 23

Bruce D. Gaulin
McMaster University

Quantum Ground States in Real Frustrated Magnets

Steve Johnston

January 30

Greg Fiete
University of Texas

Searching for New Topological Phases in Correlated Materials

Jian Liu

February 6

Chris Tulk
Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Norman Mannella

February 13

Samindranath Mitra
PRL Staff


February 20

Gail McLaughlin
North Carolina State University


Andrew W. Steiner

February 27

Thomas Corbitt
Louisiana State University


March 6

Wouter Deconinck
College of William and Mary


Nadia Fomin

March 13: Spring Break




March 20

Julia Velkovska
Vanderbilt University


Christine Nattrass

March 27

Alexander Fetter
Stanford University


April 3

Krzyztof Rykaczewski
Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Robert Grzywacz

April 10

Young Lee
Stanford University


April 17

Ariel Amir
Harvard University


April 24: Honors Day



January 23

Bruce D. Gaulin, McMaster University
Quantum Ground States in Real Frustrated Magnets

The pyrochlore lattice, a network of corner-sharing tetrahedra, is one of the most pervasive crystalline architectures in nature that supports geometrical frustration. We and others have been interested in a family of rare earth pyrochlore magnets, that can display quantum S=1/2 magnetism on such a lattice. The ground states for these materials may be described by a model known as "spin ice", a model with the same frustration and degeneracy as solid ice (the kind you skate on), as well as by a quantum version of this model known as "quantum spin ice" that possesses an emergent quantum electrodynamics. I'll describe how this comes about and how we can understand these materials, with an emphasis on modern neutron scattering. I'll also briefly discuss how fragile some of these quantum ground states seem to be with respect to weak quenched disorder, which is hard to avoid in real materials.

January 30

Greg Fiete, University of Texas
Searching for New Topological Phases in Correlated Materials

Recent years have seen rapid advances in the theoretical understanding of materials with strong spin-orbit coupling, and experiments have identified new classes of materials exhibiting unusual electrical properties. Many of these discoveries fall in the class of "topological materials". In this talk, I will summarize some of the recent developments in this field and highlight some of our own work based on a combination of model Hamiltonian studies and first-principles approaches to guiding experimental discovery of these phases in transition metal oxides. Some potential device applications will also be described.

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