Duke Physics Colloquium: Quantum Critical Points: Bridges Across Energy Scales
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Shailesh Chandrasekharan (Duke Physics)
"Quantum Critical Points: Bridges Across Energy Scales" - In physics we often look for paradigms that unify physical phenomena at different energy scales. Quantum Critical Points (QCPs) provide such a paradigm by bridging concepts of phases and phase transitions of a physical system with notions of fundamental building blocks that make up the system. The former concepts are of interest in low energy condensed matter physics while the latter notions are the quest of high energy particle physicists. In this talk I will explain what QCPs are and discuss how they can be interesting to both condensed matter and particle physicists. I will point out the challenges we face today in studying many QCPs and how overcoming them is turning out to be an exciting area of research. As an example, I will discuss a new class of QCPs that have been discovered recently in the context of condensed matter physics. It has been proposed that gauge fields can be created dynamically in physical systems near these QCPs, although the fundamental building blocks do not seem to contain them explicitly. Perhaps some day analogs of such QCPs will provide an alternate explanation for the origin of the fundamental forces of nature. | Faculty Host: Warren S. Warren | Refreshments will be served before the event in Physics Building room 128.