University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Thursday, March 3rd 2016
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Leo Radzihovsky, University of Colorado
Subject: Critical matter, chiral symmetry breaking and emergent Higgs mechanism
Refreshments to be served outside 101 Fraser after the colloquium.

The upshot of extensive studies of fluctuations is that their qualitative importance typically confined to isolated critical points of continuous transitions between phases of condensed matter. This conventional wisdom also predicts the number of low energy Goldstone modes based on the pattern of symmetry breaking. I will discuss condensed matter systems, that violate this standard paradigm via an emergent Higgs mechanism. Even more spectacularly, these systems exhibit “critical” ordered phases, with universal power-law properties reminiscent of continuous phase transition, but without any fine-tuning and extending throughout the ordered phase. The most interesting recent example is the twist-bend nematic liquid crystal —— a homogeneous liquid that spontaneous breaks chiral symmetry.

Faculty Host: Natalia Perkins

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