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This Week at Physics

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Event Number 3308

  Thursday, March 13th, 2014

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Many body localization: a new frontier for quantum statistical physics
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310
Speaker: Rahul Nandkishore, Princeton University
Abstract: "The existing theory of quantum statistical mechanics describes open systems in contact with large reservoirs. However, experimental advances in the construction and control of isolated quantum systems have highlighted the need for an analogous theory of isolated systems. It has been realized that isolated quantum systems can support behavior which has no analog in open quantum systems. A prominent example is the phenomenon of many body localization.

Many body localization occurs in isolated quantum systems, usually with strong disorder, and is marked by absence of dissipation, absence of thermal equilibration, a strictly zero DC conductivity (even at energy densities corresponding to high temperatures), and a memory of the initial conditions that survives in local observables for arbitrarily long times. Recently, my co-workers and I have demonstrated that many body localization also opens the door to new states of matter which cannot exist in thermal equilibrium, such as topological order at finite energy density, or broken symmetry states below the equilibrium lower critical dimension. In this talk, I review the essential features of the many body localization phenomenon, present our recent work on localization protected order, and provide a survey of open problems. I also present my ongoing work seeking to make contact between the theory and experiments, and discuss potential technological applications of these ideas.“
Host: Chubukov
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