Excitation Spectra of Square Lattice Antiferromagnets: Theoretical Explanation of Experimental Observations

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Springer, Jan 6, 2016 - Science - 176 pages

This thesis presents a qualitative advance in our understanding of quantum effects in layered magnetic materials. The nearest neighbor Heisenberg ferromagnetic ranks among the oldest and most fundamental models of quantum many body effects. It has long been established that in one dimension quantum fluctuations lead to a quantum disordered ground state with fractional excitations called spinons." In two dimensions, the ground state of the Heisenberg model displays static order and to first approximation the dynamics can be described as semi-classical spin waves. Through theoretical advances the author demonstrates that at high energy around particular points in reciprocal space these semi-classical spin-waves deconfine into fractional excitations akin to the one-dimensional spinons. He thereby provides the first explanation of a long-standing experimental observation.

In the second half of his thesis Bastien Dalla Piazza develops a unified description of the magnetic excitation spectra of a range of cuprate parent compounds to the high temperature superconductors.


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1 Variational Study of the Square Lattice Antiferromagnet Magnetic ZoneBoundary Anomaly
2 Modeling the SpinWave Dispersion of Insulating Cuprate Materials
Appendix AVariational Monte Carlo Appendices
Appendix BEffective LowEnergy Model Derivation
Appendix CRealization of InHouse QuantumWolf Cluster
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About the author (2016)

After a brief excursion into literature studies at the University of Lausanne, Bastien Dalla Piazza began his physics studies at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) where he obtained his master’s degree and later his Physics PhD, having worked on exotic properties of some magnetic materials using massively parallel supercomputers. Following his PhD, he joined Nanolive SA, a start-up developing the first commercial implementation of a tomographic phase microscope.

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