Physics Colloquium - Prof. Martin Mourigal

Physics Colloquium - Prof. Martin Mourigal

Spin Liquids: A dive into exotic magnetic matter


September 9, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm


Children's Healthcare of Atlanta


Seminar Room


Georgia Institute of Technology

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Magnetism is a fascinating phenomenon: it is rooted in relativistic quantum mechanics and yet an integral component of the technologies we use every day. In magnetic insulators, where atomic-scale magnetic dipoles carried by electrons are closely bound to a crystal lattice, novel phases of matter, sometimes with no classical analogues, are possible. Chief among these phases are spin-liquids, in which strong fluctuations of magnetic dipoles (spins) preclude conventional magnetic order even for temperatures very low compared to the interaction scale between spins. Such exotic magnetic matter is of great fundamental interest because it features a wealth of coherence and entanglement phenomena – the hallmarks of the quantum world – and is often amenable to theoretical and computational predictions. In this talk, I will present experimental research that brings together materials chemistry, neutron scattering and computer modeling to search for spin-liquids in a range of compounds which crystal structures contain two- and three-dimensional simplices. My talk will emphasize the importance of neutron scattering instrumentation at large-scale facilities to probe complex materials behavior in which chemical disorder, geometrical frustration and quantum fluctuations interplay to stabilize – or destroy – spin-liquid physics.

This research is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under award DE-SC-0018660 and the National Science Foundation under award NSF-DMR-1750186.