"Emergent symmetries in quantum impurities built from quantum dots" by David Goldhaber-Gordon (Stanford University)

Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

Thursdays, 4:00-5:00 pm

1-434 Physics and Astronomy (map)
Reception from 3:30-4:00 p.m.
(unless otherwise posted)

Guest Speaker: David Goldhaber-Gordon (Stanford University)

Talk Title:  “Emergent symmetries in quantum impurities built from quantum dots”


We are all familiar with spontaneously broken symmetry: the north pole of a magnetic needle will be at one end or the other, not a superposition of the two. Conversely, can a system possess at low energies a symmetry that the bare Hamiltonian does not? I'll discuss a case where such a symmetry emerges in measurements of a nanopatterned system of electrons: a double quantum dot (Ref. 1).

Then I will tell how a similar system with no obvious symmetry can be tuned using voltage on nanoelectrodes to a quantum critical point with an exact theoretical description even at finite temperature (Ref. 2). The excitations of nearby mobile electrons at the critical point are collective and look nothing like individual electrons: this is a non-Fermi liquid. Tuning across the critical point, the crossover from one phase to the other through the quantum critical region turns out to have surprising universal properties (Ref. 3).

I hope that this approach to many-body systems and quantum phase transitions -- engineering and building an artificial realization of a well-defined Hamiltonian, then probing its properties experimentally -- will drive theoretical and computational efforts, and ultimately will help us understand the richness of electronic materials such as heavy fermion metals.

1. A. J. Keller, S. Amasha, I. Weymann, C. P. Moca, I. G. Rau, J. A. Katine, Hadas Shtrikman, G. Zaránd and D. Goldhaber-Gordon, "Emergent SU(4) Kondo physics in a spin-charge-entangled double quantum dot" Nature Physics 10, 145 (2014).
2. R. M. Potok, I. G. Rau, H. Shtrikman, Y. Oreg, and D. Goldhaber-Gordon, "Observation of the two-channel Kondo effect" , Nature 446, 167-171 (2007).
3. A. J. Keller, L. Peeters, C. P. Moca, I. Weymann, D. Mahalu, V. Umansky, G. Zaránd & D. Goldhaber-Gordon, "Universal Fermi liquid crossover and quantum criticality in a mesoscopic system," Nature 526, 237–240 ( 2015).

For more information, contact Jay Hauser

We thank the following people for their contributions to the wine fund for the post-colloquium reception:
Prof. Dolores Bozovic, Prof. Mike Cornwall, Prof. Bob Cousins, Prof. Andrea Ghez, Prof. Karoly Holczer, Prof. Eric Hudson, Robert Huff, Prof. Alex Kusenko, Prof. Myank Mehta, Prof. John Miao, Prof. Roberto Peccei, Prof. Claudio Pellegrini, Prof. David Saltzberg, Prof. Jean Turner and Prof. Ben Zuckerman.

Event Attachments: 
1-434 PAB