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New quantum states of matter - or - What does a spin liquid look like?

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I will give an introduction into the ongoing search for new states of matter in solid state physics and why this is exciting. I will focus on so called ‘topological quantum states’ which present a wide variety of striking new phenomena, such as the fractionalization of normally indivisible electrons. One famous example of these states are ‘spin liquids’ which have been predicted to be realized in frustrated magnetic materials several decades ago. While there are now several candidate materials, their identification remains challenging. Here, I will address one of the key questions: How can a quantum spin liquid be diagnosed in experiments?

This talk is part of the Darwin College Sciences Group series.

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