Colloquium on June 23th, 2008

Alan Tennant
Hahn-Meitner-Institut Berlin

Magnets as model systems - why simpler is better

The statistical mechanics of many body systems is fundamental to science. In low dimensional and frustrated quantum systems new states emerge that are of great interest but hard to access experimentally. In this talk I present how quantum magnets are being addressed as model examples with which to explore the physical behaviour in an insightful way. By developing low temperature and high field experimental environments measurements are being made on systems with simple but nontrivial Hamiltonians. I will relate these measurements to questions regarding temperature in interacting quantum gases, fractionalisation, and universal behaviour in the vicinity of quantum phase transitions. Hopefully, in the end showing why simpler systems are better.