Quantum Matter without Quasiparticles: Strange Metals and Black Holes [Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium]

Quantum Matter without Quasiparticles: Strange Metals and Black Holes
Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 4:15pm
Hewlett 200
Subir Sachdev (Hanna Visiting Scholar, Harvard)
Abstract / Description: 

The quasiparticle concept is the foundation of our understanding of the dynamics of quantum many-body systems. It originated in the theory of metals, which have electron-like quasiparticles, but it is also useful in more exotic states like those found in fractional quantum Hall systems. However, many modern materials exhibit a 'strange metal' phase to which the quasiparticle picture does not apply, and developing its theory remains one of the important challenges in condensed matter physics. I will describe the simplest known quantum many-body models without quasiparticle excitations. Some of these models have a dual description as black holes in a curved spacetime with an emergent spatial direction, and the black hole mapping has proved useful in understanding some experiments.

APPLIED PHYSICS/PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM is held Tuesdays at 4:30 pm in the William R. Hewlett Teaching Center, room 200 (see map). Refreshments in the lobby of Varian Physics at 4:15 pm.

Autumn 2017/2018, Committee: Roger Blandford (Chair), Aharon Kapitulnik, Bob Laughlin, Leonardo Senatore