Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Phase transitions in strongly interacting quantum systems
by Varney, Christopher Nicholas, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2009, 127; 3379634
Abstract (Summary)

Strongly correlated materials exhibit some of the most complex and technologically useful phenomena in condensed matter. We use the world line and determinant quantum Monte Carlo techniques to explore the phases of the Hubbard Hamiltonian, a model describing strong interactions, in a number of different contexts. We first consider the spin, charge, and bond order correlations of the one-dimensional extended fermion Hubbard model in the presence of a coupling to the lattice. A static alternating lattice distortion leads to enhanced charge density wave correlations at the expense of antiferromagnetic order. When the lattice degrees of freedom are dynamic, we show that a similar effect occurs even though the charge asymmetry must arise spontaneously. Although the evolution of the total energy with lattice coupling is smooth, the individual components exhibit sharp crossovers at the phase boundaries. Finally, we observe a tendency for bond order in the region between the charge and spin density wave phases.

Second, we examine mixtures of bosons and fermions in one-dimensional optical lattices. We evaluate the density profiles and bosonic visibility [special characters omitted] resolving the discrepancy between theory and experiment by identifying parameter regimes where [special characters omitted] is reduced and increased. We present a simple qualitative picture of the different response to the fermion admixture in terms of the superfluid and Mott-insulating domains before and after the fermions are included. Finally, we show that [special characters omitted] exhibits kinks which are tied to the domain evolution present in the pure bosonic case, and also additional structure arising from the formation of boson-fermion molecules, a prediction for future experiments.

Third, we report large scale calculations of the effective bandwidth, momentum distribution, and magnetic correlations of the square lattice fermion Hubbard Hamiltonian. The sharp Fermi surface of the non-interacting limit is significantly broadened by the electronic correlations, but retains signatures of the approach to the edges of the first Brillouin zone as the density increases. Finite size scaling of simulations on large lattices allows us to extract the interaction dependence of the antiferromagnetic order parameter, exhibiting its evolution from weak-coupling to the strong-coupling Heisenberg limit. Our lattices provide improved resolution of the momentum distribution, allowing a more quantitative comparison with time-of-flight optical lattice experiments.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Scalettar, Richard T.
Commitee: Fong, Ching-Yao, Pickett, Warren E.
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Physics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 70/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Condensed matter physics
Keywords: Antiferromagnetism, Hubbard Hamiltonian, Mott insulators, Phase transition, Quantum Monte Carlo, Strong correlations
Publication Number: 3379634
ISBN: 9781109487343
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