Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Variational Monte Carlo Methods for Strongly Correlated Quantum Systems on Multileg Ladders
by Block, Matthew S., Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2011, 167; 3473722
Abstract (Summary)

Quantum mechanical systems of strongly interacting particles in two dimensions comprise a realm of condensed matter physics for which there remain many unanswered theoretical questions. In particular, the most formidable challenges may lie in cases where the ground states show no signs of ordering, break no symmetries, and support many gapless excitations. Such systems are known to exhibit exotic, disordered ground states that are notoriously difficult to study analytically using traditional perturbation techniques or numerically using the most recent methods (e.g., tensor network states) due to the large amount of spatial entanglement. Slave particle descriptions provide a glimmer of hope in the attempt to capture the fundamental, low-energy physics of these highly non-trivial phases of matter. To this end, this dissertation describes the construction and implementation of trial wave functions for use with variational Monte Carlo techniques that can easily model slave particle states. While these methods are extremely computationally tractable in two dimensions, we have applied them here to quasi-one-dimensional systems so that the results of other numerical techniques, such as the density matrix renormalization group, can be directly compared to those determined by the trial wave functions and so that exclusively one-dimensional analytic approaches, namely bosonization, can be employed. While the focus here is on the use of variational Monte Carlo, the sum of these different numerical and analytical tools has yielded a remarkable amount of insight into several exotic quantum ground states. In particular, the results of research on the d-wave Bose liquid phase, an uncondensed state of strongly correlated hard-core bosons living on the square lattice whose wave function exhibits a d-wave sign structure, and the spin Bose-metal phase, a spin-1/2, SU(2) invariant spin liquid of strongly correlated spins living on the triangular lattice, will be presented. Both phases support gapless excitations along surfaces in momentum space in two spatial dimensions and at incommensurate wave vectors in quasi-one dimension, where we have studied them on three- and four-leg ladders. An extension of this work to the study of d-wave correlated itinerant electrons will be discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fisher, Matthew P. A.
Commitee: Allen, S. James, Balents, Leon
School: University of California, Santa Barbara
Department: Physics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 72/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Condensed matter physics
Keywords: Correlated quantum systems, Interacting particles, Multileg ladders, Spin-liquids
Publication Number: 3473722
ISBN: 9781124884936
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