Summer Project
Professor Ben Powell

Suitable for:  Advanced undegraduates, with strong physics background.

Project:  Spin liquids are exotic phases of matter where quantum fluctuations suppress classical long-range order.  They are of particular interest because they may support deconfined fractionalised excitations.  Fractionalised particle behaves like we have split the underlying particles, for example spinons that carry spin but not charge when the underlying degrees of freedom (electrons) confine the spin and charge to move together.  While confinement is a key property of many physical theories, including famously quantum chromodynamics (QCD), condensed matter systems provide the possibility of studying confinement - deconfinement transitions in the laboratory.  However, spin liquids are frustratingly difficult to find.  In this project, the Summer Research Scholar will use advance quantum many-body techniques to predict the properties of spin liquids to aid in the search to identify these materials experimentally.

Expected outcomes:  Basic science

Duration:  6-10 weeks

Contact:  Professor Ben Powell, powell@physics.uq.edu.au; phone +61 7 336 52401; room 418, Physics Annexe (6), UQ St Lucia campus.