Publications by John Chalker


Spin quantum Hall effect and plateau transitions in multilayer network models

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JT Chalker, M Ortuño, AM Somoza

We study the spin quantum Hall effect and transitions between Hall plateaus in quasi two-dimensional network models consisting of several coupled layers. Systems exhibiting the spin quantum Hall effect belong to class C in the symmetry classification for Anderson localisation, and for network models in this class there is an established mapping between the quantum problem and a classical one involving random walks. This mapping permits numerical studies of plateau transitions in much larger samples than for other symmetry classes, and we use it to examine localisation in systems consisting of $n$ weakly coupled layers. Standard scaling ideas lead one to expect $n$ distinct plateau transitions, but in the case of the unitary symmetry class this conclusion has been questioned. Focussing on a two-layer model, we demonstrate that there are two separate plateau transitions, with the same critical properties as in a single-layer model, even for very weak interlayer coupling.


Multiparticle interference in electronic Mach-Zehnder interferometers

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DL Kovrizhin, JT Chalker

We study theoretically electronic Mach-Zehnder interferometers built from integer quantum Hall edge states, showing that the results of recent experiments can be understood in terms of multiparticle interference effects. These experiments probe the visibility of Aharonov-Bohm (AB) oscillations in differential conductance as an interferometer is driven out of equilibrium by an applied bias, finding a lobe pattern in visibility as a function of voltage. We calculate the dependence on voltage of the visibility and the phase of AB oscillations at zero temperature, taking into account long range interactions between electrons in the same edge for interferometers operating at a filling fraction $\nu=1$. We obtain an exact solution via bosonization for models in which electrons interact only when they are inside the interferometer. This solution is non-perturbative in the tunneling probabilities at quantum point contacts. The results match observations in considerable detail provided the transparency of the incoming contact is close to one-half: the variation in visibility with bias voltage consists of a series of lobes of decreasing amplitude, and the phase of the AB-fringes is practically constant inside the lobes but jumps by $\pi$ at the minima of the visibility. We discuss in addition the consequences of approximations made in other recent treatments of this problem. We also formulate perturbation theory in the interaction strength and use this to study the importance of interactions that are not internal to the interferometer.


Spin glass transition in geometrically frustrated antiferromagnets with weak disorder

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A Andreanov, JT Chalker, TE Saunders, D Sherrington

We study the effect in geometrically frustrated antiferromagnets of weak, random variations in the strength of exchange interactions. Without disorder the simplest classical models for these systems have macroscopically degenerate ground states, and this degeneracy may prevent ordering at any temperature. Weak exchange randomness favours a small subset of these ground states and induces a spin-glass transition at an ordering temperature determined by the amplitude of modulations in interaction strength. We use the replica approach to formulate a theory for this transition, showing that it falls into the same universality class as conventional spin-glass transitions. In addition, we show that a model with a low concentration of defect bonds can be mapped onto a system of randomly located pseudospins that have dipolar effective interactions. We also present detailed results from Monte Carlo simulations of the classical Heisenberg antiferromagnet on the pyrochlore lattice with weak randomness in nearest neighbour exchange.


Anderson localisation in tight-binding models with flat bands

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JT Chalker, TS Pickles, P Shukla

We consider the effect of weak disorder on eigenstates in a special class of tight-binding models. Models in this class have short-range hopping on periodic lattices; their defining feature is that the clean systems have some energy bands that are dispersionless throughout the Brillouin zone. We show that states derived from these flat bands are generically critical in the presence of weak disorder, being neither Anderson localised nor spatially extended. Further, we establish a mapping between this localisation problem and the one of resonances in random impedance networks, which previous work has suggested are also critical. Our conclusions are illustrated using numerical results for a two-dimensional lattice, known as the square lattice with crossings or the planar pyrochlore lattice.


Random Walks and Anderson Localisation in a Three-Dimensional Class C Network Model

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M Ortuño, AM Somoza, JT Chalker

We study the disorder-induced localisation transition in a three-dimensional network model that belongs to symmetry class C. The model represents quasiparticle dynamics in a gapless spin-singlet superconductor without time-reversal invariance. It is a special feature of network models with this symmetry that the conductance and density of states can be expressed as averages in a classical system of dense, interacting random walks. Using this mapping, we present a more precise numerical study of critical behaviour at an Anderson transition than has been possible previously in any context.


Caustic formation in expanding condensates of cold atoms

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JT Chalker, B Shapiro

We study the evolution of density in an expanding Bose-Einstein condensate that initially has a spatially varying phase, concentrating on behaviour when these phase variations are large. In this regime large density fluctuations develop during expansion. Maxima have a characteristic density that diverges with the amplitude of phase variations and their formation is analogous to that of caustics in geometrical optics. We analyse in detail caustic formation in a quasi-one dimensional condensate, which before expansion is subject to a periodic or random optical potential, and we discuss the equivalent problem for a quasi-two dimensional system. We also examine the influence of many-body correlations in the initial state on caustic formation for a Bose gas expanding from a strictly one-dimensional trap. In addition, we study a similar arrangement for non-interacting fermions, showing that Fermi surface discontinuities in the momentum distribution give rise in that case to sharp peaks in the spatial derivative of the density. We discuss recent experiments and argue that fringes reported in time of flight images by Chen and co-workers [Phys. Rev. A 77, 033632 (2008)] are an example of caustic formation.


Exactly Solved Model for an Electronic Mach-Zehnder Interferometer

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DL Kovrizhin, JT Chalker

We study nonequilibrium properties of an electronic Mach-Zehnder interferometer built from integer quantum Hall edge states at filling fraction $\nu{=}1$. For a model in which electrons interact only when they are inside the interferometer, we calculate exactly the visibility and phase of Aharonov-Bohm fringes at finite source-drain bias. When interactions are strong, we show that a lobe structure develops in visibility as a function of bias, while the phase of fringes is independent of bias, except near zeros of visibility. Both features match the results of recent experiments [Neder \textit{et al.} Phys. Rev. Lett. \textbf{96}, 016804 (2006)].


Critical phenomena in a highly constrained classical spin system: Neel ordering from the Coulomb phase

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TS Pickles, TE Saunders, JT Chalker

Many classical, geometrically frustrated antiferromagnets have macroscopically degenerate ground states. In a class of three-dimensional systems, the set of degenerate ground states has power-law correlations and is an example of a Coulomb phase. We investigate Neel ordering from such a Coulomb phase, induced by weak additional interactions that lift the degeneracy. We show that the critical point belongs to a universality class that is different from the one for the equivalent transition out of the paramagnetic phase, and that it is characterised by effective long-range interactions; alternatively, ordering may be discontinuous. We suggest that a transition of this type may be realised by applying uniaxial stress to a pyrochlore antiferromagnet.


Decoherence and interactions in an electronic Mach-Zehnder interferometer

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JT Chalker, Y Gefen, MY Veillette

We develop a theoretical description of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer built from integer quantum Hall edge states, with an emphasis on how electron-electron interactions produce decoherence. We calculate the visibility of interference fringes and noise power, as a function of bias voltage and of temperature. Interactions are treated exactly, by using bosonization and considering edge states that are only weakly coupled via tunneling at the interferometer beam-splitters. In this weak-tunneling limit, we show that the bias-dependence of Aharonov-Bohm oscillations in source-drain conductance and noise power provides a direct measure of the one-electron correlation function for an isolated quantum Hall edge state. We find the asymptotic form of this correlation function for systems with either short-range interactions or unscreened Coulomb interactions, extracting a dephasing length $\ell_{\phi}$ that varies with temperature $T$ as $\ell_{\phi} \propto T^{-3}$ in the first case and as $\ell_{\phi} \propto T^{-1} \ln^2(T)$ in the second case.


Electrostatic theory for imaging experiments on local charges in quantum Hall systems

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ALC Pereira, JT Chalker

We use a simple electrostatic treatment to model recent experiments on quantum Hall systems, in which charging of localised states by addition of integer or fractionally-charged quasiparticles is observed. Treating the localised state as a compressible quantum dot or antidot embedded in an incompressible background, we calculate the electrostatic potential in its vicinity as a function of its charge, and the chemical potential values at which its charge changes. The results offer a quantitative framework for analysis of the observations.


Transport between edge states in multilayer integer quantum Hall systems: exact treatment of Coulomb interactions and disorder

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JW Tomlinson, J-S Caux, JT Chalker

A set of stacked two-dimensional electron systems in a perpendicular magnetic field exhibits a three-dimensional version of the quantum Hall effect if interlayer tunneling is not too strong. When such a sample is in a quantum Hall plateau, the edge states of each layer combine to form a chiral metal at the sample surface. We study the interplay of interactions and disorder in transport properties of the chiral metal, in the regime of weak interlayer tunneling. Our starting point is a system without interlayer tunneling, in which the only excitations are harmonic collective modes: surface magnetoplasmons. Using bosonization and working perturbatively in the interlayer tunneling amplitude, we express transport properties in terms of the spectrum for these collective modes, treating electron-electron interactions and impurity scattering exactly. We calculte the conductivity as a function of temperature, finding that it increases with increasing temperature as observed in recent experiments. We also calculate the autocorrelation function of mesoscopic conductance fluctuations induced by changes in a magnetic field component perpendicular to the sample surface, and its dependence on temperature. We show that conductance fluctuations are characterised by a dephasing length that varies inversely with temperature.


Quantum Hall ferromagnets, cooperative transport anisotropy, and the random field Ising model

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JT Chalker, DG Polyakov, F Evers, AD Mirlin, P Woelfle

We discuss the behaviour of a quantum Hall system when two Landau levels with opposite spin and combined filling factor near unity are brought into energetic coincidence using an in-plane component of magnetic field. We focus on the interpretation of recent experiments under these conditions [Zeitler et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 866 (2001); Pan et al, Phys. Rev. B 64, 121305 (2001)], in which a large resistance anisotropy develops at low temperatures. Modelling the systems involved as Ising quantum Hall ferromagnets, we suggest that this transport anisotropy reflects domain formation induced by a random field arising from isotropic sample surface roughness.


Quantum disorder in the two-dimensional pyrochlore Heisenberg antiferromagnet

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SE Palmer, JT Chalker

We present the results of an exact diagonalization study of the spin-1/2 Heisenberg antiferromagnet on a two-dimensional version of the pyrochlore lattice, also known as the square lattice with crossings or the checkerboard lattice. Examining the low energy spectra for systems of up to 24 spins, we find that all clusters studied have non-degenerate ground states with total spin zero, and big energy gaps to states with higher total spin. We also find a large number of non-magnetic excitations at energies within this spin gap. Spin-spin and spin-Peierls correlation functions appear to be short-ranged, and we suggest that the ground state is a spin liquid.


Order induced by dipolar interactions in a geometrically frustrated antiferromagnet

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SE Palmer, JT Chalker

We study the classical Heisenberg model for spins on a pyrochlore lattice interacting via long range dipole-dipole forces and nearest neighbor exchange. Antiferromagnetic exchange alone is known not to induce ordering in this system. We analyze low temperature order resulting from the combined interactions, both by using a mean-field approach and by examining the energy cost of fluctuations about an ordered state. We discuss behavior as a function of the ratio of the dipolar and exchange interaction strengths and find two types of ordered phase. We relate our results to the recent experimental work and reproduce and extend the theoretical calculations on the pyrochlore compound, Gd$_2$Ti$_2$O$_7$, by Raju \textit{et al.}, Phys. Rev. B {\bf 59}, 14489 (1999).


Statistical properties of eigenvectors in non-Hermitian Gaussian random matrix ensembles

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B Mehlig, JT Chalker

Statistical properties of eigenvectors in non-Hermitian random matrix ensembles are discussed, with an emphasis on correlations between left and right eigenvectors. Two approaches are described. One is an exact calculation for Ginibre's ensemble, in which each matrix element is an independent, identically distributed Gaussian complex random variable. The other is a simpler calculation using $N^{-1}$ as an expansion parameter, where $N$ is the rank of the random matrix: this is applied to Girko's ensemble. Consequences of eigenvector correlations which may be of physical importance in applications are also discussed. It is shown that eigenvalues are much more sensitive to perturbations than in the corresponding Hermitian random matrix ensembles. It is also shown that, in problems with time-evolution governed by a non- Hermitian random matrix, transients are controlled by eigenvector correlations.


Quantum Hall plateau transitions in disordered superconductors

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V Kagalovsky, B Horovitz, Y Avishai, JT Chalker

We study a delocalization transition for non-interacting quasiparticles moving in two dimensions, which belongs to a new symmetry class. This symmetry class can be realised in a dirty, gapless superconductor in which time reversal symmetry for orbital motion is broken, but spin rotation symmetry is intact. We find a direct transition between two insulating phases with quantized Hall conductances of zero and two for the conserved quasiparticles. The energy of quasiparticles acts as a relevant, symmetry-breaking field at the critical point, which splits the direct transition into two conventional plateau transitions.


Fictitious Level Dynamics: A Novel Approach to Spectral Statistics in Disordered Conductors

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JT Chalker, IV Lerner, RA Smith

We establish a new approach to calculating spectral statistics in disordered conductors, by considering how energy levels move in response to changes in the impurity potential. We use this fictitious dynamics to calculate the spectral form factor in two ways. First, describing the dynamics using a Fokker-Planck equation, we make a physically motivated decoupling, obtaining the spectral correlations in terms of the quantum return probability. Second, from an identity which we derive between two- and three-particle correlation functions, we make a mathematically controlled decoupling to obtain the same result. We also calculate weak localization corrections to this result, and show for two dimensional systems (which are of most interest) that corrections vanish to three-loop order.


A Unified Model for Two Localisation Problems: Electron States in Spin-Degenerate Landau Levels, and in a Random Magnetic Field

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DKK Lee, JT Chalker

A single model is presented which represents both of the two apparently unrelated localisation problems of the title. The phase diagram of this model is examined using scaling ideas and numerical simulations. It is argued that the localisation length in a spin-degenerate Landau level diverges at two distinct energies, with the same critical behaviour as in a spin-split Landau level, and that all states of a charged particle moving in two dimensions, in a random magnetic field with zero average, are localised.


Emergent moments and random singlet physics in a Majorana spin liquid

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S Sanyal, K Damle, JT Chalker, R Moessner

We exhibit an exactly solvable example of a SU(2) symmetric Majorana spin liquid phase, in which quenched disorder leads to random-singlet phenomenology. More precisely, we argue that a strong-disorder fixed point controls the low temperature susceptibility $\chi(T)$ of an exactly solvable $S=1/2$ model on the decorated honeycomb lattice with quenched bond disorder and/or vacancies, leading to $\chi(T) = {\mathcal C}/T+ {\mathcal D} T^{\alpha(T) - 1}$ where $\alpha(T) \rightarrow 0$ as $T \rightarrow 0$. The first term is a Curie tail that represents the emergent response of vacancy-induced spin textures spread over many unit cells: it is an intrinsic feature of the site-diluted system, rather than an extraneous effect arising from isolated free spins. The second term, common to both vacancy and bond disorder (with different $\alpha(T)$ in the two cases) is the response of a random singlet phase, familiar from random antiferromagnetic spin chains and the analogous regime in phosphorus-doped silicon (Si:P).


A Farewell to Liouvillians

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V Oganesyan, JT Chalker, SL Sondhi

We examine the Liouvillian approach to the quantum Hall plateau transition, as introduced recently by Sinova, Meden, and Girvin [Phys. Rev. B {\bf 62}, 2008 (2000)] and developed by Moore, Sinova and Zee [Phys. Rev. Lett. {\bf 87}, 046801 (2001)]. We show that, despite appearances to the contrary, the Liouvillian approach is not specific to the quantum mechanics of particles moving in a single Landau level: we formulate it for a general disordered single-particle Hamiltonian. We next examine the relationship between Liouvillian perturbation theory and conventional calculations of disorder-averaged products of Green functions and show that each term in Liouvillian perturbation theory corresponds to a specific contribution to the two-particle Green function. As a consequence, any Liouvillian approximation scheme may be re-expressed in the language of Green functions. We illustrate these ideas by applying Liouvillian methods, including their extension to $N_L > 1$ Liouvillian flavors, to random matrix ensembles, using numerical calculations for small integer $N_L$ and an analytic analysis for large $N_L$. We find that behavior at $N_L > 1$ is different in qualitative ways from that at $N_L=1$. In particular, the $N_L = \infty$ limit expressed using Green functions generates a pathological approximation, in which two-particle correlation functions fail to factorize correctly at large separations of their energy, and exhibit spurious singularities inside the band of random matrix energy levels. We also consider the large $N_L$ treatment of the quantum Hall plateau transition, showing that the same undesirable features are present there, too.

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