Publications by John Chalker

Dynamics of a two-dimensional quantum spin liquid: signatures of emergent Majorana fermions and fluxes

Phys. Rev. Lett. 112 (0) 207203-207203

J Knolle, DL Kovrizhin, JT Chalker, R Moessner

Topological states of matter present a wide variety of striking new phenomena. Prominent among these is the fractionalisation of electrons into unusual particles: Majorana fermions [1], Laughlin quasiparticles [2] or magnetic monopoles [3]. Their detection, however, is fundamentally complicated by the lack of any local order, such as, for example, the magnetisation in a ferromagnet. While there are now several instances of candidate topological spin liquids [4], their identification remains challenging [5]. Here, we provide a complete and exact theoretical study of the dynamical structure factor of a two-dimensional quantum spin liquid in gapless and gapped phases. We show that there are direct signatures - qualitative and quantitative - of the Majorana fermions and gauge fluxes emerging in Kitaev's honeycomb model. These include counterintuitive manifestations of quantum number fractionalisation, such as a neutron scattering response with a gap even in the presence of gapless excitations, and a sharp component despite the fractionalisation of electron spin. Our analysis identifies new varieties of the venerable X-ray edge problem and explores connections to the physics of quantum quenches.

Universal statistics of vortex lines

ArXiv (0)

A Nahum, JT Chalker

We study the vortex lines that are a feature of many random or disordered three-dimensional systems. These show universal statistical properties on long length scales, and geometrical phase transitions analogous to percolation transitions but in distinct universality classes. The field theories for these problems have not previously been identified, so that while many numerical studies have been performed, a framework for interpreting the results has been lacking. We provide such a framework with mappings to simple supersymmetric models. Our main focus is on vortices in short-range correlated complex fields, which show a geometrical phase transition that we argue is described by the CP^{k|k} model (essentially the CP^{n-1} model in the replica limit n\rightarrow 1). This can be seen by mapping a lattice version of the problem to a lattice gauge theory. A related field theory with a noncompact gauge field, the 'NCCP^{k|k} model', is a supersymmetric extension of the standard dual theory for the XY transition, and we show that XY duality gives another way to understand the appearance of field theories of this type. The supersymmetric descriptions yield results relevant, for example, to vortices in the XY model and in superfluids, to optical vortices, and to certain models of cosmic strings. A distinct but related field theory, the RP^{2l|2l} model (or the RP^{n-1} model in the limit n\rightarrow 1) describes the unoriented vortices which occur for instance in nematic liquid crystals. Finally, we show that in two dimensions, a lattice gauge theory analogous to that discussed in three dimensions gives a simple way to see the known relation between two-dimensional percolation and the CP^{k|k} sigma model with a \theta-term.

Absent pinch points and emergent clusters: further neighbour interactions in the pyrochlore Heisenberg antiferromagnet

ArXiv (0)

PH Conlon, JT Chalker

We discuss the origin of spin correlations observed in neutron scattering experiments on the paramagnetic phase of a number of frustrated spinel compounds, most notably ZnCr2O4. These correlations are striking for two reasons. First, they have been interpreted as evidence for the formation of weakly interacting hexagonal clusters of spins. Second, they are very different from those calculated for the nearest neighbour Heisenberg pyrochlore antiferromagnet, in which Coulomb phase correlations generate sharp scattering features known as pinch points. Using large-$n$ calculations and Monte Carlo simulations, we show that very weak further neighbour exchange interactions can account for both the apparent formation of clusters and the suppression of pinch points.

Density of quasiparticle states for a two-dimensional disordered system: Metallic, insulating, and critical behavior in the class D thermal quantum Hall effect

ArXiv (0)

A Mildenberger, F Evers, AD Mirlin, JT Chalker

We investigate numerically the quasiparticle density of states $\varrho(E)$ for a two-dimensional, disordered superconductor in which both time-reversal and spin-rotation symmetry are broken. As a generic single-particle description of this class of systems (symmetry class D), we use the Cho-Fisher version of the network model. This has three phases: a thermal insulator, a thermal metal, and a quantized thermal Hall conductor. In the thermal metal we find a logarithmic divergence in $\varrho(E)$ as $E\to 0$, as predicted from sigma model calculations. Finite size effects lead to superimposed oscillations, as expected from random matrix theory. In the thermal insulator and quantized thermal Hall conductor, we find that $\varrho(E)$ is finite at E=0. At the plateau transition between these phases, $\varrho(E)$ decreases towards zero as $|E|$ is reduced, in line with the result $\varrho(E) \sim |E|\ln(1/|E|)$ derived from calculations for Dirac fermions with random mass.

Ground states of a frustrated spin-1/2 antifferomagnet: Cs_2CuCl_4 in a magnetic field

ArXiv (0)

MY Veillette, JT Chalker, R Coldea

We present detailed calculations of the magnetic ground state properties of Cs$_2$CuCl$_4$ in an applied magnetic field, and compare our results with recent experiments. The material is described by a spin Hamiltonian, determined with precision in high field measurements, in which the main interaction is antiferromagnetic Heisenberg exchange between neighboring spins on an anisotropic triangular lattice. An additional, weak Dzyaloshinkii-Moriya interaction introduces easy-plane anisotropy, so that behavior is different for transverse and longitudinal field directions. We determine the phase diagram as a function of field strength for both field directions at zero temperature, using a classical approximation as a first step. Building on this, we calculate the effect of quantum fluctuations on the ordering wavevector and components of the ordered moments, using both linear spinwave theory and a mapping to a Bose gas which gives exact results when the magnetization is almost saturated. Many aspects of the experimental data are well accounted for by this approach.

Eigenvector statistics in non-Hermitian random matrix ensembles

ArXiv (0)

JT Chalker, B Mehlig

We study statistical properties of the eigenvectors of non-Hermitian random matrices, concentrating on Ginibre's complex Gaussian ensemble, in which the real and imaginary parts of each element of an N x N matrix, J, are independent random variables. Calculating ensemble averages based on the quantity $< L_\alpha | L_\beta > < R_\beta | R_\alpha >$, where $< L_\alpha |$ and $| R_\beta >$ are left and right eigenvectors of J, we show for large N that eigenvectors associated with a pair of eigenvalues are highly correlated if the two eigenvalues lie close in the complex plane. We examine consequences of these correlations that are likely to be important in physical applications.

Random Walks through the Ensemble: Linking Spectral Statistics with Wavefunction Correlations in Disordered Metals

ArXiv (0)

JT Chalker, IV Lerner, RA Smith

We use a random walk in the ensemble of impurity configurations to generate a Brownian motion model for energy levels in disordered conductors. Treating arc-length along the random walk as fictitous time, the resulting Langevin equation relates spectral statistics to eigenfunction correlations. Solving this equation at energy scales large compared with the mean level spacing, we obtain the spectral form factor, and its parametric dependence.

Theory of Spin-Split Cyclotron Resonance in the Extreme Quantum Limit

ArXiv (0)

NR Cooper, JT Chalker

We present an interpretation of recent cyclotron resonance experiments on the two-dimensional electron gas in GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructures. We show that the observed dependence of the resonance spectrum on Landau level occupancy and temperature arises from the interplay of three factors: spin-splitting of the cyclotron frequency; thermal population of the two spin states; and coupling of the resonances for each spin orientation by Coulomb interactions. In addition, we derive an $f$-sum rule which allows spin polarisation to be determined directly from resonance spectra.