Low Energy Challenges for High Energy Physicists
We consider a closed system where the parameter controlling a quantum phase transition is promoted to a dynamical field interacting with the quantum critical theory. In the case that the field has an energy extensive in the volume we can treat its evolution classically. We find that the field can become trapped near the phase transition point due to its interactions with the degrees of freedom of the quantum critical theory. The trapping/untrapping transition can be understood using Kibble-Zurek scaling arguments.
We will first review the rich variety of universality classes of membranes and the various models developed to describe their mechanical properties. We will then discuss the recent applications of the non-perturbative renormalization group to these models aimed at improving the understanding of the membranes' phase-space beyond the epsilon-expansion. Finally, we will comment on the implications of these results on various physical systems.
To the best of our knowledge, the fundamental laws of physics are Lorentz invariant. This means that condensed matter systems at finite density still display full Lorentz symmetry: it is just spontaneously broken (i.e. by state considered) and thus non-linearly realized. This simple observation allows to derive exact results about the spectrum of theories at finite charge density and suggests to classify condensed matter systems according to all the inequivalent ways in which boosts can be spontaneously broken.
Space-time symmetries are a crucial ingredient of any theoretical model in physics. Unlike internal symmetries, which may or may not be gauged and/or spontaneously broken, space-time symmetries do not admit any ambiguity: they are gauged by gravity, and any conceivable physical system (other than the vacuum) is bound to break at least some of them.
Vortex lines are a distinctive feature of superfluids and are characterized by a very peculiar dynamics. In this talk, I will first discuss the behavior of vortex lines in a non-relativistic superfluids in the incompressible limit. I will then introduce an effective theory of vortex lines coupled to sound which applies to relativistic superfluids. I will conclude by briefly discussing the similarities between the effective theory for vortex lines and non-relativistic General Relativity.
Modern materials abound in systems to which the quasiparticle picture does not apply, and developing their theoretical description remains an important challenge in condensed matter physics. I will describe recent progress in understanding the dynamics of two systems without quasiparticles: (i) ultracold atoms in optical lattices, and (ii) the nematic quantum critical point of metals with applications to the `strange metal’ found in the high temperature superconductors.
Recently its has been found that relativistic hydrodynamics requires modifications in the presence of quantum anomalies. We will follow the theoretical developments that leads to this discovery and look at modern applications of hydrodynamics with anomalies.
Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking is a very universal concept applicable for a wide range of subjects: crystal, superfluid, neutron stars, Higgs boson, magnets, and many others. Yet there is a variety in the spectrum of gapless excitations even when the symmetry breaking patterns are the same. We unified all known examples in a single-line Lagrangian of the low-energy effective theory.
This hour will be devoted to a description of quantum turbulence,that is turbulence in superfluids. The first talk (~20 minutes) will be given by Russell Donnelly. He will describe briefly the problem of classical turbulence and how turbulence in superfluids is different. The second talk will be given by Carlo Barenghi who will discuss progress in the simulation of quantum turbulence which is capable of suggesting insights so far inaccessible to experiment.
©2012 Institut Périmètre de Physique Théorique