From the Honeycomb to the Kagome: What Can Variational Wave-functions Teach Us About Spin Liquids and How Can We Go Beyond Them?

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Although the typical physical system achieves an ordered state at low temperatures, spin liquids stay disordered even in their ground state. In addition to an increasing number of experimental candidates for spin liquids, recent numerical work from Meng, et. al and Yan, et. al. has supplied strong numerical evidence for natural Hamiltonians having spin liquid ground states. Their featureless nature, though, makes  learning about these states particularly difficult. In this talk, we explore what variational ansatz can teach us about them. Additionally, we examine whether the canonical theoretical framework makes sense in the context of the best wave-functions. Finally, we look at what other tools we have to make sense of spin liquids.