Social Responsibility and Sustainability

New phases of matter through boundaries and topology

Please join us for the Our Changing World Lecture, "New phases of matter through boundaries and topology", with Dr Christopher Stock.

Phase transitions are fundamental to all aspects of materials and daily life.  A familiar example is the liquid to gas transition or the liquid to solid transition in water.  These transitions are based on the breaking of a particular symmetry, and this is a general concept in physics that can be motivated by Noether’s theorem which states a symmetry of a system must lead to a conserved quantity.

Physics, and in particular condensed matter physics, has historically been focused on the discovery of new transitions and phases based on bulk broken symmetries.  Examples include the discovery of ferroelectricity (used in transducers), ferromagnetism (magnets), and also superconductors (where electricity can flow unimpeded).  However, as highlighted by the recent 2016 Nobel Prize, new states of matter and novel properties can occur near surfaces and boundaries in materials where no bulk symmetry breaking occurs.  Examples include the quantum hall effect and topological insulators where electrons can flow unimpeded near the surface of a material analogous to superconductivity.

Model magnets have played a central part in testing the theories which have provided the basis for understanding topology in materials.  In this talk, I will discuss the importance of topology and note its link to model magnetic spin chains studied using neutron scattering.  I will then outline recent results on classical model magnets testing some of these ideas and illustrating the presence of new states and properties that can exist near boundaries or edges in materials.

Dr Christopher Stock is a Reader in the School of Physics and Astronomy. 

 

Doors open at 6.15pm.

For more information on the series please visit:

www.ocw.ed.ac.uk

To book your space, please select 'get your ticket' on the right to visit the Eventbrite page.

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Oct 17 2017 18:30 - 20:00

New phases of matter through boundaries and topology

Entry is on a first come first served basis. If you are late, we cannot guarantee your place.
This event may be photographed and/or recorded for promotional or recruitment materials for the University and University approved third parties.

George Square Lecture Theatre, The University of Edinburgh, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LD