Non-fermi liquids, fixed point collisions, and tensorial order in grey tin and in some popular field theories

Igor Herbut, Simon Fraser University
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2017-10-26 14:00 - 15:00
AMPEL #311
Local Contact: 
Ian Affleck
Intended Audience: 
Abrikosov proposed in 1974 that a 3D electronic system with its fermi level at the point of quadratic band crossing, as in the (spin-orbit coupled) gray tin or mercury telluride, should represent the simplest non-fermi liquid. I will review this idea and discuss how a non-fermi liquid ground state may become unstable to ordering via the mechanism of "fixed-point collision". This mechanism, with its concomitant hierarchy of scales, may also be identified as the culprit behind the notorious dynamical chiral symmetry breaking in the three dimensional electrodynamics, known as the effective theory of several strongly interacting condensed matter systems and as a favorite toy model of particle theorists. Some further applications of the nematic order parameters, possibly relevant to gray tin or iridates, in the current search for higher-dimensional interacting field theories will also be mentioned, time permitting.
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