Colloquium

Spinors, Strings and Superconductors: Challenges of new era in Condensed Matter Physics

Fri, 01 Apr 2016
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Colloquium
 
Piers Coleman
Center for Materials Theory, Dept of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers University
 
Spinors, Strings and Superconductors: Challenges of new era in Condensed Matter Physics
 
Apr 01, 2016
 

Synopsis

Physics thrives on the convection of ideas between the lab, the blackboard and the cosmos, yet each new generation of physicist is surprised as it rediscovers the forgotten fact that discovery cuts across the boundaries of our specialities. Here, I shall argue that recent discoveries in particle, condensed matter and astronomy place us again at extraordinary juncture for a new convection of ideas.

I shall illustrate this outlook from a condensed matter physics-archive perspective, using some modest examples drawn from my work and others. How some elegant equations from string theory and gravity led us to discover a novel phase transition in two dimensional Heisenberg magnets and how a discussion with a particle physicist suggested a new way of understanding heavy electron superconductors.