"Chiral symmetry breaking, emergent Higgs mechanism, and critical matter"

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 4:15pm
428 Pupin

Please join us Monday, February 6, 2017, as Leo Radzihovsky of University of Colorado Boulder gives his colloquium:

"Chiral symmetry breaking, emergent Higgs mechanism, and critical matter"

The upshot of extensive studies of fluctuations is that their qualitative importance is typically confined to isolated critical points of continuous transitions between phases of matter. This conventional wisdom also predicts the number of low energy Goldstone modes based on the so-called “G/H” pattern of symmetry breaking. I will discuss a class of systems, some quite well-known, that violate this standard paradigm. Namely, they exhibit a fewer than “G/H” number of low-energy modes due to an emergent Higgs mechanism. Even more spectacularly, such systems exhibit “critical” ordered phases, with universal power-law properties reminiscent of a critical point, but requiring no fine-tuning and extending throughout the ordered phase. One exciting recently discovered example is the heliconical nematic, that in addition to above phenomena also undergoes spontaneous chiral symmetry breaking.

About the speaker

Leo Radzihovsky was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1966. He received B.S., and M.S. degrees in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1988, and M.S. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1989, and 1993, respectively. He was an Apker fellow (1988) and at Harvard was supported by Hertz Graduate Fellowship. From 1993-1995 Radzihovsky worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago. Since 1995, he has been with the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Physics. His current research interests include degenerate atomic gases, soft-condensed matter (such as liquid crystals, membranes and polymers), superconductivity, magnetism and general questions that arise in condensed matter systems, especially fluctuation phenomena, disorder, phase transitions, topological defects and nonequilibrium dynamics. Radzihovsky is a Sloan and Packard Fellow and is a Simons Investigator. His research is supported by the National Science Foundation and by the James Simons Foundation.