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PERIMETER INSTITUTE RECORDED SEMINAR ARCHIVE

Spin-orbit physics in the Mott regime
Speaker(s): Leon Balents
Abstract: Recent theory and experiment have revealed that strong spin-orbit coupling (SOC) can have dramatic qualitative effects on weakly interacting electrons. For instance, it leads to a distinct phase of matter, the topological band insulator. I will discuss the combined effects of SOC and strong electron correlation. For a ''strong'' Mott insulator, in which the electrons are well localized, SOC can compete with exchange interactions, leading to quenching of orbital degeneracy and even an instance of quantum criticality. For intermediate correlations, SOC has both quantitative and qualitative effects upon the Mott transition. An illustrative example of Ir-based pyrochlores will be presented, suggesting a rich interplay of correlations and SOC, and the possibility of distinct new electronic phases such a ''topological Mott insulator''.
Date: 22/04/2010 - 10:00 am
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