Talks by Leon Balents

Electronic instabilities of kagomé metals and density waves in the AV3Sb5 materials

Leon Balents Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP)

Recently, a new class of kagomé metals, with chemical formula AV3Sb5, where A = K, Rb, or Cs, have emerged as an exciting realization of quasi-2D correlated metals with hexagonal symmetry. These materials have been shown to display several electronic orders setting in through thermodynamic phase transitions: multi-component (“3Q”) hexagonal charge density wave (CDW) order below a Tc≈90K, andsuperconductivity with critical temperature of 2.5K or smaller, and some indications of nematicity and one-dimensional charge order in the normal and superconducting states.

Quantum Spin Liquids,Density Matrix Renormalization Group, and Entanglement

Leon Balents Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP)
I will review recent work in our group using Density Matrix Renormalization Group (DMRG) to search for and study quantum spin liquid and topologically ordered states in two dimensional model Hamiltonians. This proves an efficient way to study these phases in semi-realistic situations.  I will try to draw lessons from several studies and theoretical considerations. 

Spin-orbit physics in the Mott regime

Leon Balents Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP)
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.

Spin Liquids in Frustrated Magnets

Leon Balents Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP)
Frustrated magnets are materials in which localized magnetic moments, or spins, interact through competing exchange interactions that cannot be simultaneously satisfied, giving rise to a large degeneracy of the system ground state. Under certain conditions, this can lead to the formation of fluid-like states of matter, so-called spin liquids, in which the constituent spins are highly correlated but still fluctuate strongly down to a temperature of absolute zero.