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Complex Systems Seminar: William Witczak-Krempa: Conformal field theories and quantum phase transitions: an entanglement perspective

When: Thursday, February 4, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Central

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Yas Shemirani  

Group: Physics and Astronomy Complex Systems Seminars

Category: Academic


Abstract: Quantum phase transitions occur when a quantum system undergoes a sharp change in its groundstate, e.g. between a ferro- and para-magnet. I will present a remarkable set of transitions, called quantum critical, that are described by conformal field theories (CFTs). I will focus on 2 and 3 spatial dimensions, where the conformal symmetry is powerful yet less constraining than in 1 dimension. We will probe these scale-invariant theories via the structure of their quantum entanglement. The methods will include large-N expansions, the AdS/CFT duality from string theory, and large-scale numerical simulations. Finally, we’ll see that certain quantum Hall states, which are topological in nature, possess very similar entanglement properties. This hints at broader principles that relate very different quantum states. 

William Witczak-Krempa, University of Montreal

Host: Istvan Kovacs

Keywords: Physics, Astronomy, Complex Systems

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