TY - JOUR
TI - Heavy fermions
DO - https://doi.org/doi:10.7282/T3639RRC
PY - 2015
AB - Condensed matter physics is an area of research which lies at a sweet spot between two complementary perspectives: the atomistic point of view which takes into account all the details of the system of interest; and the framework of universality and emergent phenomena, which allows us to make drastic simplifications to the microscopic description of materials while still being able to explain much of the experimentally observed phenomena. This thesis addresses problems from both perspectives, focusing on heavy fermion systems. Heavy fermion systems are prototype materials for the study of strongly correlations and quantum criticality. Theoretical understanding of these systems is important for the design of new materials and for the fundamental understanding of quantum critical phenomena. This thesis is strongly motivated by recent experiments in an intrinsically quantum critical material, beta-YbAlB4. This system shows anomalous critical exponents in transport and thermodynamics. In Chapter 2 we construct a phenomenological theory for the heavy fermion metal beta-YbAlB4 based on the Anderson model, taking into account the peculiarities of this specific material. We analyze the consequences of a non-trivial, momentum-dependent, hybridization matrix between f-electrons and conduction electrons, which gives rise to a nodal metal with unusual dispersion and singular thermodynamic properties, in accordance with experiments. In Chapter 3 we analyze the Electron Spin Resonance experiments in this same material and propose a theory including spin-orbit coupling, crystal electric fields and hyperfine coupling which can account for many of the features of the experimentally observed signal. Within a broader perspective on heavy fermion systems, the absence of a single unified theoretical description which can account for the plethora of phenomena observed in this class of materials also motivates us to consider new theoretical approaches. In Chapter 4 we generalize the construction of supersymmetric spin representations in the large-N limit, now with symplectic symmetry, and explore its properties. We apply the supersymmetric symplectic-N spin representation to two toy models in Chapter 5, and find promising results for a future unified picture of heavy fermion systems.
KW - Physics and Astronomy
KW - Fermions
KW - Condensed matter
LA - eng
ER -