Special Seminar - Quantum phase transitions in 2d metals: non-Fermi-liquid behavior and superconductivity, Max Metlitski, Kavil Institute, USCB

Tue, Feb 18, 2014, 9:30 am to 10:30 am
Jadwin 111
: A central question of modern condensed matter physics is how can our standard description of metals, the Landau Fermi-liquid theory, breakdown. In this light, quantum phase transitions associated with onset of order in metals have attracted much interest. Strong order parameter fluctuations present at the quantum critical point (QCP) tend to destroy the Landau quasiparticles, leading to non-Fermi-liquid behavior. In addition, the same order parameter fluctuations provide the glue for Cooper pair formation. Hence, an important question is whether a QCP in a metal is inherently unstable to superconductivity. In this talk, I will demonstrate that the answer to this question is "yes" using as prototypical examples transitions involving the onset of i) Ising-nematic order, ii) spin-density-wave order. For the case of the Ising-nematic transition, I will present fully controlled renormalization group calculations proving the superconducting instability. For the spin-density-wave transition, relevant to cuprate, pnictide and heavy-fermion materials, I will combine analytical arguments with unbiased, sign-problem free quantum Monte-Carlo simulations to establish the emergence of an unconventional superconductor near the transition