Seminar: "Dynamics of a two-dimensional quantum spin liquid" by Johannes Knolle
Date: Friday,9th May
Venue: D015 in Lab1
Speaker: Dr. Johannes Knolle
Affiliation: MPI-PKS Dresden
Title: Dynamics of a two-dimensional quantum spin liquid: signatures of emergent Majorana fermions and fluxes
Topological states of matter present a wide variety of striking new phenomena. Prominent among these is the fractionalisation of electrons into unusual particles: Majorana fermions, Laughlin quasiparticles or magnetic monopoles. Their detection, however, is fundamentally complicated by the lack of any local order, such as, for example, the magnetisation in a ferromagnet. While there are now several instances of candidate topological spin liquids, their identification remains challenging. Here, we provide a complete and exact theoretical study of the dynamical structure factor of a two-dimensional quantum spin liquid in gapless and gapped (abelian and non-abelian) phases. We show that there are direct signatures ? qualitative and quantitative ? of the Majorana fermions and gauge fluxes emerging in Kitaev?s honeycomb model. These include counterintuitive manifestations of quantum number fractionalisation, such as a neutron scattering response with a gap even in the presence of gapless excitations, and a sharp component despite the fractionalisation of electron spin. Our analysis identifies new varieties of the venerable X-ray edge problem and explores connections to the physics of quantum quenches.