Wednesday, August 5 2015
15:30 - 16:30

Alladi Ramakrishnan Hall

Topological Signatures of Symmetry Enhancing Phase Transitions

Soumyadeep Bhattacharya

Systems possessing discrete symmetries can exhibit symmetry enhancing phase
transitions alongside the usual symmetry breaking phase transitions.
In the symmetry enhanced phase, the microscopic variables fluctuate in a manner
such that a continuous symmetry emerges at macroscopic length scales.
This phenomenon has been extensively studied in the context of statistical,
quantum and gauge systems.
In this talk, I will describe the crucial role played by topological defects in driving
these kind of transitions.
The scope of this topological approach will become clear when we see
how defect manipulation induces a symmetry enhancing transition in one of
the simplest order-disorder type spin systems: the three state Potts model
on a square lattice.

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