Percolation phenomena in schizophrenic metals

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Date/Time:Monday, 16 Apr 2012 from 2:00 pm to 2:50 pm
Location:ROOM 401 Zanffarao Hall
Phone:515-294-5630
Channel:Condensed Matter Physics
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Wouter Montfrooij
University of Missouri-Columbia

At low temperatures, metals with magnetic ions in them show a competition between the magnetic ions lining up with their neighbors and between the conduction electrons shielding those moments. When there is no winner of this competition all the way down to zero Kelvin, then we end up with a highly unusual metal whose properties defy theortical models that work so well in all other metals. In this talk we look into a side effect of this competition, namely the formation of magnetic clusters. We show that these magnetic clusters can end up dominating the behavior of these weird metals at low temperatures and turn these metals into systems whose properties are dictated by percolation phenomena. We will look at experimental evidence for the formation of these clusters, and we will discuss how percolation theory can predict the critical behavior of these metals near zero Kelvin. No prior knowledge will be assumed about quantum phase transitions, magnetism or percolation phenomena