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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 114(51): 13430-13434, 2017 12 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29208710


The paradigmatic example of a continuous quantum phase transition is the transverse field Ising ferromagnet. In contrast to classical critical systems, whose properties depend only on symmetry and the dimension of space, the nature of a quantum phase transition also depends on the dynamics. In the transverse field Ising model, the order parameter is not conserved, and increasing the transverse field enhances quantum fluctuations until they become strong enough to restore the symmetry of the ground state. Ising pseudospins can represent the order parameter of any system with a twofold degenerate broken-symmetry phase, including electronic nematic order associated with spontaneous point-group symmetry breaking. Here, we show for the representative example of orbital-nematic ordering of a non-Kramers doublet that an orthogonal strain or a perpendicular magnetic field plays the role of the transverse field, thereby providing a practical route for tuning appropriate materials to a quantum critical point. While the transverse fields are conjugate to seemingly unrelated order parameters, their nontrivial commutation relations with the nematic order parameter, which can be represented by a Berry-phase term in an effective field theory, intrinsically intertwine the different order parameters.

Nat Commun ; 6: 6425, 2015 Mar 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25742938


For materials that harbour a continuous phase transition, the susceptibility of the material to various fields can be used to understand the nature of the fluctuating order and hence the nature of the ordered state. Here we use anisotropic biaxial strain to probe the nematic susceptibility of URu2Si2, a heavy fermion material for which the nature of the low temperature 'hidden order' state has defied comprehensive understanding for over 30 years. Our measurements reveal that the fluctuating order has a nematic component, confirming reports of twofold anisotropy in the broken symmetry state and strongly constraining theoretical models of the hidden-order phase.