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Thursday, July 12, 2012
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
T-DO Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 123)

Quantum Lunch

Linear to Zigzag Phase Transition in Ion Traps

Ramil Nigmatullin
Ulm University

The behaviour of physical systems in the vicinity of second order phase transition is largely determined by the symmetries of the systems and not on their microscopic details. This universality implies that by investigating phase transitions in one system, we can often learn about phase transitions in a completely unrelated physical system. For instance, there has been several proposals of using condensed matter experiments to obtain insights into cosmological phase transitions. Trapped ion crystals is an excellent system for investigating the nonequlibrium dynamics of phase transitions. It may be an ideal system for witnessing the first experimental verification of the postulated inhomogeneous Kibble-Zurek mechanism of defect formation. We study the physics of phase transitions and defect formation, focusing on linear chain to planar zig-zag transition in ion crystals.

Host: Wojciech Zurek