Topological phases and quantum magnetism

Conventional forms of magnetism are essentially classical phenomena: their ground states break symmetries, and quantum fluctuations only quantitatively affect the properties of the phases. Enhanced quantum effects can give rise to new phases of phenomena known as quantum spin liquids, which do not break symmetries but exhibit topological order. Such enhancements may occur when multiple classical states compete, e.g., at a phase transition or due to frustration. Our group works on determining the conditions that promote the formation of these phases and characterizing their properties.