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Low dimensional magnetism


Magnetism is a subject that has fascinated mankind for countless generations. With the development of quantum mechanics around a century ago a fundamental understanding of many of the underlying causes of magnetism were obtained. However, the long range interaction combined with the complex systems magnetism appears in makes it very hard to investigate it. In our days this research area is more active than ever, mainly due to future demand of the electronic industry for components engineered down to the atomic level. Quantum effects gets more important at short scales, especially in lower dimensional materials like sheets and wires. The rapidly increasing amount of computational power available makes the numerical techniques a more important part of the research effort. Many of these are especially well suited to analyze lower dimensional quantum problems. Three of the most important techniques, (classical) Monte Carlo, Exact Diagonalization (ED) and matrix product states (MPS) based techniques, like density renormalization group (DMRG) and time evolving block decimation (TEBD) will be described in some detail and put to use later in this dissertation.

With the rapid development of experimental techniques for ultracold gases in optical traps a new approach to investigate magnetic properties that are hard achieve or control in the solid state has emerged. We first study the ground-state phase diagram of a spin-1 condensate trapped in an optical trap when the magnetic dipole interaction between the atoms is taken into account along with confinement and spin precession. The boundaries between the regions of ferromagnetic and polar phases move as the dipole strength is varied and the ferromagnetic phases can be modulated. The magnetization of the ferromagnetic phase perpendicular to the field becomes modulated as a helix winding around the magnetic field direction, with a wavelength inversely proportional to the dipole strength. This modulation should be observable for current experimental parameters in 87Rb. Hence the much-sought supersolid state, with broken continuous translation invariance in one direction and broken global U(1) invariance, occurs generically as a metastable state in this system as a result of dipole interaction. The ferromagnetic state parallel to the applied magnetic field becomes striped in a finite system at strong dipolar coupling.

The development of artificial gauge fields, that can mimic magnetic fields, in ultracold gases suggests that atomic realization of fractional quantum Hall physics will become experimentally practical in the near future. While it is known that bosons on lattices can support quantum Hall states, the universal edge excitations that provide the most likely experimental probe of the topological order have not been obtained. We find that the edge excitations of an interacting boson lattice model are surprisingly sensitive to interedge hybridization and edge-bulk mixing for some confining potentials. With properly chosen potentials and fluxes, the edge spectrum is surprisingly clear even for small systems with strong lattice effects such as bandwidth. Various fractional quantum Hall phases for bosons can be obtained, and the phases ν=1/2 and ν=2/3 have the edge spectra predicted by the chiral Luttinger liquid theory.

Also, some of the traditional experimental techniques for detecting magnetic order and dynamics in solid state materials, like neutron scattering has had somewhat of a renaissance lately. In a recent experiment on CoNb2O6, Coldea et. al. found for the first time experimental evidence of the exceptional Lie algebra E8. The emergence of this symmetry was theoretically predicted long ago for the transverse quantum Ising chain in the presence of a weak longitudinal field. We consider an accurate microscopic model of CoNb2O6 incorporating additional couplings and calculate numerically the dynamical structure function using a recently developed matrix-product-state method. The excitation spectra show bound states characteristic of the weakly broken $textrm{E}_8$ symmetry. We compare the observed bound state signatures in this model to those found in the transverse Ising chain in a longitudinal field and to experimental data.

Finally, we investigate the ground state phase diagram of a related quantum spin chain, the S=2 XXZ chain with single-ion anisotropy. The interest in this system comes mainly from connecting the highly quantum mechanical spin-1 phase diagram with the classical S=∞ phase diagram. While most of these questions where believed to have been satisfactorily answered mainly with DMRG, some recent studies have questioned some of the conclusions. We use several of the recent advances within DMRG and perform a detailed analysis of the whole phase diagram. We extend the phase diagram by considering different types of single ion anisotropies which help us to answer two important questions: First we show that one can adiabatically move from the isotropic Heisenberg point to the so-called large-D phase with a continuous change of the Hamiltonian. Second, we can tune the model into a predicted intermediate phase which is equivalent to the topologically non-trivial spin-1 Haldane phase. Furthermore, we study the spin-3 XXZ chain to help explaining the development of the classical phase diagram.

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