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LASSP -  Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics

Cornell Laboratory for Atomic and Solid State Physics

Eun-Ah Kim's Group Create First Model of Planckian Behaviour Down to Absolute Zero

A Cornell-led collaboration has used state-of-the-art computational tools to model the chaotic behavior of Planckian, or “strange,” metals. This behavior has long intrigued physicists, but they have not been able to simulate it down to the lowest possible temperature until now.

The team’s paper, “Linear Resistivity and Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev (SYK) Spin Liquid Behaviour in a Quantum Critical Metal with Spin-1/2 Fermions,” published July 22 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study’s lead author is doctoral student Peter Cha.

Leading the collaboration is Eun-Ah Kim, professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, who is interested in the social phenomena of electrons and how they interact as a society, with all the complications that entails.

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“Just as we have social distancing recommendations at the order of our governor, electrons have social distancing recommendations at the order of Mother Nature,” Kim said. “But exactly how this social distancing order resulted in this particular, maximally chaotic behavior has been a mystery. How do you go from the mandate of, okay, you’re all repelling each other, to this particular form of chaotic, incongruent behavior? It suggests there is something in this very confusing state that is a seed for a very organized state.”

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