Phase transitions in effective lattice models for strongly correlated systems
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- Institutt for fysikk 
In three research articles we have studied the critical properties of effective lattice models for strongly correlated electron systems by Monte Carlo simulations. A similar model is used in a fourth article for investigating thermal fluctuations of vortices in a rotating Bose–Einstein condensate. In the first part of this thesis we review the necessary background and introduce the models one by one. The last part is a collection of the papers. Paper I : We consider the scaling of the mean square dipole moment in a plasma with logarithmic interactions in a two- and three-dimensional system. In both cases, we establish the existence of a low-temperature regime where the mean square dipole moment does not scale with system size and a hightemperature regime does scale with system size. Thus, there is a nonanalytic change in the polarizability of the system as a function of temperature, and hence a metal-insulator transition in both cases. The relevance of this transition in three dimensions to quantum phase transitions in 2 + 1-dimensional systems is briefly discussed. Paper II : The existence of a discontinuity in the inverse dielectric constant of the two-dimensional Coulomb gas is demonstrated on purely numerical grounds. This is done by expanding the free energy in an applied twist and performing a finite-size scaling analysis of the coefficients of higher-order terms. The phase transition, driven by unbinding of dipoles, corresponds to the Kosterlitz-Thouless transition in the 2D XY model. The method developed is also used for investigating the possibility of a Kosterlitz-Thouless phase transition in a threedimensional system of point charges interacting with a logarithmic pair-potential, a system related to effective theories of low-dimensional strongly correlated systems. We also contrast the finite-size scaling of the fluctuations of the dipole moments of the two-dimensional Coulomb gas and the three-dimensional logarithmic system to those of the three-dimensional Coulomb gas. Paper III : We perform large-scale Monte Carlo simulations on an effective gauge theory for an easy plane quantum anti-ferromagnet, including a Berry phase term that projects out the S = 1/2 sector. Without a Berry phase term, the model exhibits a phase transition in the 3DXY universality class associated with proliferation of gauge-charge neutral U(1) vortices. The instantons that eliminate the phase transition in the gauge-charged sector are cancelled by the Berry phases. The result is a first order phase transition. This gauge theory therefore does not exhibit deconfined criticality. Paper IV : We perform Monte Carlo studies of vortices in three dimensions in a cylindrical confinement, with uniform and nonuniform density. The former is relevant to rotating 4He, the latter is relevant to a rotating trapped Bose condensate. In the former case we find dominant angular thermal vortex fluctuations close to the cylinder wall. For the latter case, a novel effect is that at low temperatures the vortex solid close to the center of the trap crosses directly over to a tension-less vortex tangle near the edge of the trap. At higher temperatures an intermediate tensionful vortex liquid located between the vortex solid and the vortex tangle, may exist.