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Higgs transitions of spin ice

TitleHiggs transitions of spin ice
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsS. Powell
JournalPhys. Rev. B
Date Publishedsep
Keywords2011, No Fellows

Frustrated magnets such as spin ice exhibit Coulomb phases, where correlations have power-law forms at long distances. Applied perturbations can cause ordering transitions which cannot be described by the usual Landau paradigm, and are instead naturally viewed as Higgs transitions of an emergent gauge theory. Starting from a classical statistical model of spin ice, it is shown that a variety of possible phases and transitions can be described by this approach. Certain cases are identified where continuous transitions are argued to be likely; the predicted critical behavior may be tested in experiments or numerical simulations.