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Aspects of quantum criticality in itinerant electron ferromagnetic systems

Lawley, Martyn Laurence (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Fermi-liquid theory is one of the standard models of condensed matter physics, supplying a valid explanation of the low temperature properties of many metals. However, non-Fermi-liquid behaviours arise in many itinerant systems that exhibit a zero temperature magnetic phase transition. This thesis is mainly concerned with such quantum critical points and is an investigation into the various phenomena seen in the phase diagram of itinerant ferromagnetic systems. We apply a standard theory of itinerant quantum criticality to a quantum-critical end-point in a three-dimensional ferromagnet, before speculating on ZrZn\(_2\) being a test-bed of our results. Then we consider two explanations for the appearance of a first-order phase transition at low temperatures and attempt to reconcile them with ZrZn\(_2\). Finally we concentrate on the wide range of novel states that appear instead of a pure quantum critical point. Such exotic phases are superconducting or magnetic in nature and we investigate whether the onset of ferromagnetic quantum critical fluctuations can give rise to a certain class of such states.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Schofield, Andrew J.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Physics and Astronomy
Subjects:QC Physics
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:536
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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