India Meteorite Strike BEC-1 Kills a Man and Injures Others

by Tommy on 13/02/2016

Team from Trichy insists it’s a meteor

Trichy: A team from National College, Trichy, that undertook a study of the site of an explosion at the Bharathidasan Engineering College, Natrampalli, Vellore, has concluded that an object found on the campus is a meteorite. They named the object “BEC 1”, referring to the sample number and the site where it was recovered.

The team comprising K Anbarasu, geologist and principal, R Jayakumar, retired deputy director general of the Geological Survey of India, S Senthil Kumar, associate professor in biotechnology, M. Murali and D Saravanan, associate professors in chemistry, visited the college on the third day of the explosion to observe the damage caused and study the features of the unknown object.

Said K Anbarasu, “Almost all the buildings in the campus have mildly been affected by the tremor caused by the impact of the object. The window panes of most of the buildings shattered. Minor cracks were seen in the administrative block and doors and windows were dislocated.”

A preliminary study report prepared by the team said the materials taken from the site were examined under a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to understand the micro-morphological characteristics. The SEM images have revealed that the materials contain carbonaceous chondrites (CC). An analysis of the substance through SEM-EDX (energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy) reveals the presence of framboidal magnetites (Fe2O3) and pyrites (FeS2). The presence of iron, oxygen, carbon, silicon, sodium, aluminium, calcium, manganese, sulphur and potassium in the material is confirmed. A close analysis of the SEM images show the material has the assemblages of innumerable carbonaceous chondrites ranging in size from about 10 to 50 micrometer. The materials were also studied under Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrscopy (FTIR), revealing the presence of aliphatic hydrocarbons.

The report said the team examined the roofs of the buildings for pieces of fallen material. Small pieces of pyroclastic-like materials were found strewn on the roof of the administrative building. “The objects show acicular nature, were black in colour, had a metallic lustre and were strongly magnetic. The solid fragments had flight marks on the surface. The aerodynamic shape of the materials indicates that they had pierced through the atmosphere ‘nose-down’. Fine particles of the same substances were also found on the roof in two places. Those materials were collected with the help of hand-magnets for further analysis,” said the team.

As per international norms for nomenclature of meteorites, the “meteorite” was named “BEC 1”, which denotes the fallen site with a number, said K Anbarasu.

The team is also expected to send their findings to science journals.

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LIGO Interferometer Detects Einstein Gravitational Waves

by Tommy on 12/02/2016
LIGO Laser_Interferometer Gravitational Observatory

LIGO Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory

Back then I didn’t think it would work. I admit that.

The NSF was very relieved about this.

You heard it here last.

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Topological Superfluid Phases of 3He Helium Reviewed

by Tommy on 9/02/2016

Topological Superfluids, G.E. Volovik (8 February 2016)

There are many topological faces of the superfluid phases of 3He. These superfluids contain various topological defects and textures. The momentum space topology of these superfluids is also nontrivial, as well as the topology in the combined (p,r) phase space, giving rise to topologically protected Dirac, Weyl and Majorana fermions living in bulk, on the surface and within the topological objects.

Immersing topological superconducting circuits in rotating topological superconducting 3He in rotating topological nanovessels is going to be a very interesting and enlightening experience.

This is crackpot heaven.

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The New Gravimetrics Scientific Era Is About To Begin

by Tommy on 8/02/2016

I’ve settled on the term ‘Gravimetrics’. All that remains now is the detection of the QCD axions.

Topogravitoelectromagnetism is just too way over the top. It has to be easy to say. It legitimizes astrometrics as a valid scientific domain as well, even though it was invented by a Borg Babe.

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: Monday, February 8, 2016

Scientists to provide update on the search for gravitational waves


Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016
10:30 AM US EST


The National Press Club
Holeman Lounge
529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor
Washington, DC 20045


For press not based in the Washington, D.C. area, this event will be simulcast live online, and we will try to answer some questions submitted remotely.

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Gravitational Collapse Finally Reaches Quantum Critical Point

by Tommy on 5/02/2016

Gravitons are within our reach.

Gravitation is essentially a low energy geometric effect.

LIGO Press conference – Thursday, February 11th, 2016, 10:30 am ET, in Washinton, DC.

Planck Scale or Bust. Be There, or Be Square.

I assess this rumor a credibility index of about 8.5 Motls.

I’m not sure how many Luboses that is.


National Science Foundation Press Conference – Gravitational Waves

With gravity – geometry comes before topology.

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Topological Superconductors Classified By Axion Field Theory

by Tommy on 1/02/2016

Axion field theory approach and the classification of interacting topological superconductors, Yingfei Gu and Xiao-Liang Qi (15 December 2015)

In this paper, we discuss the topological classification of time-reversal invariant topological superconductors. Based on the axion field theory developed in a previous work (Phys. Rev. B 87 134519 (2013)), we show how a simple quantum anomaly in vortex-crossing process predicts a Z16 classification of interacting topological superconductors, in consistency with other approaches. We also provide a general definition of the quantum anomaly and a general geometric argument that explains the Z16 on more general grounds. Furthermore, we generalize our approach to all 4n dimensions (with n an integer), and compare our results with other approaches to the topological classification.

I totally missed this paper when I shifted gears in the run up to Christmas.

Obviously this will require a careful reading.

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Autonomous Mechanical Stochastic Heat Engine Proposed

by Tommy on 1/02/2016

A mechanical autonomous stochastic heat engine, Marc Serra-Garcia, André Foehr, Miguel Molerón, Joseph Lydon, Christopher Chong and Chiara Daraio (27 January 2016)

Stochastic heat engines are devices that generate work from random thermal motion using a small number of highly fluctuating degrees of freedom. Proposals for such devices have existed for more than a century and include the Maxwell demon and the Feynman ratchet. Only recently have they been demonstrated experimentally, using e.g., thermal cycles implemented in optical traps. However, the recent demonstrations of stochastic heat engines are nonautonomous, since they require an external control system that prescribes a heating and cooling cycle, and consume more energy than they produce. This Report presents a heat engine consisting of three coupled mechanical resonators (two ribbons and a cantilever) subject to a stochastic drive. The engine uses geometric nonlinearities in the resonating ribbons to autonomously convert a random excitation into a low-entropy, nonpassive oscillation of the cantilever. The engine presents the anomalous heat transport property of negative thermal conductivity, consisting in the ability to passively transfer energy from a cold reservoir to a hot reservoir.

Poe alert! Haha. Remember, this is ETH. This seems well documented.

I have seen this idea before somewhere.

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Critical Analysis of a Breakthrough Scientific Paper Revealed

by Tommy on 31/01/2016

Effective action and electromagnetic response of topological superconductors and Majorana-mass Weyl fermions, Michael Stone and Pedro Lopes (28 January 2016)

Motivated by an apparent paradox in [X L. Qi, E.Witten, S-C. Zhang, Phys. Rev. B 87 134519 (2013)] we use the method of gauged Wess-Zumino-Witten functionals to construct an effective action for a Weyl fermion whose Majorana mass arises from coupling to a charged condensate. We obtain expressions for the current induced by an external gauge field and observe that the topological part of the current is only one-third of that that might have been expected from the gauge anomaly. The anomaly is not changed by the induced mass gap however. The topological current is supplemented by a conventional supercurrent that supplies the remaining two-thirds of the anomaly once the equation of motion for the Goldstone mode is satisfied. We apply our formula for the current to resolve the apparent paradox, and also to the chiral magnetic effect (CME) where it predicts a reduction of the CME current to one third of its value for a free Weyl gas in thermal equilibrium. We attribute this reduction to a partial cancelation of the CME by a chiral vortical effect (CVE) current arising from the persistent rotation of the fluid induced by the external magnetic field.

See also:

Axion topological field theory of topological superconductors, Xiao-Liang Qi, Edward Witten, and Shou-Cheng Zhang, Phys. Rev. B 87, 134519 (25 April 2013), doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.87.134519

Topological superconductors are gapped superconductors with gapless and topologically robust quasiparticles propagating on the boundary. In this paper, we present a topological field theory description of three-dimensional time-reversal invariant topological superconductors. In our theory the topological superconductor is characterized by a topological coupling between the electromagnetic field and the superconducting phase fluctuation, which has the same form as the coupling of “axions” with an Abelian gauge field. As a physical consequence of our theory, we predict the level crossing induced by the crossing of special “chiral” vortex lines, which can be realized by considering s-wave superconductors in proximity with the topological superconductor. Our theory can also be generalized to the coupling with a gravitational field.

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Topological PhD Thesis of Barry Bradlyn at Yale University

by Tommy on 21/01/2016

Dissertation Defense: Barry Bradlyn, Yale University, “Linear response and Berry curvature in two-dimensional topological phases”

One hallmark of topological phases with broken time reversal symmetry is the appearance of quantized non-dissipative transport coefficients, the archetypical example being the quantized Hall conductivity in quantum Hall states. Here I will talk about two other non-dissipative transport coefficients that appear in such systems – the Hall viscosity and the thermal Hall conductivity. In the first part of the talk, I will start by reviewing previous results concerning the Hall viscosity, including its relation to a topological invariant known as the shift. Next, I will show how the Hall viscosity can be computed from a Kubo formula. For Galilean invariant systems, the Kubo formula implies a relationship between the viscosity and conductivity tensors which may have relevance for experiment. In the second part of the talk, I will discuss the thermal Hall conductivity, its relation to the topological central charge of the edge theory, and in particular the absence of a bulk contribution to the thermal Hall current. I will do this by constructing a low-energy effective theory in a curved non-relativistic background, allowing for torsion. I will show that the bulk contribution to the thermal current takes the form of an “energy magnetization” current, and hence show that it does not contribute to heat transport. To conclude, I will present a method for computing the topological central charge and orbital spin variance of a topological phase directly from bulk wavefunctions, as a Berry curvature associated to certain deformations of the spatial metric. I will show explicit results of this computation—as well as a related derivation of the Hall conductivity and Hall viscosity—for trial wavefunctions that can be represented as conformal blocks in a chiral conformal field theory (CFT). These calculations make use of the gauge and gravitational anomalies in the CFT.

See also:

In this thesis we examine the viscous and thermal transport properties of chiral topological phases, and their relationship to topological invariants. We start by developing a Kubo formalism for calculating the frequency dependent viscosity tensor of a general quantum system, both with and without a uniform external magnetic field. The importance of contact terms is emphasized. We apply this formalism to the study of integer and fractional quantum Hall states, as well as p+ip paired superfluids, and verify the relationship between the Hall viscosity and the mean orbital spin density. We also elucidate the connection between our Kubo formulas and prior adiabatic transport calculations of the Hall viscosity. Additionally, we derive a general relationship between the frequency dependent viscosity and conductivity tensors for Galilean-invariant systems. We comment on the implications of this relationship towards the measurement of Hall viscosity in solid-state systems.

To address the question of thermal transport, we first review the standard Kubo formalism of Luttinger for computing thermoelectric coefficients. We apply this to the specific case of non-interacting electrons in the integer quantum Hall regime, paying careful attention to the roles of bulk and edge effects. In order to generalize our discussion to interacting systems, we construct a low-energy effective action for a two-dimensional non-relativistic topological phase of matter in a continuum, which completely describes all of its bulk thermoelectric and visco-elastic properties in the limit of low frequencies, long distances, and zero temperature, without assuming either Lorentz or Galilean invariance, by coupling the microscopic degrees of freedom to the background spacetime geometry. We derive the most general form of a local bulk induced action to first order in derivatives of the background fields, from which thermodynamic and transport properties can be obtained. We show that the gapped bulk cannot contribute to low-temperature thermoelectric transport other than the ordinary Hall conductivity; the other thermoelectric effects (if they occur) are thus purely edge effects. The stress response to time-dependent strains is given by the Hall viscosity, which is robust against perturbations and related to the spin current.

Finally, we address the issue of calculating the topological central charge from bulk wavefunctions for a topological phase. Using the form of the topological terms in the induced action, we show that we can calculate the various coefficients of these terms as Berry curvatures associated to certain metric and electromagnetic vector potential perturbations. We carry out this computation explicitly for quantum Hall trial wavefunctions that can be represented as conformal blocks in a chiral conformal field theory (CFT). These calculations make use of the gauge and gravitational anomalies in the underlying chiral CFT.

No Comments

Review of Topological Superconductors and Superfluids

by Tommy on 21/01/2016

Symmetry Protected Topological Superfluids and Superconductors — From the Basics to 3He —, Takeshi Mizushima, Yasumasa Tsutsumi, Takuto Kawakami, Masatoshi Sato, Masanori Ichioka and Kazushige Machida, J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 85, 022001 (20 January 2016), DOI:10.7566/JPSJ.85.022001

In this article, we give a comprehensive review of recent progress in research on symmetry-protected topological superfluids and topological crystalline superconductors, and their physical consequences such as helical and chiral Majorana fermions. We start this review article with the minimal model that captures the essence of such topological materials. The central part of this article is devoted to the superfluid 3He, which serves as a rich repository of novel topological quantum phenomena originating from the intertwining of symmetries and topologies. In particular, it is emphasized that the quantum fluid confined to nanofabricated geometries possesses multiple superfluid phases composed of the symmetry-protected topological superfluid B-phase, the A-phase as a Weyl superfluid, the nodal planar and polar phases, and the crystalline ordered stripe phase. All these phases generate noteworthy topological phenomena, including topological phase transitions concomitant with spontaneous symmetry breaking, Majorana fermions, Weyl superfluidity, emergent supersymmetry, spontaneous edge mass and spin currents, topological Fermi arcs, and exotic quasiparticles bound to topological defects. In relation to the mass current carried by gapless edge states, we also briefly review a longstanding issue on the intrinsic angular momentum paradox in 3He-A. Moreover, we share the current status of our knowledge on the topological aspects of unconventional superconductors, such as the heavy-fermion superconductor UPt3 and superconducting doped topological insulators, in connection with the superfluid 3He.

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Ultrafast Time Resolved Reflectivity Probes Underdoped Cuprate Superfluid Condensate

by Tommy on 21/01/2016

The rate of quasiparticle recombination probes the onset of coherence in cuprate superconductors, J.P. Hinton, E. Thewalt, Z. Alpichshev, F. Mahmood, J.D. Koralek, M.K. Chan, M.J. Veit, C.J. Dorow, N. Barisic, A.F. Kemper, D.A. Bonn, W.N. Hardy, Ruixing Liang, N. Gedik, M. Greven, A. Lanzara and J. Orenstein (20 January 2016)

The condensation of an electron superfluid from a conventional metallic state at a critical temperature Tc is described well by the BCS theory. In the underdoped copper-oxides, high-temperature superconductivity condenses instead from a nonconventional metallic “pseudogap” phase that exhibits a variety of non-Fermi liquid properties. Recently, it has become clear that a charge density wave (CDW) phase exists within the pseudogap regime, appearing at a temperature TCDW just above Tc. The near coincidence of Tc and TCDW, as well the coexistence and competition of CDW and superconducting order below Tc, suggests that they are intimately related. Here we show that the condensation of the superfluid from this unconventional precursor is reflected in deviations from the predictions of BSC theory regarding the recombination rate of quasiparticles. We report a detailed investigation of the quasiparticle (QP) recombination lifetime, τqp, as a function of temperature and magnetic field in underdoped HgBa2CuO4+δ (Hg-1201) and YBa2Cu3O6+x (YBCO) single crystals by ultrafast time-resolved reflectivity. We find that τqp(T) exhibits a local maximum in a small temperature window near Tc that is prominent in underdoped samples with coexisting charge order and vanishes with application of a small magnetic field. We explain this unusual, non-BCS behavior by positing that Tc marks a transition from phase-fluctuating SC/CDW composite order above to a SC/CDW condensate below. Our results suggest that the superfluid in underdoped cuprates is a condensate of coherently-mixed particle-particle and particle-hole pairs.

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Electromagnetic Model Universe – Axion Dilaton Gravitation

by Tommy on 20/01/2016

Axion and dilaton + metric emerge from local and linear electrodynamics, Friedrich W. Hehl, Invited Contribution to the Festschrift for Carl Brans’ 80th Birthday, T. Asselmeyer-Maluga (ed.), At the Frontier of Spacetime: Scalar-Tensor Theory, Bell’s Inequality, Exotic Smoothness. Festschrift on the Occasion of Carl Brans’ 80th birthday, To Be Published by Springer in 2016
(3 January 2016)

We take a quick look at the different possible universally coupled scalar fields in nature. Then, we discuss how the gauging of the group of scale transformations (dilations), together with the Poincare group, leads to a Weyl-Cartan spacetime structure. There the dilaton field finds a natural surrounding. Moreover, we describe shortly the phenomenology of the hypothetical axion field. — In the second part of our essay, we consider a spacetime, the structure of which is exclusively specified by the premetric Maxwell equations and a fourth rank electromagnetic response tensor density χijkl = −χjikl = −χijlk with 36 independent components. This tensor density incorporates the permittivities, permeabilities, and the magneto-electric moduli of spacetime. No metric, no connection, no further property is prescribed. If we forbid birefringence (double-refraction) in this model of spacetime, we eventually end up with the fields of an axion, a dilaton, and the 10 components of a metric tensor with Lorentz signature. If the dilaton becomes a constant (the vacuum admittance) and the axion field vanishes, we recover the Riemannian spacetime of general relativity theory. Thus, the metric is encapsulated in χijkl, it can be derived from it.

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Electromagnetism Induced Spacetime Gravitational Curvature

by Tommy on 19/01/2016

How current loops and solenoids curve space-time, A. Füzfa, Phys. Rev. D 93, 024014 (11 January 2016), DOI:10.1103/PhysRevD.93.024014

The curved space-time around current loops and solenoids carrying arbitrarily large steady electric currents is obtained from the numerical resolution of the coupled Einstein-Maxwell equations in cylindrical symmetry. The artificial gravitational field associated to the generation of a magnetic field produces gravitational redshift of photons and deviation of light. Null geodesics in the curved space-time of current loops and solenoids are also presented. We finally propose an experimental setup, achievable with current technology of superconducting coils, that produces a phase shift of light of the same order of magnitude than astrophysical signals in ground-based gravitational wave observatories.

Little did he know.

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Interconnected Magnetic Skyrmion Domain Wall Physics

by Tommy on 14/01/2016

Skyrmions as Compact, Robust and Energy-Efficient Interconnects for Domain Wall (DW)-based Systems, Wang Kang, Yangqi Huang, Xichao Zhang, Yan Zhou, Weifeng Lv and Weisheng Zhao (12 January 2016)

Magnetic domain-wall (DW) has been widely investigated for future memory and computing systems. However, energy efficiency and stability become two major challenges of DW-based systems. In this letter, we first propose exploiting skyrmions as on-chip and inter-chip interconnects for DW-based systems, owing to the topological stability, small size and ultra-low depinning current density. In the proposed technique, data are processed in the form of DWs but are transmitted instead in the form of skyrmions. The reversible conversion between a skyrmion and a DW pair can be physically achieved by connecting a wide and a narrow magnetic nanowire. Our proposed technique can realize highly compact, robust and energy-efficient on-chip and inter-chip interconnects for DW-based systems, enabling the system to take advantages of both the DW and skyrmion.

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The Witten Effect in Topological Insulators and Superconductors

by Tommy on 14/01/2016

Duality of topological superconductors begets Josephson currents induced by the Witten effect, Flavio S. Nogueira, Jeroen van den Brink and Zohar Nussinov (13 January 2016)

We consider the field theory of a superconductor with a topological axion term and construct its dual theories for both bulk and boundary at strong coupling. The theory describes, e.g., a conventional superconductor sandwiched between two topological insulators. The interacting topological states that emerge are classified by a Z8 invariant and the strong coupling boundary theory is shown to be purely topological. These topological states lack a non-interacting equivalent. Due to the Witten effect, magnetic monopoles attain a fractional electric charge. This leads to an anomalous AC Josephson current generated by external magnetic fields.

See also:

The gravitational analogue of the Witten effect, Omar Foda, Nuclear Physics B, 256, 1985, 353–364 (1985), doi:10.1016/0550-3213(85)90398-0

In the presence of massive fermions, and assuming a non-vanishing θ-parameter as the only source of CP violation, the Witten effect (a shift in the electric charge of a magnetic monopole due to CP non-conservation) is shown to follow from an anomalous chiral commutator. Next, given the gravitational contribution to the chiral anomaly, the corresponding anomalous commutator for Dirac fermion currents in a gravitational background is derived.

From that, we infer the equivalence of the θ, R bar and R term in the lagrangian to a shift in the mass parameter of the NUT metric, in proportion to θ. This is interpreted as the gravitational analogue of the Witten effect. Its relevance to certain Kaluza-Klein monopoles is briefly discussed.

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TeraelectronVolt TeV Electroweak Scale is the Graviton Scale

by Tommy on 7/01/2016

These two recent essays quite nicely sum up my thinking on this.

Cosmological Constant, Quantum Measurement, and the Problem of Time, Shreya Banerjee, Sayantani Bera and Tejinder P. Singh, Int. J. Mod. Phys. 24, 1544011 (14 May 2015), DOI:10.1142/S0218271815440113

Honorable Mention in Gravity Research Foundation Essay Contest – 2015

Three of the big puzzles of theoretical physics are the following: (i) There is apparently no time evolution in the dynamics of quantum general relativity, because the allowed quantum states must obey the Hamiltonian constraint. (ii) During a quantum measurement, the state of the quantum system randomly collapses from being in a linear superposition of the eigenstates of the measured observable, to just one of the eigenstates, in apparent violation of the predictions of the deterministic, linear Schrödinger equation. (iii) The observed value of the cosmological constant is exceedingly small, compared to its natural value, creating a serious fine-tuning problem. In this essay we propose a novel idea to show how the three problems help solve each other.

General relativity, torsion, and quantum theory, Tejinder P. Singh, Current Science 109, 2258 (22 December 2015), DOI:10.18520/v109/i12/2258-2264

Special Section: 100 Years of General Relativity

We recall some of the obstacles which arise when one tries to reconcile the general theory of relativity with quantum theory. We consider the possibility that gravitation theories which include torsion, and not only curvature, provide better insight into a quantum theory of gravity. We speculate on how the Dirac equation and Einstein gravity could be thought of as limiting cases of a gravitation theory which possesses torsion.

This represents the very end of the inflationary scale, not the Planck scale – 750 GeV.

Gravitons are within our reach with topological gravitoelectromagnetism.

Not instantons, get it? Topolons maybe.

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Novel Photovoltaic Chiral Magnetic Effect in Weyl Semimetals

by Tommy on 5/01/2016

Photovoltaic Chiral Magnetic Effect, Katsuhisa Taguchi, Tatsushi Imaeda, Masatoshi Sato and Yukio Tanaka (4 January 2016)

We theoretically predict a generation of a current in Weyl semimetals by applying circularly polarized light. The electric field of the light can drive an effective magnetic field of order of ten Tesla. For lower frequency light, a non-equilibrium spin distribution is formed near the Fermi surface. Due to the spin-momentum locking, a giant electric current proportional to the effective magnetic field is induced. On the other hand, higher frequency light realizes a quasi-static Floquet state with no induced electric current. We discuss relevant materials and estimate order of magnitude of the induced current.

Wow. Just wow. Are you a believer now?

They have completely aced this.

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Gravitons, Gravitational Instantons, The Cosmological Constant

by Tommy on 3/01/2016

Gravitons are within our reach.

Gravitational Instantons and Cosmological Constant, Josily Cyriac (25 November 2015)

The cosmological dynamics of an otherwise empty universe in the presence of vacuum fields is considered. Quantum fluctuations at the Planck scale leads to a dynamical topology of space-time at very small length scales, which is dominated by compact gravitational instantons. The Planck scale vacuum energy acts as a source for the curvature of the these compact gravitational instantons and decouples from the large scale energy momentum tensor of the universe, thus making the observable cosmological constant vanish. However, a Euclidean functional integral over all possible topologies of the gravitational instantons generates a small non-zero value for the large scale cosmological constant, which agrees with the present observations.

This has got to be the absolute best first paper ever.

Prepare for greatness, Dr. Cyriac!

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The PhD Thesis of Andrey Gromov at SUNY in Stony Brook

by Tommy on 2/01/2016

Geometric Aspects of Quantum Hall States, PhD Thesis, Stony Brook University (13 May 2015)

Explanation of the quantization of the Hall conductance at low temperatures in strong magnetic field is one of the greatest accomplishments of theoretical physics of the end of the 20th century. Since the publication of the Laughlin’s charge pumping argument condensed matter theorists have come a long way to topological insulators, classification of noninteracting (and sometimes interacting) topological phases of matter, non-abelian statistics, Majorana zero modes in topological superconductors and topological quantum computation – the framework for “error-free” quantum computation. While topology was very important in these developments, geometry has largely been neglected. We explore the role of space-time symmetries in topological phases of matter. Such symmetries are responsible for the conservation of energy, momentum and angular momentum.

We will show that if these symmetries are maintained (at least on average) then in addition to Hall conductance there are other, in principle, measurable transport coefficients that are quantized and sensitive to topological phase transitions. Among these coefficients are non-dissipative viscosity of quantum fluids, known as Hall viscosity; thermal Hall conductance, and a recently discovered coefficient – orbital spin variance. All of these coefficients can be computed as linear responses to variations of geometry of a physical sample. We will show how to compute these coefficients for a variety of abelian and non-abelian quantum Hall states using various analytical tools: from RPA-type perturbation theory to non-abelian Chern-Simons-Witten effective topological quantum field theory.

We will explain how non-Riemannian geometry known as Newton-Cartan (NC) geometry arises in the computation of momentum and energy transport in non-relativistic gapped systems. We use this geometry to derive a number of thermodynamic relations and stress the non-relativistic nature of condensed matter systems. NC geometry is also useful in the study of Galilean invariant systems in manifestly coordinate independent form. We study the Ward identities of the Galilean symmetry and find new relations between universal, quantized transport coefficients and long-wave corrections thereof.

Up next, Taylor Hughes of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

A hotbed of quantum gravitational weirdness.

Unparticles! And whatnot.

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Topology, Geometry, Curvature in Condensed Matter Physics

by Tommy on 23/12/2015

I’m having this weird feeling somewhat like the one I had just after my OMG – I invented a giant moon rocket! moment. Only a bit weirder, since this is moving so quickly into bizarre crackpot territory. However soldiering on I ran across a series of articles going back a while now, where this group zeros in on this with foundational physics and mathematics that should be highly accessible even at the undergraduate level, and so I will go through them here one by one.

It started with this:

Enabling Adiabatic Passages Between Disjoint Regions in Parameter Space through Topological Transitions, Tiago Souza, Michael Tomka, Michael Kolodrubetz, Steven Rosenberg and Anatoli Polkovnikov (17 December 2015)

In this letter, we explore topological transitions in parameter space in order to enable adiabatic passages between regions not adiabatically connected within this parameter manifold. To this end, we study two coupled qubits interacting with external magnetic fields, and make use of the analogy between the Berry curvature and magnetic fields in parameter space, with degeneracies associated to magnetic charges. Symmetry-breaking terms induce sharp topological transitions on the charge distributions, and we show how one can exploit this effect to bypass crossing degeneracies. We also investigate the curl of the Berry curvature, an interesting but as of yet not fully explored object, which together with its divergence uniquely defines this field. Finally, we suggest a simple method for measuring the Berry connection, thereby showing how one can experimentally verify our results.

Which cites this paper:

Observation of topological transitions in interacting quantum circuits, P. Roushan, C. Neill, Yu Chen, M. Kolodrubetz, C. Quintana, N. Leung, M. Fang, R. Barends, B. Campbell, Z. Chen, B. Chiaro, A. Dunsworth, E. Jeffrey, J. Kelly, A. Megrant, J. Mutus, P. J. J. O’Malley, D. Sank, A. Vainsencher, J. Wenner, T. White, A. Polkovnikov, A. N. Cleland and J. M. Martinis, Nature, 515, 241–244 (13 November 2014), doi:10.1038/nature13891

Topology, with its abstract mathematical constructs, often manifests itself in physics and has a pivotal role in our understanding of natural phenomena. Notably, the discovery of topological phases in condensed-matter systems has changed the modern conception of phases of matter. The global nature of topological ordering, however, makes direct experimental probing an outstanding challenge. Present experimental tools are mainly indirect and, as a result, are inadequate for studying the topology of physical systems at a fundamental level. Here we employ the exquisite control afforded by state-of-the-art superconducting quantum circuits to investigate topological properties of various quantum systems. The essence of our approach is to infer geometric curvature by measuring the deflection of quantum trajectories in the curved space of the Hamiltonian. Topological properties are then revealed by integrating the curvature over closed surfaces, a quantum analogue of the Gauss–Bonnet theorem. We benchmark our technique by investigating basic topological concepts of the historically important Haldane model after mapping the momentum space of this condensed-matter model to the parameter space of a single-qubit Hamiltonian. In addition to constructing the topological phase diagram, we are able to visualize the microscopic spin texture of the associated states and their evolution across a topological phase transition. Going beyond non-interacting systems, we demonstrate the power of our method by studying topology in an interacting quantum system. This required a new qubit architecture that allows for simultaneous control over every term in a two-qubit Hamiltonian. By exploring the parameter space of this Hamiltonian, we discover the emergence of an interaction-induced topological phase. Our work establishes a powerful, generalizable experimental platform to study topological phenomena in quantum systems.

And then this SHOCKING paper:

Dynamic trapping near a quantum critical point, Michael Kolodrubetz, Emanuel Katz and Anatoli Polkovnikov, Phys. Rev. B 91, 054306 (26 February 2015), DOI:10.1103/PhysRevB.91.054306

The study of dynamics in closed quantum systems has recently been revitalized by the emergence of experimental systems that are well-isolated from their environment. In this paper, we consider the closed-system dynamics of an archetypal model: spins near a second order quantum critical point, which are traditionally described by the Kibble-Zurek mechanism. Imbuing the driving field with Newtonian dynamics, we find that the full closed system exhibits a robust new phenomenon — dynamic critical trapping — in which the system is self-trapped near the critical point due to efficient absorption of field kinetic energy by heating the quantum spins. We quantify limits in which this phenomenon can be observed and generalize these results by developing a Kibble-Zurek scaling theory that incorporates the dynamic field. Our findings can potentially be interesting in the context of early universe physics, where the role of the driving field is played by the inflaton or a modulus.

And when searching the author Anatoli Polkovnikov, I find these little jewels.

Emergent Newtonian dynamics and the geometric origin of mass, Luca D’Alessio, Anatoli Polkovnikov, Annals of Physics, 345, 141–165, (24 February 2014), doi:10.1016/j.aop.2014.03.009

We consider a set of macroscopic (classical) degrees of freedom coupled to an arbitrary many-particle Hamiltonian system, quantum or classical. These degrees of freedom can represent positions of objects in space, their angles, shape distortions, magnetization, currents and so on. Expanding their dynamics near the adiabatic limit we find the emergent Newton’s second law (force is equal to the mass times acceleration) with an extra dissipative term. In systems with broken time reversal symmetry there is an additional Coriolis type force proportional to the Berry curvature. We give the microscopic definition of the mass tensor relating it to the non-equal time correlation functions in equilibrium or alternatively expressing it through dressing by virtual excitations in the system. In the classical (high-temperature) limit the mass tensor is given by the product of the inverse temperature and the Fubini-Study metric tensor determining the natural distance between the eigenstates of the Hamiltonian. For free particles this result reduces to the conventional definition of mass. This finding shows that any mass, at least in the classical limit, emerges from the distortions of the Hilbert space highlighting deep connections between any motion (not necessarily in space) and geometry. We illustrate our findings with four simple examples.

And finally, this:

Efficiency bounds for nonequilibrium heat engines, Pankaj Mehta and Anatoli Polkovnikov, Annals of Physics, 332, 110–126 (May 2012), doi:10.1016/j.aop.2013.01.017

We analyze the efficiency of thermal engines (either quantum or classical) working with a single heat reservoir like an atmosphere. The engine first gets an energy intake, which can be done in an arbitrary nonequilibrium way e.g. combustion of fuel. Then the engine performs the work and returns to the initial state. We distinguish two general classes of engines where the working body first equilibrates within itself and then performs the work (ergodic engine) or when it performs the work before equilibrating (non-ergodic engine). We show that in both cases the second law of thermodynamics limits their efficiency. For ergodic engines we find a rigorous upper bound for the efficiency, which is strictly smaller than the equivalent Carnot efficiency. I.e. the Carnot efficiency can be never achieved in single reservoir heat engines. For non-ergodic engines the efficiency can be higher and can exceed the equilibrium Carnot bound. By extending the fundamental thermodynamic relation to nonequilibrium processes, we find a rigorous thermodynamic bound for the efficiency of both ergodic and non-ergodic engines and show that it is given by the relative entropy of the nonequilibrium and initial equilibrium distributions. These results suggest a new general strategy for designing more efficient engines. We illustrate our ideas by using simple examples.

So there it is, everything you need to know to start simulating the universe in a box.

I will not be investigating this much further, it’s your problem now.

I have done all I can do.

Calvin and Hobbes Lucky Rocket Ship Underpants

Calvin and Hobbes Lucky Rocket Ship Underpants

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The SpaceX Falcon 9 Reusable Launch Vehicle Era Begins

by Tommy on 22/12/2015
SpaceX Falcon 9 Reusable Launch Vehicle

SpaceX Falcon 9 Reusable Launch Vehicle

The SpaceX Falcon 9 Reusable Launch Vehicle Era Begins

I needed to say that again. That was an easy enough headline to make up.

Update: It looked like something was burning under there for a while.

I thought I heard them dispatch the fire crew.

I hope everything is all right.

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Life Bearing Terrestrial Planet Discovered Near a Distant Moon

by Tommy on 18/12/2015
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter LRO Earth Moon Earthrise

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter LRO Earth Moon Earthrise

No intelligence observed. The Blob will be ending soon.

Just a couple of more posts I suspect.

No more rocket science!

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Quantum Cosmology Axion Higgs Topogravitoelectromagnetism

by Tommy on 18/12/2015

Even Forbes is covering this like crazy now.

Nothing like a physics revolution to bring out the crazies and the reporters.

With only the hint of a CERN LHC 750 GeV ‘thing’, presumably a particle, one can now begin to speculate on the knowns, the unknowns, the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns, and although I’m not sure how far the latter will get you, presumably it will get you to M-Theory and Monoidal Categories and such. So since I am a smart crackpot having spent two whole months looking at this (what an astronomical waste of time), I’m now in a position to make uninformed and unfounded comments. First of all the HR-LHC upgrades and the Chinese Monster collider will be able to stretch the energy reach up to 100 TeV or more, so more definitive answers will be forthcoming, probably as early as this summer. So until then I am calling it a pseudoparticle.

Topology in condensed matter physics is real, however. We are now in possession of a vast mathematical machinery in which to accommodate its study. Our ability to engineer topological electronic and magnetic circuits on and within two dimensional layers of topological insulators, crystalline insulators, topological and ordinary superconductors and trivial electronic and spin systems is current – we can do this right now. We can engineer these circuits into geometric and topological dimensional structures, immerse them into superfluid liquid helium at single digit or less Kelvin temperatures and then subject them to a wide variety of gravity gradients through electromagnetically induced torques, jerks, accelerations and rotations. With combinations of magnetic adatoms and engineered layers of p and s wave superconductors in topological insulating systems, we can now simulate the axion fields and (quasi) particles and the Higgs mechanism in Dirac, Weyl and Majorana environments, where the (pseudo) particles can be either localized or relativistic and presumably anywhere in between, involving enormous mass and energy renormalization scales. And presumably with strong coupling, quantum critical points and varying density, etc., we can fractionalize the charge and spin through topological Chern-Simons physics and axion Higgs dynamics. In short, this is indeed a revolution in modern physics. I call this concept ‘topogravitoelectromagnetism’, when it is applied to general relativity.

And all without a 750 GeV high energy resonance.

Even at this astronomically high energy, the entire mass energy particle spectrum and energy scale has been vastly renormalized down from the Planck scale. This is the hierarchy problem and the naturalness problem. The knowns are quantum field theory, the standard model and general relativity. The unknowns are dark matter, dark energy, the axions, the newly discovered Higgs and the graviton, if a verifiable theory of quantum gravity were to exist. We don’t know.

Duality and all that.

For inflation one can talk about instantons, curvatons, inflatons, dilatons, etc., and just about any other concept that one may care to speculate on, up to the Planck scale, but I posit that given the vast renormalization of the Higgs mass down to 125 GeV, one might expect that any putative graviton would be dragged down with it, since spacetime is now essentially flat on the large scale and the dilute energy and particles now within it are only mildly affecting its curvature, that is, gravity is fantastically weak (contrary to my daily observations). Since spacetime is basically flat now, presumably it wasn’t as it departed the Planck scale and inflated, and so therefore it might be reasonable to speak in terms of the quantized curvature of spacetime at that scale. In other words, the topology of spacetime. So assuming that the mass energy renormalization and space time deconstruction and flattening out of the universe occurred simultaneously, and it is obviously still occurring, although on a much slower scale now, then presumably the axion dark matter bosons, the Higgs bosons and the graviton bosons were all produced by these events. And presumably also the creation, destruction, excitations, interactions and interrelationships between these entities (particles) can now be simulated in the laboratory in a topological and gravitoelectromagnetic manner. This is crucial for any viable developing and experimentally verifiable theory of quantum gravity, and thus by default any emerging quantum cosmology.

A light bosonic axion may mass hundreds of thousands of times less than the energy of a photon or even a neutrino, just as the rest mass of an electron is hundreds of thousands of times larger, and a Higgs boson is roughly that much more massive again. These energies are dwarfed by Planck scale parameters. If the resulting universe is a result of the deconstruction of spacetime topology and that process can be simulated and observed in the laboratory, then a clear path towards a quantum theory of gravity presents itself – topogravitoelectromagnetism.

This path has already produced shockingly diverse exploitable new condensed matter physics.

There is really no question that this process will continue unabated.

Thank you for your time. I rest my case.

Update: To further describe the extreme energy mass particle renormalization of Planck scale physics down to the Higgs scale and far below that to absolute zero, including the weakness of gravity and global flatness of space, consider how easy it is for just a small amount of matter and energy in the universe to utterly break spacetime with a black hole. Breaking spacetime is not that far off in terms of mass and energy. We need to be very careful with this if the coupling of axions to the Higgs scale is capable of bending spacetime in topogravitoelectromagnetism.

It doesn’t take Planck scale energy to get to Planck scale physics. Gravity alone gets you there.

So much for the weakness of gravity. I have to lie down now.

Update 2: This is certainly worth another essay but as I stated earlier I have no idea how to write something like this up, and the previous two essays were difficult enough.

There is a LOT of difficult math here.

So please consider this my essay until I get the time to figure this out and write it all down, and you can just cite this blog post as my ‘publication’. Thanks in advance.

Update 3: Oh screw it. This BLOG is my publication. It’s the 21st Century!

Update 4
: And here it is!

Dynamic trapping near a quantum critical point, Michael Kolodrubetz, Emanuel Katz and Anatoli Polkovnikov, Phys. Rev. B 91, 054306 (26 February 2015), DOI:10.1103/PhysRevB.91.054306

The study of dynamics in closed quantum systems has recently been revitalized by the emergence of experimental systems that are well-isolated from their environment. In this paper, we consider the closed-system dynamics of an archetypal model: spins near a second order quantum critical point, which are traditionally described by the Kibble-Zurek mechanism. Imbuing the driving field with Newtonian dynamics, we find that the full closed system exhibits a robust new phenomenon — dynamic critical trapping — in which the system is self-trapped near the critical point due to efficient absorption of field kinetic energy by heating the quantum spins. We quantify limits in which this phenomenon can be observed and generalize these results by developing a Kibble-Zurek scaling theory that incorporates the dynamic field. Our findings can potentially be interesting in the context of early universe physics, where the role of the driving field is played by the inflaton or a modulus.

That was easy. That didn’t take long at all.

Two and a half months in.

Update 5:

The Kibble-Zurek Mechanism. Some great stuff in the references in there.

With Callan-Harvey inflow you should be all set with this.

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Dense Nuclear Matter QCD Analog of Axion Electrodynamics

by Tommy on 18/12/2015

You had to know this was coming.

Meson Domain Wall as a Surface of Topological Insulator and Nonrelativistic Photons, Naoki Yamamoto (17 December 2015)

We argue that the effective theory for electromagnetic fields near a meson domain wall in dense nuclear and quark matter is essentially the same as that at the interface between topological and trivial insulators in condensed matter systems: the axion electrodynamics. We show that one of the helicity states of photons has the nonrelativistic gapless dispersion relation ωk2 at small momentum, while the other is gapped, around the meson domain wall or at the surface of topological insulator.

See also:

Novel Topological Effects in Dense QCD in a Magnetic Field, E.J. Ferrer and V. de la Incera (12 December 2015)

We show that in dense QCD an axion field can be dynamically generated as the phase of the dual chiral density wave condensate that forms in the presence of a magnetic field. The coupling of the axion with the external magnetic field leads to several macroscopically observable effects. They are the generation of an anomalous uniform electric charge proportional to the magnetic field, the induction of a nondissipative anomalous Hall current, a linear magnetoelectric effect, and the formation of an axion polariton due to the fluctuations of the axion field at finite temperature. Connection to topological insulators, as well as possible observable signatures in heavy-ion collisions and neutron stars are all highlighted.

What can be deduced from this I do not know yet.

Other than this is moving quickly.

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Topological Electromagnetic Domain Wall Manipulation

by Tommy on 17/12/2015

Domain Wall in a Quantum Anomalous Hall Insulator as a Magnetoelectric Piston, Pramey Upadhyaya and Yaroslav Tserkovnyak (16 December 2015)

We theoretically study the magnetoelectric coupling in a quantum anomalous Hall insulator state induced by interfacing a dynamic magnetization texture to a topological insulator. In particular, we propose that the quantum anomalous Hall insulator with a magnetic configuration of a domain wall, when contacted by electrical reservoirs, acts as a magnetoelectric piston. A moving domain wall pumps charge current between electrical leads in a closed circuit, while applying an electrical bias induces reciprocal domain-wall motion. This piston-like action is enabled by a finite reflection of charge carriers via chiral modes imprinted by the domain wall. Moreover, we find that, when compared with the recently discovered spin-orbit torque-induced domain-wall motion in heavy metals, the reflection coefficient plays the role of an effective spin-Hall angle governing the efficiency of the proposed electrical control of domain walls. Quantitatively, this effective spin-Hall angle is found to approach a universal value of 2, providing an efficient scheme to reconfigure the domain-wall chiral interconnects for possible memory and logic applications.

I don’t quite think they are seeing the bigger picture here, but this is definitely a good start.

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Quantum Gravity Through Topological Gravitoelectromagnetism

by Tommy on 14/12/2015

8:00 AM Tomorrow Morning

So while I am waiting for the new particle resonances to smash my naive and oversimplified hypothesis of the axion Higgs gravitational mass curvature mechanism, and herald in a new era of Supersymmetry (SUSY) and M-Theory (branes, Branes, BRANES!), I can fret over what I’ve learned about topology and curvature in condensed matter systems and why I believe this will be the only game in town and the only way forward now, even with the advent of SUSY Brains.

So I guess I will be living blogging this like Tommaso Dorigo.

It’s gonna be a Woit Motl showdown.

Update: Minor 1.2 sigma bump at 745 GeV from CMS Run 2. Run 1 does not exclude Run 2.

Global significance of this bump is less than 1.7 sigma when combined with earlier CMS data.

Update 2: ATLAS – No significant excesses were observed.

3.7 local significance, 1.9 global significance resonance at 747 GeV in the diphoton channel.

There is no claim! Others disagree. Seeing what is not there. Not seeing what is there.

Cannot rule out a particle resonance at 750 GeV. No combined significance.

No evidence of partons at high mass.

No expectations, haha.

et cetera, etc.

40 diphoton events in Run 1, 10 diphoton events in Run 2.

Conclusion – Hints at 750 GeV.

Hints at ‘the ridge’.

That is all.

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Niobium Intercalation Multilayers in Topological Superconductors

by Tommy on 14/12/2015

Time reversal symmetry breaking superconductivity in topological materials, Yunsheng Qiu, Kyle Nocona Sanders, Jixia Dai, Julia E. Medvedeva, Weida Wu, Pouyan Ghaemi, Thomas Vojta and Yew San Hor (11 December 2015)

Fascinating phenomena have been known to arise from the Dirac theory of relativistic quantum mechanics, which describes high energy particles having linear dispersion relations. Electrons in solids usually have non-relativistic dispersion relations but their quantum excitations can mimic relativistic effects. In topological insulators, electrons have both a linear dispersion relation, the Dirac behavior, on the surface and a non-relativistic energy dispersion in the bulk. Topological phases of matter have attracted much interest, particularly broken-symmetry phases in topological insulator materials. Here, we report by Nb doping that the topological insulator Bi2Se3 can be turned into a bulk type-II superconductor while the Dirac surface dispersion in the normal state is preserved. A macroscopic magnetic ordering appears below the superconducting critical temperature of 3.2 K indicating a spontaneous spin rotation symmetry breaking of the Nb magnetic moments. Even though such a magnetic order may appear at the edge of the superconductor, it is mediated by superconductivity and presents a novel phase of matter which gives rise to a zero-field Hall effect.

Metallic van der Waals intercalation sandwiches anyone?

Behold the van der Waals intercalation era!

Simulate that will ya. Ya think?

Update: For the axion Higgs mediated topological gravitoelectromagnetism simulations we are going to have to be geometrically engineering these new devices and then spinning them and shaking them up in Helium 3 A and B superfluids. Helium 4 might just work for some cases.

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The Discovery of Topological Gravitoelectromagnetism Here

by Tommy on 11/12/2015

I have no idea how to write this up.

You probably noticed that I ran off the rails with this.

At first I was just looking for a ZT=4 thermoelectricity strategy, knowing full well that there was probably some other credible quantum thermal pump lurking just below the noise level. But the deeper I got into it, I realized that this was far more interesting than I imagined. Think about this. All I wanted to do is pump or absorb mass, particles, energy, heat, spin and charge at anything greater than a 50% Carnot efficiency level, using or producing actual work in the real universe.

Ok, so far so good.

No laws of physics violated there. No anomalies that I can see.

Suddenly I am exciting QCD axions and sucking in new physics from another hidden higher dimension through a brane wall with the Callan – Harvey inflow, and I can actually define and benchmark energy and heat (quantum and thermal fluctuations) exactly with an evaporating black hole. Not exactly what I was expecting. Now I see quantum weirdness in the pseudogap.

What I want to know now is where are all of these super smart people coming from?

Do they have artificial intelligence and quantum computers? Or what.

Quantum Astrophysics! Whoever heard of such a thing.

Update: Here is what has shown up so far.

Dynamical Axion Field in a Magnetic Topological Insulator Superlattice, Jing Wang, Biao Lian and Shou-Cheng Zhang, Phys. Rev. B 93, 045115 (13 January 2016), DOI:/10.1103/PhysRevB.93.045115

We propose that the dynamical axion field can be realized in a magnetic topological insulator superlattice or a topological paramagnetic insulator. The magnetic fluctuations of these systems produce a pseudoscalar field which has an axionic coupling to the electromagnetic field, and thus it gives a condensed-matter realization of the axion electrodynamics. Compared to the previously proposed dynamical axion materials where a long range antiferromagnetic order is required, the systems proposed here have the advantage that only a uniform magnetization or a paramagnetic state is needed for the dynamic axion. We further propose several experiments to detect such a dynamical axion field.

See also:

Manifestation of axion electrodynamics through magnetic ordering on edges of a topological insulator, Yea-Lee Lee, Hee Chul Park, Jisoon Ihm and Young-Woo Son, Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, PNAS, 112, 37, 11514–11518 (15 September 2015), doi:10.1073/pnas.1515664112

Interactions between two adjacent surfaces of different surface orientations in a single-crystal topological insulator are investigated. We show that the edge between two surfaces can host nontrivial axion electrodynamics with sizeable experimental signals owing to the unique interaction between the two topological surface states. We find that the large work function difference between facets in a topological insulator can generate strong electric fields around the edges and that, in turn, the electric fields give rise to effective magnetic fields for a given broken time-reversal symmetry. Our theoretical work highlights a route to reveal intriguing axion electrodynamics in a real solid and provides methods to exploit macroscopic topological states.

Because topological surface states of a single-crystal topological insulator can exist on all surfaces with different crystal orientations enclosing the crystal, mutual interactions among those states contiguous to each other through edges can lead to unique phenomena inconceivable in normal insulators. Here we show, based on a first-principles approach, that the difference in the work function between adjacent surfaces with different crystal-face orientations generates a built-in electric field around facet edges of a prototypical topological insulator such as Bi2Se3. Owing to the topological magnetoelectric coupling for a given broken time-reversal symmetry in the crystal, the electric field, in turn, forces effective magnetic dipoles to accumulate along the edges, realizing the facet-edge magnetic ordering. We demonstrate that the predicted magnetic ordering is in fact a manifestation of the axion electrodynamics in real solids.

Behold the era of the dynamical axion field!

The Higgs can’t be far behind.

I wish them well.

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Cosmic Weather Report – 100% Chance of Success in 2015

by Tommy on 10/12/2015
SpaceX Falcon 9 Landing Pad

SpaceX Falcon 9 Landing Pad

Behold the SpaceX Age!

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The Geometry of Black Holes As Revealed By Mathematics

by Tommy on 10/12/2015
Black Hole Weyl Invariants

Black Hole Weyl Invariants

A new way to see inside black holes, R.C. Henry, J.M. Overduin and K. Wilcomb, Published in Bridges Baltimore 2015: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (Phoenix, AZ: Tessellations Publishing, 2015), 479-482 (9 Dec 2015)

Black holes are real astrophysical objects, but their interiors are hidden and can only be “observed” through mathematics. The structure of rotating black holes is typically illustrated with the help of special coordinates. But any such coordinate choice necessarily results in a distorted view, just as the choice of projection distorts a map of the Earth. The truest way to depict the properties of a black hole is through quantities that are coordinate-invariant. We compute and plot all the independent curvature invariants of rotating, charged black holes for the first time, revealing a landscape that is much more beautiful and complex than usually thought.

Topogravitoelectromagnetism! Whoever heard of such a thing.

Weirdness starts inside of a black hole, apparently.

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Topological Pairing Glue in High Temperature Superconductors

by Tommy on 10/12/2015

High Temperature superconductivity in a hyperbolic geometry of complex matter from nanoscale to mesoscopic scale, G. Campi and A. Bianconi (7 December 2015)

While it was known that High Temperature Superconductivity appears in cuprates showing complex multiscale phase separation due to inhomogeneous charge density wave (CDW) order, the spatial distribution of CDW domains remained an open question for a long time, because of the lack of experimental probes able to visualize their spatial distribution at mesoscale, between atomic and macroscopic scale. Recently scanning micro X-ray Diffraction (SmXRD) revealed CDW crystalline electronic puddles with a complex fat-tailed spatial distribution of their size. In this work we have determined and mapped the anisotropy of the Charge Density Waves (CDW) puddles in HgBa2CuO4+y (Hg1201) single crystal. We discuss the emergence of high temperature superconductivity in the interstitial space with hyperbolic geometry, that opens a new paradigm for quantum coherence at high temperature where negative dielectric function and interference between different pathways can help to raise the critical temperature.

This is the second paper on this concept, which I discussed earlier in my last new year’s essay.

It’s time for some theorists to get involved.

I want some answers here.

I have questions.

Update: It’s probably time to update that essay after a year.

If I knew then what I know now.

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Gravitation and Spacetime Curvature Coupled to the Higgs Field

by Tommy on 9/12/2015

Spacetime Curvature and Higgs Stability after Inflation, M. Herranen, T. Markkanen, S. Nurmi, and A. Rajantie, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 241301 (8 December 2015), DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.241301

We investigate the dynamics of the Higgs field at the end of inflation in the minimal scenario consisting of an inflaton field coupled to the standard model only through the nonminimal gravitational coupling ξ of the Higgs field. Such a coupling is required by renormalization of the standard model in curved space, and in the current scenario also by vacuum stability during high-scale inflation. We find that for ξ ≳ 1, rapidly changing spacetime curvature at the end of inflation leads to significant production of Higgs particles, potentially triggering a transition to a negative-energy Planck scale vacuum state and causing an immediate collapse of the Universe.

There are more papers on the ArXiv, but they are talking about 0.1 ≳ ξ ≳ 1.

This is promising for my axion – Higgs – curvaton hypothesis.

I’m still trying to catch up with this stuff.

That’s topogravitoelectromagnetism.

Whoever heard of such a thing!

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The Fifth Planet Ceres Was Accreted Beyond The Snow Line

by Tommy on 9/12/2015
Ceres Bright Spots

Ceres Bright Spots

Sublimation in bright spots on (1) Ceres, A. Nathues, M. Hoffmann, M. Schaefer, L. Le Corre, V. Reddy, T. Platz, E. A. Cloutis, U. Christensen, T. Kneissl, J.-Y. Li, K. Mengel, N. Schmedemann, T. Schaefer, C. T. Russell, D. M. Applin,D. L. Buczkowski, M. R. M. Izawa, H. U. Keller, D. P. O’Brien, C. M. Pieters, C. A. Raymond, J. Ripken, P. M. Schenk, B. E. Schmidt, H. Sierks, M. V. Sykes, G. S. Thangjam and J.-B. Vincent, Nature, 528, 237–240 (10 December 2015), doi:10.1038/nature15754

The dwarf planet (1) Ceres, the largest object in the main asteroid with a mean diameter of about 950 kilometres, is located at a mean distance from the Sun of about 2.8 astronomical units (one astronomical unit is the Earth–Sun distance). Thermal evolution models suggest that it is a differentiated body with potential geological activity. Unlike on the icy satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, where tidal forces are responsible for spewing briny water into space, no tidal forces are acting on Ceres. In the absence of such forces, most objects in the main asteroid belt are expected to be geologically inert. The recent discovery of water vapour absorption near Ceres and previous detection of bound water and OH near and on Ceres have raised interest in the possible presence of surface ice. Here we report the presence of localized bright areas on Ceres from an orbiting imager. These unusual areas are consistent with hydrated magnesium sulfates mixed with dark background material, although other compositions are possible. Of particular interest is a bright pit on the floor of crater Occator that exhibits probable sublimation of water ice, producing haze clouds inside the crater that appear and disappear with a diurnal rhythm. Slow-moving condensed-ice or dust particles may explain this haze. We conclude that Ceres must have accreted material from beyond the ‘snow line’, which is the distance from the Sun at which water molecules condense.

Ammoniated phyllosilicates with a likely outer Solar System origin on (1) Ceres, M. C. De Sanctis, E. Ammannito, A. Raponi, S. Marchi, T. B. McCord, H. Y. McSween, F. Capaccioni, M. T. Capria, F. G. Carrozzo, M. Ciarniello, A. Longobardo, F. Tosi, S. Fonte, M. Formisano, A. Frigeri, M. Giardino, G. Magni, E. Palomba, D. Turrini, F. Zambon, J.-P. Combe, W. Feldman, R. Jaumann, L. A. McFadden, C. M. Pieters, T. Prettyman, M. Toplis, C. A. Raymond and C. T. Russell, Nature, 528, 241–244 (10 December 2015), doi:10.1038/nature16172

Studies of the dwarf planet (1) Ceres using ground-based and orbiting telescopes have concluded that its closest meteoritic analogues are the volatile-rich CI and CM carbonaceous chondrites. Water in clay minerals, ammoniated phyllosilicates, or a mixture of Mg(OH)2 (brucite), Mg2CO3 and iron-rich serpentine have all been proposed to exist on the surface. In particular, brucite has been suggested from analysis of the mid-infrared spectrum of Ceres. But the lack of spectral data across telluric absorption bands in the wavelength region 2.5 to 2.9 micrometres — where the OH stretching vibration and the H2O bending overtone are found — has precluded definitive identifications. In addition, water vapour around Ceres has recently been reported, possibly originating from localized sources. Here we report spectra of Ceres from 0.4 to 5 micrometres acquired at distances from ~ 82,000 to 4,300 kilometres from the surface. Our measurements indicate widespread ammoniated phyllosilicates across the surface, but no detectable water ice. Ammonia, accreted either as organic matter or as ice, may have reacted with phyllosilicates on Ceres during differentiation. This suggests that material from the outer Solar System was incorporated into Ceres, either during its formation at great heliocentric distance or by incorporation of material transported into the main asteroid belt.

Thunderbirds Are Go!

Several primary plant nutrients already!

The Ceres’ frozen subsurface ocean is right there ready to exploit.

If you like nuclear reactors, this is the place.

Scum always rises to the top.

Update: Bill Harris uses the term ‘fumeroles’.

Water vapor fumeroles on Ceres.

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Excitonic Solar Cell From Phosphorene On Titanium Dioxide

by Tommy on 8/12/2015

If this doesn’t get your attention, nothing will.

Phosphorene and Doped Monolayers Interfaced TiO2 with Type-II Band Alignments: Novel Excitonic Solar Cells, Liujiang Zhou, Jin Zhang, Zhiwen Zhuo, Liangzhi Kou, Wei Ma, Bin Shao, Aijun Du, Sheng Meng and Thomas Frauenheim (5 December 2015)

Phosphorene, a new elemental two dimensional (2D) material recently isolated by mechanical exfoliation, holds the feature of a direct band gap of around 2.0 eV, overcoming graphene’s weaknesses (zero band gap) to realize the potential application in optoelectronic devices. Constructing van der Waals heterostructures is an efficient approach to modulate the band structure, to advance the charge separation efficiency, and thus to optimize the optoelectronic properties. Here, we theoretically investigated three type-II heterostructures based on perfect phosphorene and its doped monolayers interfaced with TiO2 (110) surface. Doping in phosphorene has a tunability on built-in potential, charge transfer, light absorbance, as well as electron dynamics, which helps to optimize the light absorption efficiency. Three excitonic solar cells (XSCs) based on the phosphorene−TiO2 heterojunctions have been proposed, which exhibit high power conversion efficiencies dozens of times higher than conventional solar cells, comparable to MoS2/WS2 XSC. The nonadiabatic molecular dynamics within the time-dependent density functional theory framework shows ultrafast electron transfer time of 6.1−10.8 fs, and slow electron−hole recombination of 0.58−1.08 ps, yielding > 98% quantum efficiency for charge separation, further guaranteeing the practical power conversion efficiencies in XSC.

Do I have your complete attention now?

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CERN LHC Large Hadron Collider 2015 ATLAS CMS Results

by Tommy on 7/12/2015


Are the Higgs and the Axion all there is?

Doesn’t look like much weirdness in there to me.

But that’s with just 3.6 fb-1 and I think they have 4.5 fb-1 on hand.

I guess we’ll find out more a week from tomorrow. (3:00 PM, December 15, 2015)

I am beginning to wish Al Gore had never invented the axion, and I am now convinced that a proper laboratory Higgs – Axion + topogravitoelectromagnetism simulator is the best way for answers to these questions to be forthcoming. I’m also gravitating toward new and unusual cosmologies, that either go beyond inflation or do away with the singularity altogether. It’s not that I don’t believe in supersymmetry and string theory, etc. I don’t believe that the high energy physics particle collider paradigm will get us there anymore, unless something new comes up.

The evidence for topology is persuasive. So in my ideal universe the cosmic QCD axion is the primordial de Sitter curvaton, and so if we can hook into them we should get the curvature back.

At the very least, I still want to pump mass, charge, spin and heat (energy), by way of work.

I can do without the antigravity and free energy, but that would be nice too.

Hopefully I can get back to bismuth (110) and Bi(GaAs) soon.




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