In my second talk, I’ll give you a flavor for two of my current research projects in this area.
Experimentally there exist several insulating ferroelectric materials that have classical first-order transitions that display quantum criticality. Because their electromechanical coupling is strong, it is natural to reexamine the emergence of first-order transitions in compressible systems due to strain-energy density coupling. Generalizing this Larkin-Pikin criterion, I’ll show you that a line of classical first-order transitions can end in quantum criticality where the quantum fluctuations toughen the system against macroscopic instabilities.
It is well known that metals close to quantum critical points can exhibit novel phases including non-Fermi liquid behavior and unconventional superconductivity. Motivated by recent discoveries of polar metals that undergo inversion symmetry-breaking transitions I’ll present a systematic exploration of the emergence of strong correlations driven by criticality when the polar transition is tuned to zero. Several novel interacting phases will be discussed with experimental signatures.
I’ll end with many open questions for further theoretical and experimental explorations.