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Detecting fractionalization in strongly correlated magnets

   School of Science

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  Dr I Rousochatzakis, Prof J Betouras  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The project goal is to investigate realistic models of frustrated magnets of current interest and explore signatures of spin liquidity. Understanding the phenomenology of these materials and their proximity to spin liquid phases is indispensable for their future exploitation in quantum technologies and computing applications. The project will provide opportunities to endeavour into a very vibrant field of condensed matter research, acquire expertise in numerical methods (such as Monte Carlo, multiboson expansions, exact diagonalizations and typicality), and work on experimentally driven problems of growing interest.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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According to Boltzmann statistics, matter tends to maximise its entropy at high temperatures and minimize its energy at low temperatures. A ferromagnet offers the simplest scenario for this battle between energy and entropy [1]: Below a characteristic temperature TC, the underlying array of spins minimize their energy by aligning along a common direction, whereas above TC spins fluctuate in random directions. Strongly correlated magnets offer a much richer scenario, as their energy can be minimised in an infinite number of ways. At low temperatures, such systems fluctuate over a macroscopic number of competing states and can thus evade long range ordering, opening the door for more exotic phases with long-range entanglement and fractionalized excitations [2,3]. This project will explore the experimental signatures of such systems using realistic microscopic models of materials of current interest, using a mix of analytical and numerical techniques [4].

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Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in physics or a related subject. A relevant master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: physics.

Please see the programme website for international entry requirements by country.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.


All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select Physics. Please quote reference number: IR/PH/2022.

Funding Notes

Please note that studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and other advertised projects within the School. Funding decisions will not be confirmed until early 2022. The studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,609 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK rate. International (including EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will cover the International Tuition Fee Only.


1. L. Onsager, Phys. Rev. 65, 117 (1944)
2. L. Balents, Nature 464, 199 (2010)
3. I. Rousochatzakis, Y. Sizyuk, N. B. Perkins, Nat. Commun. 9, 1575 (2018)
4. I. Rousochatzakis, S. Kourtis, J. Knolle, R. Moessner, N. B. Perkins, PRB 100, 045117 (2019)
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