Monday, July 29, 2013

1307.7032 (Louis-Paul Henry et al.)

Order-by-disorder and quantum Coulomb phase in quantum square ice    [PDF]

Louis-Paul Henry, Tommaso Roscilde
We reconstruct the equilibrium phase diagram of quantum square ice, realized by the transverse-field Ising model on the checkerboard lattice, using a combination of quantum Monte Carlo, degenerate perturbation theory and gauge mean-field theory. The extensive ground-state degeneracy of classical square ice is lifted by the transverse field, leading to two distinct order-by-disorder phases, a plaquette valence-bond solid for low field, and a canted Neel state for stronger fields. These two states appear via a highly non-linear effect of quantum fluctuations, and they can be identified with the phases of a lattice gauge theory (quantum link model) emerging as the effective Hamiltonian of the system within degenerate perturbation theory up to the 8th order. The plaquette valence-bond solid melts at a very low temperature, above which the system displays a thermally induced quantum Coulomb phase, supporting deconfined spinons.
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