Quantum Magnetism
by B. Barbara

Persian Title: کوانتومی مغناطیس

Summary and Info
This book is based on some of the lectures during the Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics (PITP) summer school on Quantum Magnetism , held during June 2006 in Les Houches, in the French Alps. The school was funded jointly by NATO, the CNRS, and PITP, and entirely organized by PITP. Magnetism is a somewhat peculiar research field. It clearly has a quantummechanical basis the microsopic exchange interactions arise entirely from the exclusion principle, in conjunction with respulsive interactions between electrons. And yet until recently the vast majority of magnetism researchers and users of magnetic phenomena around the world paid no attention to these quantummechanical roots. Thus, eg., the huge ($400 billion per annum) industry which manufactures hard discs, and other components in the information technology sector, depends entirely on roomtemperature properties of magnets  yet at the macroscopic or mesoscopic scales of interest to this industry, roomtemperature magnets behave entirely classically. This situation has now begun to change, and the quantum collective properties of magnetic systems, for so long of interest only to a few, have begun to move to centre stage. There are several reasons for this. One is the increasing use of low temperatures in industrial and applied research labs, and the recognition that the lowT properties of many new magnetic materials are of great potential use in future devices. Another is the emergence of nanoscience, and its offshoot nanotechnology, as an important new discipline the majority of hightech applications of nanotechnology so far envisaged will also be lowtemperature ones. All this has meant that collective quantum phenomena, occurring at low T in quantum dots, magnetic molecules, and nanoscopic conductors, have suddenly become interesting to more than just pure physics researchers. The design of new magnetic quantum materials, of spinbased quantum devices in lowdimensional geometries, and quantum nanomagnetic systems, using either physical or chemical techniques, has now become the concern of many applied physicists and chemists. An interesting byproduct of this broader interest in collective quantum spin phenomena has been the increasing focus, by applied physicists and even startup companies, on some of the more exotic theoretical ideas current in quantum magnetism. These draw upon various branches of quantum field theory (including topological field theory, the theory of decoherence, and string theory), quantum computation, and upon older fields like spin glass theory and the theory of quantum phase transitions  all of which are fairly esoteric. Some of these ideas have found more application in cosmology or string theory than in condensed matter physics so that their use in designing circuit arrays for quantum information processors, or spintronic devices, may seem disconcerting to some. Yet from another point of view it simply confirms the broadly unified nature of the principles and techniques used in theoretical physics. For the PITP/Les Houches school a number of topics of prime interest were selected, and these reflect the interests of a broad community. They were as follows: (1) Magnetism at the Microscopic Scale. (2)В Exotic Order in Quantum Magnets. (3) Disordered Magnets. (4) Quantum Nanomagnetism. (5) LargeScale Quantum Phenomena in Magnets. All of these fields are evolving rapidly as this volume was going to press, new discoveries were being made on graphene and on the behaviour of dipolar quantum spin glasses, and physicists were digesting the discovery of roomtemperature BoseEinstein condensation of magnons in YIG films. However it is clear that the questions, issues, and techniques in these areas will be of central interest for many years to come.
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