The Information Age in Simulations of Condensed Matter

Event Date: 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Broida 1640

Event Contact: 

Refreshments served at 3:40

Speaker:

Roger Melko - Waterloo

Monte Carlo simulations have been ubiquitous in efforts to simulate and characterize properties of materials, matter, and systems, since the advent of computers themselves.  In the last decade, condensed matter physicists have turned simulation technology to the study of a new set of phenomena, loosely termed as "emergent", with correlations not manifested in traditional correlation functions.  Motivated by this, a new set of tools was recently developed that allows one to probe emergent phenomena in Monte Carlo simulations through their entanglement entropy - a concept borrowed from quantum information theory.  Remarkably, since certain scaling terms in the entanglement entropy appear to be universal, its utility in characterizing phases and phase transitions may be ubiquitous throughout quantum, and even classical, physics.  Thus, Monte Carlo simulations are poised to play a central role in an upcoming paradigm shift where physicists increasingly rely on concepts of information theory to characterize correlations in condensed matter, materials, and systems.