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Durham University

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Publication details for Simon Ross

Balasubramanian, Vijay, Berkooz, Micha, Ross, Simon F. & Simon, Joan (2013). A strongly-coupled zig-zag transition. Journal of High Energy Physics 2013(9): 66.

Author(s) from Durham


The zig-zag symmetry transition is a phase transition in 1D quantum wires, in which a Wigner lattice of electrons transitions to two staggered lattices. Previous studies model this transition as a Luttinger liquid coupled to a Majorana fermion. The model exhibits interesting RG flows, involving quenching of velocities in subsectors of the theory. We suggest an extension of the model which replaces the Majorana fermion by a more general CFT; this includes an experimentally realizable case with two Majorana fermions. We analyse the RG flow both in field theory and using AdS/CFT techniques in the large central charge limit of the CFT. The model has a rich phase structure with new qualitative features, already in the two Majorana fermion case. The AdS/CFT calculation involves considering back reaction in space-time to capture subleading effects.