On Shape and Order

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 – 3:30pm
Reiss 502
Mark Bowick
Department of Physics, Syracuse University

In a wide variety of physical systems and over many length and energy scales one encounters ordered phases of matter on surfaces. The nature of the order has several novel features not encountered in the corresponding flat space systems, including the presence of various types of topological defects in the ground state that would normally only be excited states, and the instability of otherwise stable states. I will discuss the origin, structure and stability of these defect arrays as a function of the geometry and topology of the surface, the nature of the long range order itself and the number of ordering units. In addition certain types of order prefer some rather unusual shapes.

Host: Jeff Urbach