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TYC/CMTH Seminar: What Crystals can tell us about the Origins of the Universe

Wednesday 6th June 2018
Time: 11am
Venue: 1004 Blackett Building
Contact: Ms Hafiza Bibi
Tel: 02075947252
  • Dr Sinead Griffin

    University of California, Berkerley

    Abstract: Jumping from studying galactic scales to the nanoscale crystals in the laboratory might seem a gargantuan task. Common to both, however, is the concept of symmetry breaking and in particular the formation of topological defects. In the first part of my talk, I will discuss the formation of topological defects in multiferroic hexagonal manganites whose ferroelectric behavior enables the direct imaging of these defects. I also show how this material can be used to study the Kibble-Zurek model of topological defect formation in the early universe and give quantitative insights on the number of domains. In the second part, I will describe the first-principles design of a candidate material – a Dirac semimetal – for dark matter detection, given a specific set of material criteria.

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