Spin-Charge Separation in Luttinger Liquids

Andy Schofield

Even though in isolation the electron is thought to be a fundamental and individisble particle, remarkably there are a growing number of examples where the electron appears to "fall-apart" (or fractionalize) in correlated quantum systems. This occurs in the fractional quantum Hall effect and in one-dimensional metal wires where a new state of matter exists: a Tomonaga-Luttinger liquid. It is an example of a non-Fermi liquid.

The phenomena of spin-charge separation has been known theoretically for many years, but recently it has become possible to observe this in nature. In 1999 we proposed a challenging experiment which has finally be performed by our experimental collaborators in Cambridge. It unambigiously shows the separate particles (known as "spinons" and "holons") which characterize the Luttinger liquid.

This work was featured on the BBC News:"Electrons do the splits".

For examples of our work on spin-charge separation, see

  • [DOI] [arXiv] Probing Spin-Charge Separation in a Tomonaga-Luttinger Liquid

    Y Jompol, CJB Ford, JP Griffiths, I Farrer, GAC Jones, D Anderson, DA Ritchie, TW Silk, AJ Schofield

    Science 325, 597-601 (2009)

  • [DOI] [arXiv] Momentum-resolved tunneling between a Luttinger liquid and a two-dimensional electron gas

    SA Grigera, AJ Schofield, S Rabello, Q Si

    Physical Review B 69, 245109 (2004)

  • [DOI] [arXiv] Magnetotunneling as a probe of Luttinger-liquid behavior

    A Altland, C Barnes, F Hekking, AJ Schofield

    Physical review letters 83, 1203-1206 (1999)

We offer PhDs in these areas and more.