Skip to main content

Physics Colloquium - "Solving the Mott Problem" Presented by Professor Philip Phillips, UIUC



Lewis Lab 316

Superconductivity in the copper-oxide ceramics remains a grand challenge in theoretical physics because of the paucity of tools to treat strongly coupled systems.  In such systems, all intuition based on single-particle physics fails.  Precisely what the propagating degrees of freedom are is the problem.  In the context of the cuprates, the failure of the single-particle paradigm appears in the form of the Mott problem.  I will introduce this problem and show that a resolution lies in a rather unexpected mapping.  The mapping relies on a hidden symmetry in Fermi liquids which helps anchor a new fixed point that encompasses Mottness.  I will also show how differently superconductivity emerges at this fixed point.

Professor Philip Phillips received his bachelor's degree from Walla Walla College in 1979, and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1982. After a Miller Fellowship at Berkeley, he joined the faculty at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1984-1993). Professor Phillips came to the University of Illinois in 1993.Professor Phillips is a theoretical condensed matter physicist who has an international reputation for his work on transport in disordered and strongly correlated low-dimensional systems. He is the inventor of various models for Bose metals, Mottness, and the random dimer model, which exhibits extended states in one dimension, thereby representing an exception to the localization theorem of Anderson's.