Thermal quenches in spin ice

C. Castelnovo, R. Moessner, Shivaji Lal Sondhi

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69 Scopus citations


We study the diffusion-annihilation process which occurs when spin ice is quenched from a high temperature paramagnetic phase deep into the spin-ice regime, where the excitations-magnetic monopoles-are sparse. We find that due to the Coulomb interaction between the monopoles, a dynamical arrest occurs, in which nonuniversal lattice-scale constraints impede the complete decay of charge fluctuations. This phenomenon is outside the reach of conventional mean-field theory for a two-component Coulomb liquid. We identify the relevant time scales for the dynamical arrest and propose an experiment for detecting monopoles and their dynamics in spin ice based on this nonequilibrium phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107201
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 12 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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