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Elastoresistance measurements as a probe of broken symmetries in solids

Jiun-Haw Chu, Stanford University
Monday, January 12, 2015 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
PAA A-102

In condensed matter
physics there is a long history of the study of structural phase transitions.
They were the prime examples used by Landau to develop his theory of phase
transitions. In recent years, it has been realized that ferroelastic
instabilities can be driven by an ordering of correlated electrons that are also
responsible for electrical conduction and/or superconductivity. In this talk I will outline a new technique based on elastoresistance measurements, which directly
measures the fluctuations of this underlying electronic order. In particular, I
will show measurements that reveal the prevalence of electronic nematic
fluctuations in a family of high temperature superconductors. These results
suggest that there is a quantum phase transition near the composition with
optimal superconducting transition temperature.

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