[PAST EVENT] Physics Colloquium

May 1, 2015
4pm - 5pm
Small Hall, Room 110
300 Ukrop Way
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
The influence of disorder on interacting many-body systems plays a prominent role in modern condensed matter physics. Not only is the presence of disorder often unavoidable in the complex materials used in experiment, disorder leads to fascinating phenomena in their own right. Generally speaking, disorder tends to slow down the motion of particles and even very weak disorder may be sufficient to completely localize them. The addition of interactions to the problem leads to a plethora of new phenomena. In this talk, I will discuss selected examples that illustrate the rich physics of interacting disordered systems at low temperatures: In experiment, one often observes that disordered films on the verge of becoming superconducting develop a pronounced resistance maximum. I will explain our theoretical understanding of this surprising effect. Next, I intend to discuss the expansion of a cloud of bosons subjected to a disorder potential. Despite the obvious difference between these systems, an efficient theoretical approach can in both cases be based on the analysis of effective diffusion equations. This description allows to clearly identify the physical mechanisms that are relevant at low temperatures. If time allows, I will also compare charge and heat transport in the disordered electron liquid using a similar language.