Morse Theory and van Hove Singularities

Statistical Physics and Complexity Group meeting

Morse Theory and van Hove Singularities

  • Event time: 11:30am
  • Event date: 4th December 2013
  • Speaker: Chay Paterson (Formerly School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

The local behaviour of a certain class of differentiable functions obeys strong constraints due to the global topology of their domain, with several important implications for dispersion relations in solid-state physics, for which periodic boundary conditions require reciprocal space to have a nontrivial global topology. This talk should provide a physically intuitive overview of Morse Theory, the mathematics underlying the surprising connection of global topology to local behaviour, and the striking experimental predictions of van Hove singularities, a phenomenon in crystallographic optical absorption spectra.

The content will be less biophysical/soft matter than usual and more oriented towards analytic solid state theory, and also may also be interesting to particle theorists.