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The Wien Effect in Electric and Magnetic Coulomb systems - from Electrolytes to Spin Ice

Abstract : A Coulomb gas or fluid comprises charged particles that interact via the Coulomb interaction. Examples of a Coulombic systems include simple and complex electrolytes together with magnetic monopoles in spin ice. The long-range nature of the Coulomb interaction leads to a rich array of phenomena.This thesis is devoted to the study of the non-equilibrium behaviour of lattice based Coulomb gases and of the quasi-particle excitations in the materials known as spin ice which constitute a Coulomb gas of magnetic charges. At the centre of this study lies the second Wien effect which describes the linear increase in conductivity when an electric field is applied to a weak electrolyte. The conductivity increases due to the generation of additional mobile charges via a field-enhanced dissociation from Coulombically bound pairs.The seminal theory of Onsager gave a detailed analysis of the Wien effect. We use numerical simulations not only to confirm its validity in a lattice Coulomb gas for the first time but mainly to study its extensions due to the role of the ionic atmosphere and field-dependent mobility. The simulations also allow us to observe the microscopic correlations underlying the Wien effect.Finally, we look more closely at the emergent gas of monopoles in spin ice—the magnetolyte. The magnetic behaviour of spin ice reflects the properties of the Coulomb gas contained within. We verify the presence of the Wien effect in model spin ice and in the process predict the non-linear response when exposed to a periodic driving field, or to a field quench using Wien effect theory. We use a straightforward extension of the lattice Coulomb gas simulations to refine our predictions. It is a highly unusual result to find an analytic theory for the non-equilibrium behaviour of a highly frustrated system beyond linear response.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01138460, version 1

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Vojtech Kaiser. The Wien Effect in Electric and Magnetic Coulomb systems - from Electrolytes to Spin Ice. Other [cond-mat.other]. Ecole normale supérieure de lyon - ENS LYON, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014ENSL0942⟩. ⟨tel-01138460⟩

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