Graphene to gravity

Friday Quantum Seminar

Alireza Parhizkar (JQI and CMTC)
Friday, February 9, 2024 - 12:00pm
ATL 2324

Twisted bilayer graphene is a rich condensed matter system, which allows one to tune energy scales and electronic correlations. The low-energy physics of the resulting moiré structure can be mathematically described in terms of a diffeomorphism in a continuum formulation. Twisting is just one example of moiré diffeomorphisms. Another particularly simple and experimentally relevant transformation is a homogeneous isomorphic strain of one of the layers, which gives rise to a nearly identical moiré pattern (rotated by 90∘) relative to the twisted structure) and potentially flat bands. The low-energy physics of the strained bilayer graphene takes the form of a theory of fermions tunneling between two curved space-times. Conformal transformation of the metrics results in emergent “moiré energy scales,” which can be tuned to be much lower than those in the native theory. This observation generalizes to an arbitrary space-time dimension with or without an underlying lattice or periodicity and suggests a family of toy models of “moiré gravity” with low emergent energy scales. Motivated by these analogies, we present an explicit toy construction of moiré gravity, where the effective cosmological constant can be made arbitrarily small. We speculate about possible relevance of this scenario to the fundamental vacuum catastrophe in cosmology.

Pizza and drinks will be served after the seminar in ATL 2117.