Half moons are pinch points with dispersion

Han Yan, Rico Pohle, Nic Shannon

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"Pinch points," singular features observed in (quasi-)elastic neutron scattering, are a widely discussed hallmark of spin liquids with an emergent gauge symmetry. Much less attention has been paid to "half moons," distinctive crescent patterns at finite energy, which have been observed in experiments on a number of pyrochlore magnets, and in a wide range of model calculations. Here we unify these two phenomena within a single framework, paying particular attention to the case of ordered, or field-saturated states, where pinch points and half moons can be found in bands of excitations above a gap. We find that half moons are nothing other than pinch points inscribed on a dispersing band. Molecular dynamics simulations of the kagome lattice antiferromagnet are used to explore how these bands evolve into the ground state and excitations of a classical spin liquid. We explicitly demonstrate that this theory can reproduce the pinch points and half moons observed in Nd2Zr2O7.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUnknown Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 22
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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