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In this dissertation, we investigate the edge spin excitations and reconstructions of quantum Hall (QH) liquids. Edge spin reconstructions reflect the interplay of confining potential, electron-electron interaction, and Zeeman splitting at the edges of QH liquids. The main method used in this dissertation is the exact diagonalization calculation for finite size systems. The QH liquids studied in this dissertation are classified into three kinds, based on their topological properties and statistics of quasiparticles (quasiholes). The first kind of QH liquids is spin-polarized QH liquids. The QH liquids with filling factors ν = 1 and 1/3 are studied in this kind. We find the low-energy excitations of the ν = 1 and 1/3 are bosonic edge spin waves. Instabilities of these ferromagnetic state with altering confinement strength result from the softening of these spin waves and formation of edge spin textures. A microscopic trial wave function is used to study the edge instabilities of larger systems with particle number up to 40, and the obtained results are consistent to the ones calculated by exact diagonalization. The second kind of QH liquids is spin-unpolarized QH liquids. The liquids with ν = 2, 2/5 and 2/3 are studied in this kind. When ν = 2, exact diagonalization on edge electron systems indicates that compact Hartree-Fock states with different total spin always become ground states in some regions of parameter space, and the ground states appearing between two compact states are their edge spin waves. The initial ν = 2 instability is toward the compact state with total spin 1. At ν = 2/5, the edge instabilities is also triggered by softening of the edge spin waves with smoother confinement. The situation of ν = 2/3 unpolarized QH liquids is a little different, because it has one backward-moving edge spin wave mode and one forward-moving magnetoplasmon mode. There is no mystery about what kind of instability would occur with stronger or smoother confinement. The exact diagonalization calculation of finite systems can reproduce the instability induced by edge spin wave at the stronger confinement side and gives an estimate about the critical value of confining potential. But instability due to edge magnetoplasmon mode can not be realized in small size systems because of the high velocity of this mode. The last kind is the non-Abelian QH liquid (at ν = 5/2). Its edge instability triggered by softening of edge magnetoplasmon excitations with smoother confinement. Three different confinements are compared in the study of integer QH liquids in finite size systems. And some quantitative predictions on the edge instabilities for a certain type of confining potential are reached in the thermodynamic limit. The effect of Zeeman splitting to the edge instabilities is also considered in this dissertation.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Physics in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Kun Yang, Professor Directing Dissertation; Ettore Aldrovandi, University Representative; Jorge Piekarewicz, Committee Member; Lloyd W. Engel, Committee Member; Nicholas E. Bonesteel, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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