Abstract:
The spin-orbital model for triply degenerate t_2g electrons on a triangular lattice has been shown to be dominated by dimers: the phase diagram contains both strongly resonating, compound spin-orbital dimer states and quasi-static, spin-singlet valence-bond (VB) states. To elucidate the nature of the true ground state in these different regimes, the model is mapped to a number of quantum dimer models (QDMs), each of which has three dimer colors. The generic multicolored QDM, illustrated for the two- and three-color cases, possesses a topological color structure, "color vison" excitations, and broad regions of resonating VB phases. The specific models are analyzed to gain further insight into the likely ground states in the superexchange and direct-exchange limits of the electronic Hamiltonian, and suggest a strong tendency towards VB order in all cases.

Abstract:
Motivated by recent experiments on low-dimensional quantum magnets in applied magnetic fields, we present a theoretical analysis of their properties based on the nonlinear sigma model. The spin stiffness and a 1/N expansion are used to map the regimes of spin-gap behavior, predominantly linear magnetization, and spin saturation. A two-parameter renormalization-group study gives the characteristic properties over the entire parameter range. The model is relevant to many systems exhibiting Haldane physics, and is applied here to the two-chain spin ladder compound CuHpCl.

Abstract:
The one-band Hubbard model on the pyrochlore lattice contains an extended quantum spin-liquid phase formed from the manifold of singlet dimer coverings. We demonstrate that the massive and deconfined spinon excitations of this system have fermionic statistics. Holonic quasiparticles introduced by doping are also fermions and we explain the origin of this counterintuitive result.

Abstract:
We show that doping a Majumdar--Ghosh chain with non-magnetic impurities does {\it not} produce almost free spins 1/2. The difference between this system and other spin liquids, such as unfrustrated spin ladders, is illustrated in the context of the general dimerized, frustrated spin chain. By detailed analysis of the excitation spectra of finite chains with two impurities, we investigate the evolution of the screening affecting impurity-induced free spins, and of the sign and magnitude of their effective interactions. We comment on a possible connection to impurity-doping experiments in CuGeO_3.

Abstract:
We demonstrate that the insulating one-band Hubbard model on the pyrochlore lattice contains, for realistic parameters, an extended quantum spin-liquid phase. This is a three-dimensional spin liquid formed from a highly degenerate manifold of dimer-based states, which is a subset of the classical dimer coverings obeying the ice rules. It possesses spinon excitations, which are both massive and deconfined, and on doping it exhibits spin-charge separation. We discuss the realization of this state in effective S = 1/2 pyrochlore materials with and without spin-orbit coupling.

Abstract:
The recently-discovered ``ladder'' compound LaCuO$_{2.5}$ has been found to admit hole doping without altering its structure of coupled copper oxide ladders. While susceptibility measurements on the parent compound suggest a spin gap and a spin-liquid state, NMR results indicate magnetic order at low temperatures. These seemingly contradictory results may be reconciled if in fact the magnetic state is near the crossover from spin liquid to antiferromagnet, and we investigate this possibility. From a tight-binding fit to the valence LDA bandstructure, we deduce that the strength of the interladder hopping term is approximately half that of intraladder hopping, showing that the material is three-dimensional in character. A mean-field treatment of the insulating magnetic state gives a spin-liquid phase whose spin gap decreases with increasing interladder coupling, vanishing (signalling a transition to the ordered phase) at a value somewhat below that obtained for LaCuO$_{2.5}$. The introduction of an on-site repulsion term, $U$, to the band scheme causes a transition to an antiferromagnetic insulator for rather small but finite values of $U$, reflecting the predominance of (one-dimensional) ladder behavior, and an absence of any special nesting features.

Abstract:
For a system of two-chain spin ladders, the ground state for weak interladder coupling is the spin-liquid state of the isolated ladder, but is an ordered antiferromagnet (AF) for sufficiently large interactions. We generalize the bond-operator mean-field theory to describe both regimes, and to focus on the transition between them. In the AF phase near the quantum critical point (QCP) we find both spin waves and a low-lying but massive amplitude mode which is absent in a conventional AF. The static susceptibility has the form $\chi(T) = \chi_0 + a T^2$, with $\chi_0$ small for a system near criticality. We consider the dynamical properties to examine novel features due to the presence of the amplitude mode, and compute the dynamic structure factor. LaCuO$_{2.5}$ is thought to be such an unconventional AF, whose ordered phase is located very close to the QCP of the transition to the spin liquid. From the N\'eel temperature we deduce the interladder coupling, the small ordered moment and the gap in the amplitude mode. The dynamical properties unique to near-critical AFs are expected to be observable in LaCuO$_{2.5}$.

Abstract:
Neutron-scattering experiments on (VO)_2P_2O_7 reveal both a gapped magnon dispersion and an unexpected, low-lying second mode. The proximity and intensity of these modes suggest a frustrated coupling between the alternating spin chains. We deduce the minimal model containing such a frustration, and show that it gives an excellent account of the magnon dispersion, static susceptibility and electron spin resonance absorption. We consider two-magnon states which bind due to frustration, and demonstrate that these may provide a consistent explanation for the second mode.

Abstract:
We consider the consequences for circulating-current states of a cyclic, four-spin, ``ring-exchange'' interaction of the type shown recently to be significant in cuprate systems. The real-space Hartree-Fock approach is used to establish the existence of charge-current and spin-current phases in a generalized Hubbard model for the CuO_2 planes in cuprates. We compare the results of the Hartree-Fock approximation with the correlated states renormalized by Gutzwiller projection factors which allows us to gauge the qualitative effects of projection to no double site occupancy. We find that charge flux states may be competitive in cuprates, whereas spin flux states are suppressed in the strongly correlated regime. We then include the ring-exchange interaction and demonstrate its effect on current-carrying states both at and away from half-filling.

Abstract:
Detailed experiments on single-crystal (VO)_2P_2O_7 continue to reveal new and unexpected features. We show that a model composed of two, independent planes of spin chains with frustrated magnetic coupling is consistent with nuclear magnetic resonance and inelastic neutron scattering measurements. The pivotal role of PO_4 groups in mediating intrachain exchange interactions explains both the presence of two chain types and their extreme sensitivity to certain lattice vibrations, which results in the strong magnetoelastic coupling observed by light scattering. We compute the respective modifications of the spin and phonon dynamics due to this coupling, and illustrate their observable consequences on the phonon frequencies, magnon dispersions, static susceptibility and specific heat.