Congratulations to Alan denBleyker for successfully defending his PhD dissertation on "Study of Phase Transitions in Spin and Gauge Models Using Fisher’s Zeros."

"Alan has studied the critical behavior of spin and gauge models by monitoring the zeros of the partition function in the complex coupling plane as the volume of the system increases. His work will help to figure out if specific lattice gauge theory models with enough quark-like particles can be used to define a continuum limit that differs from the usual quantum chromodynamics (where the quarks are confined and their strong interactions produce the so-called chiral condensation). Such models could be used to describe an alternative Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism. Starting with simpler examples for which independent checks can be done, he developed new methods to reconstruct the density of states and locate the zeros of the partition function. He then applied them for SU(2) gauge theories in 4 dimensions with various actions and identified the change of critical behavior at the end of lines of first order transition. Higher statistics studies using his methods will allow us to determine if a such model can be used to describe a weakly interacting scalar particle."

— Yannick Meurice, PhD advisor

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