# Regensburg 2016 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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# PV: Plenarvorträge

## PV XIII

### PV XIII: Preisträgervortrag

### Mittwoch, 9. März 2016, 13:15–13:45, H15

**Spontaneous symmetry breaking out of equilibrium: Kibble-Zurek mechanism in colloidal monolayers** — •Peter Keim^{1,2}, Sven Deutschländer^{1}, Georg Maret^{1}, and Patrick Dillmann^{1} — ^{1}University of Konstanz, Germany — ^{2}Laureate of the Gustav-Hertz-Prize

The Kibble-Zurek mechanism (KZM) describes the evolution of defects and domains when a system is forced through a phase transition with spontaneously broken symmetry. It is used to describe transitions on such different scales like the Higgs field in the early universe shortly after the Big Bang [1] or condensed matter systems like quenched quantum fluids [2]. Cooling at a finite rate, a domain structure naturally arises for a system with continuous phase transition. Due to critical slowing down, the system has to fall out of equilibrium in the vicinity of the transition for any non-zero cooling rate; at this so called fall out time, a fingerprint of critical fluctuations is taken. Within this picture, we investigate the non-equilibrium dynamics in a soft-matter analogue, a two-dimensional ensemble of colloidal particles which in equilibrium obeys the Kosterlitz-Thouless-Halperin-Nelson-Young melting scenario (KTHNY-theory). We show that the frozen-out length scale follows the prediction as function of the quench rate, if Kibble-Zurek mechanism is adopted to the KTHNY universality [3].

[1] T. Kibble, J. Phys. Math. Gen. **9** 1387 (1976)
[2] W. Zurek, Nature **317** 505 (1985)
[3] S. Deutschländer, P. Dillmann, G. Maret, P. Keim, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. **112** 6925 (2015)