The quest for quantum spin liquids is an important enterprise in strongly correlated physics, yet candidate materials are still few and far between. Meanwhile, the classical front has had far more success, epitomized by the exceptional agreement between theory and experiment for a class of materials called spin ices. It is therefore natural to introduce quantum fluctuations into this well-established classical spin liquid model, in the hopes of obtaining a fully quantum spin liquid state.
The spin-flip excitations in spin ice fractionalize into pairs of effective magnetic monopoles of opposite charge. Quantum fluctuations have a parametrically larger effect on monopole motion than on the spin ice ground states so the leading manifestations of quantum behavior appear when monopoles are present. We study magnetic monopoles in quantum spin ice, whose dynamics is induced by a transverse field term. For this model, we find a family of extensively degenerate excited states, that make up an approximately flat band at the classical energy of the nearest neighbor monopole pair. These so-called mesonic states are exact up to the splitting of the spin ice ground state manifold. In my talk I will discuss their construction and properties that may be relevant in neutron scattering experiments on quantum spin ice candidates.