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The universal behavior of a disordered system

Refael, Gil (2009) The universal behavior of a disordered system. Physics, 2 (1). pp. 1-3. ISSN 1943-2879. doi:10.1103/Physics.2.1.

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The Landau theory of phase transitions and the concept of symmetry breaking provide a unifying description of even such seemingly different many-body systems as a paramagnet cooled to the verge of ferromagnetic order or a metal approaching the superconducting transition. What happens, however, when these systems can lose energy to their environment? For example, in rare-earth compounds called “heavy-fermion” materials, the f-shell magnetic moments interact with a sea of mobile electrons [1]. Similarly, near the metalsuperconductor transition in ultrathin wires, the electrons pair up in a connected network of small, superconducting puddles that are surrounded by a bath of unpaired metallic electrons [2]. The surrounding metal gives rise to a parallel resistive channel and hence dissipation. Introducing dissipation into a many-body quantum mechanical problem presented a theoretical challenge that was only resolved in the last quarter of the 20th century [3–5].

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Additional Information:© 2009 American Physical Society. A Viewpoint on: Infinite-randomness quantum critical points induced by dissipation Thomas Vojta, Chetan Kotabage and José A. Hoyos Phys. Rev. B 79, 024401 (2009) – Published January 5, 2009.
Subject Keywords:quantum mechanics
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090407-100632110
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13866
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Jul 2009 23:36
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:41

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