The Quantum-Classical Metal

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Science  27 Mar 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5359, pp. 2071-2076
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5359.2071

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In a normal Fermi liquid, Landau's theory precludes the loss of single-fermion quantum coherence in the low-energy, low-temperature limit. For highly anisotropic, strongly correlated metals, there is no proof that this remains the case, and quantum coherence for transport in some directions may be lost intrinsically. This loss of coherence should stabilize an unusual, qualitatively anisotropic non-Fermi liquid, separated by a zero-temperature quantum phase transition from the Fermi liquid state and categorized by the unobservability of certain interference effects. There is compelling experimental evidence for this transition as a function of magnetic field in the metallic phase of the organic conductor (TMTSF)2PF6 (where TMTSF is tetramethyltetraselenafulvalene).

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