Quantum Criticality in a Clean Metal

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Science  12 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5541, pp. 315-316
DOI: 10.1126/science.1065115

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Classical phase transitions, which are driven by thermal vibrations, follow the concept of "universality": No matter how complex the system, its behavior near the phase transition should be largely governed by its spatial dimensionality. Quantum phase transitions are much more difficult to study. In their Perspective, Aeppli and Soh highlight the report by Grigera et al., who have succeeded in characterizing the quantum phase behavior of an unusually clean metal system. This and other studies are indicating that quantum phase transitions also follow a universal behavior.