Research Article

String Theory, Quantum Phase Transitions, and the Emergent Fermi Liquid

Science  24 Jul 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5939, pp. 439-444
DOI: 10.1126/science.1174962

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text
As a service to the community, AAAS/Science has made this article free with registration.


A central problem in quantum condensed matter physics is the critical theory governing the zero-temperature quantum phase transition between strongly renormalized Fermi liquids as found in heavy fermion intermetallics and possibly in high–critical temperature superconductors. We found that the mathematics of string theory is capable of describing such fermionic quantum critical states. Using the anti–de Sitter/conformal field theory correspondence to relate fermionic quantum critical fields to a gravitational problem, we computed the spectral functions of fermions in the field theory. By increasing the fermion density away from the relativistic quantum critical point, a state emerges with all the features of the Fermi liquid.

View Full Text