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Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques

Field Theory

PART I. Introduction & Overview of Modern Condensed Matter Physics

Condensed matter physics is a branch of physics that investigates the physical phenomena associated
with the many-body interaction of materials in their “condensed” (i.e. liquid and solid) states. The objective
of this course is to apply quantum field theory to various modern topics of condensed matter physics.
Typically most condensed matter physics topics may be described in terms of non-relativistic quantum field
theory. However, for topics involving gauge theory (e.g. spin liquids, high-temperature superconductivity)
and topological field theory (e.g. fractional quantum-Hall states), knowledge of relativistic quantum field
theory becomes necessary. In the interest of time, we shall first focus on non-relativistic descriptions of the
many-body interactions in fermions and bosons, although the basics of relativistic quantum field theory will
be briefly reviewed before taking the relativistic quantum field theory to the non-relativistic limit. The
necessary relativistic quantum field concepts for gauge theory, fractional statistics and topological field
theory will be covered in the context of high-temperature superconductivity and fractional quantum Hall
states later in this course.

Throughout this course we shall mostly use natural units in which the Dirac symbol (which is the
Planck constant h divided by 2π) and the speed of light c are both set to 1, although at times we’ll restore
them for quantitative comparison with experiments. Thus, in natural units both time and space are treated on
the same footing, and mass is inversely proportional to length.

I.1. Overview of Modern Condensed Matter Physics

The scope of condensed matter physics has evolved and expanded significantly in recently years,
from traditional “solid state physics” that largely focuses on effective single-particle pictures in solids and
Landau symmetry-breaking theory of phase transitions, to a new arena encompassing a broad range of topics
from highly interdisciplinary research such as nano- and biophysical sciences, optical lattices and Bose-
Einstein condensation in laser-cooled atoms, quantum computation, to fundamental subjects such as gauge
theory, quantum orders and quantum phase transitions, strongly correlated electronic systems, fractional
statistics, spin liquids, topological field theory, string-net condensate for unification of fermions and bosons,
etc. In the development of modern condensed matter physics, quantum field theory (QFT) and group theory
have played essential roles in the description of many-body interactions, symmetries and symmetry-breaking.
Therefore, QFT complemented by group theory becomes the language of choice in the discussion of modern
condensed matter physics. For a recent overview of aspects of modern condensed matter physics, you may
refer to the article “A perspective on frontiers of modern condensed matter physics”, N.-C. Yeh, Bulletin of
Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS), Vol. 18, No. 2, pg. 11--29 (2008); also available at
the URL http://www.cospa.ntu.edu.tw/aappsbulletin/data/18-2/11_aperspective.pdf.

Generally speaking, QFT is a confluence of quantum mechanics and special relativity, and it builds
on important concepts of group theory and symmetries so that it can deal with any space-time dimensions,
matter-energy interactions (including three out of four of the known fundamental forces in the universe:
strong, electromagnetic and weak interactions) for both fermionic and bosonic fields, as well as topological
order and fractional statistics. Specifically, most condensed matter physics topics can be described by non-
relativistic quantum field theory. Interestingly, however, connections of condensed matter physics to
relativistic quantum field theory can be found in various aspects of topological orders and objects, and also in
certain aspects of strongly correlated electronic systems, such as in fractional quantum Hall states and high-
temperature superconductivity.

Nai-Chang Yeh I-1 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

There are typically a variety of approaches taken for dealing with QFT. The most common
approaches include the canonical quantization formalism and the path integral formalism. Both approaches
evoke the use of Feynman diagrams and are convenient for different purposes. In this course we shall adapt
both approaches depending on the circumstances.

The foundation of conventional condensed matter physics may be regarded as building on two
conceptual cornerstones: the Fermi liquid theory, and the Landau symmetry-breaking theory of phase
transitions. The Fermi liquid theory treats properties of electronic states in solids as perturbations of a ground
state consisting of filling the single-particle energy levels. The Landau theory for phase transitions of matter
classifies different phases of matter by their symmetries, so that phase transitions are associated with changes
in the symmetry of the state of matter. However, these cornerstones can no longer hold grounds when facing
the challenge of emerging phenomena in various modern topics of condensed matter physics. For instance,
some of the strongly correlated electronic systems, such as high temperature superconductors, quantum Hall
phenomena in two-dimensional electron gas, and “Luttinger liquid” in one-dimensional conducting systems,
all involve properties beyond the perturbative descriptions of conventional Fermi-liquid theory, and certain
aspects of the strong correlation in these systems actually resemble phenomena encountered in high-energy
physics. Similarly, conventional notions of broken symmetry associated with phase transitions are no longer
applicable to the depiction of systems involving topological orders and their phase transitions. Well known
examples include the fractional quantum Hall (FQH) systems and spin liquids, where transitions among
different topological orders can occur without changing the corresponding symmetries. Hence, new
foundations must be established to describe these emerging areas of condensed matter physics. This course is
intended to first familiarize students with the conceptual foundation and basic language of conventional
condensed matter physics, and then proceed to the introduction of a small set of representative new
developments in modern condensed matter physics.

The course is structured as follows. Part I gives an overview of modern condensed matter physics
and a quick review of the second quantization techniques, quantum dynamics, pictures of quantum dynamics
and time-dependent perturbation theory, and the basic notions of low-energy excitations in solids. In Part II
non-relativistic quantum field theory for many-body systems using the Green function techniques and
Feynman diagrams is introduced. Part III discusses two important approximations, the Hartree-Fock and the
random phase approximations, that are widely used to account for electron-electron interactions in solids. In
Part IV linear response theory for many-body systems responding to external fields is developed, and the
corresponding response functions known as the Kobu formalism is introduced. An important many-body
interaction between electrons and the background phonons are discussed in Part V. Part VI describes the
phenomenology, microscopic foundation and applications of the Fermi liquid theory. Part VII deals with a
special case of Fermi liquid theory for non-perturbative strong interactions of magnetic impurities with the
spins of conducting electrons, known as the Kondo effect. Part VIII discusses the limitation of Fermi liquid
theory and introduces a representative example for the breakdown of Fermi liquid theory, the Luttinger
liquids in one dimension. In Part IX we consider interacting bosons at zero and finite temperatures and
superfluidity. Part X provides an overview of modern developments in atomic molecular physics that enables
cold gases for the manifestation of many interesting condensed matter phenomena, including the Bose-
Einstein condensation (BEC) and optical lattices. Superconductivity, a special state of matter involving a
bosonic ground state and fermionic low-energy excitations, is studied in Part XI for the case of conventional
and heavy Fermion superconductors. Time permitting, Part XII will cover the concepts and applications of
superconducting devices based on Josephson junctions. Finally, Part XIII describes recent developments in
high-temperature superconductivity, including phenomenology and various attempts at establishing the
microscopic theory. The newly discovered superconductivity in iron pnictides and related compounds will
also be briefly discussed.

Nai-Chang Yeh I-2 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

I.2. Review of the Second Quantization Techniques

Second quantization is a useful tool for dealing with many-body phenomena in condensed matter
physics. The method was developed by P. A. M. Dirac in 1927 for photons in radiation theory, and later on
extended to fermions by E. Wigner and P. Jordon in 1928.

The key concept of 2nd quantization technique is to describe a system of particles in the “occupation
number” space, in contrast to the description of particles in terms of ordinary coordinate wave functions Ψ as
in the first quantization language. Specifically, the distinction between the languages of 1st and 2nd
quantization is summarized as follows:

1st quantization description: Ψ ( r1 , r2 , … rN ) in terms of the coordinates r1 , r2 , … rN of the particles;


2nd quantization description: Hilbert space ( n1 , n2 , … n∞ ) in terms of the occupation numbers n1, n2
… n∞ for the states of the particles;
Here a Hilbert space is referred to as an infinite-dimensional linear space consisting of linearly independent
orthonormal functions ϕn(x), such that any well-behaved function F(x) can be approximated by

F ( x ) = ∑ anϕ n ( x ) , where am = ∫ dx F ( x ) ϕm∗ ( x ) ρ ( x ) , (I.1)
n =0

and ρ(x) is the density function.

To convert 1st quantization expressions to 2nd quantization, let’s consider the following Hamiltonian
for N-interacting particles:
1 N
∑ V ( ri , r j ) ,
N
H = ∑ T ( ri , ri ) + (I.2)
i =1 2 i , j ≠i

where T and V denote the kinetic and potential energies, respectively. The time-dependent many-body wave
function Ψ ( r1 , r2 , … rN , t ) satisfies the Schrödinger equation:


i Ψ ( r1 , r2 , … rN , t ) = H Ψ ( r1 , r2 , … rN , t ) , (I.3)
∂t
and
Ψ ( r1 , r2 , … rN , t ) = ∑ c (k , … k , t )ϕ (r ) … ϕ (r ) ,
1 N k1 1 kN N (I.4)
{k1 kN }

where ϕk ( ri ) (i = 1, 2, … N) denote the single-particle wave function, k i represent the quantum numbers
i

(which need not be the wave vector unless specified), and c ( k 1 , … k N , t ) are coefficients satisfying the
following permutation conditions:

c ( k 1 , … , k i , … k j , … k N , t ) = −c ( k 1 , … , k j , … k i , … k N , t ) for fermions, (I.5)


c ( k1 , … , k i , … k j , … k N , t ) = c ( k1 , … , k j , … k i , … k N , t ) for bosons. (I.6)

In the case of fermions, we must keep track of the sign change. We may define occupation numbers and
write a Slater determinant as follows:

Nai-Chang Yeh I-3 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

c ( k1 , … k N , t ) ϕk1 ( r1 ) … ϕk N ( rN ) + ⎡⎣ all permutations with the set ( k 1 , … k N ) ⎤⎦

ϕk ( r1 ) … ϕk ( rN )
1 1

≡ f ( n1 , … n∞ , t ) . (I.7)
ϕk ( r1 ) … ϕk ( rN )
N N

Hence, we find that


ϕk ( r1 ) … ϕk ( rN )
1 1
1
Ψ ( r1 , r2 , … rN , t ) = ∑ f ( n1 , … n∞ , t )
N!
. (I.8)
{n1 , … n∞ }
ϕk ( r1 ) … ϕk ( rN )
N N

For comparison, the wave function for bosons is given by

Ψ ( r1 , r2 , … rN , t ) = ∑ c (k , … k , t )ϕ (r ) … ϕ (r ) ,
1 N k1 1 kN N
{k1 … k N }
≡ ∑ f ( n1 , … n∞ , t ) Φ n1 ,…n∞ ( r1 , … , rN ) ,
{n1 ,…n∞ }

⎡⎛ N ! N !… ⎞1/ 2 ⎤
≡ ∑ f ( n1 , … n∞ , t ) ⎢⎜ 1 2
N!
⎟ ∑ ϕk1 ( r1 ) … ϕk N ( rN ) ⎥ (I.9)
{n1 ,…n∞ } ⎢⎣⎝ ⎠ {k1 k N } ⎥⎦

where N = ∑ i N i and Ni denotes the number of particles in state ki.

Next, we define a Hilbert space spanned by the basis vectors n1 , n2 , … n∞ and also define the
creation and annihilation operators ai† and ai that satisfy the anti-commutation relations for fermions:

{a , a } ≡ a a + a a = δ

i j

i j

j i ij ,

{a , a } = {a , a } = 0 .
i j

i

j (I.10)

For comparison, we note that the creation and annihilation operators bi† and bi for bosons satisfy the
following commutation relations:

⎡⎣bi , b†j ⎤⎦ ≡ bi b†j − b†j bi = δ i j ,


⎡⎣bi , b j ⎤⎦ = ⎡⎣bi† , b†j ⎤⎦ = 0 . (I.11)

Returning to the case of fermions, a basis vector n1 , n2 , … n∞ can now be written in terms of the creation
operators:
( ) (a ) … ( a∞† )
n1 † n2 n∞
n1 , n2 , … n∞ = a1† 2 0 , ( ni = 0 or 1) , (I.12)

where 0 denotes the vacuum state, so that

Nai-Chang Yeh I-4 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

ak n1 , … nk , … n∞ = 0, if nk = 0,
Σk
= ( −1) n1 , … , ( nk − 1) , … n∞ , if nk = 1, (I.13)
Σk
and ak† n1 , … nk , … n∞ = ( −1) n1 , … , ( nk + 1) , … n∞ , if nk = 0,
= 0, if nk = 1, (I.14)

with Σ k = n1 + n2 + … + nk −1 . We note that creation operator ak† is the Hermitian conjugate of the annihilation
operator ak . Equations (I.13) and (I.14) may be rewritten into the following equivalent expressions:
Σk
ak n1 , … nk , … n∞ = ( −1) nk n1 , … , ( nk − 1) , … n∞ , (I.15)
Σk
ak† n1 , … nk , … n∞ = ( −1) 1 − nk n1 , … , ( nk + 1) , … n∞ . (I.16)

From EQ. (I.15) and EQ. (I.16), we obtain

ak† ak = nk . (I.17)

For comparison, if we apply the bosonic operators to a state defined by n1 , n2 , … n∞ , we obtain

bk n1 , … nk , … n∞ = nk n1 , … , ( nk − 1) , … n∞ , (I.18)
bk† n1 , … nk , … n∞ = nk + 1 n1 , … , ( nk + 1) , … n∞ . (I.19)

In the case of bosons, there are no restrictions to the occupation number.

To express the Schrödinger equation of fermions in a second-quantization form, we first rewrite the
Slator determinant in EQ. (I.8) into the following:

1
∑ ( −1) P ⎡⎣ϕk1 ( r1 ) ϕk 2 ( r2 ) … ϕk N ( rN ) ⎦⎤
p
(I.20)
N ! P∈S N

where P denotes the operator that permutes the order of electrons, SN denotes the permutation group for N
indistinguishable objects, and p is the number of permutations. Next, we define the wave function

Ψ (t ) = ∑ f ( n1′, … , n∞′ , t ) n1′, … , n∞′ . (I.21)


{n1′ , … , n∞′ }

Inserting the expressions of EQs. (I.8), (I.20) and (I.21) into EQ. (I.3), we obtain

∂Ψ ( t ) ∂f ( n1′, … n∞′ , t ) 1
∑ ∑ ( −1) P ⎣⎡ϕk1 ( r1 ) ϕk 2 ( r2 ) … ϕk N ( rN ) ⎤⎦ ,
p
i =i
∂t {n1′ , … n∞′ } ∂t N! P
1
= H ∑ f ( n1′, … n∞′ , t ) ∑ ( −1) P ⎡⎣ϕk1 ( r1 ) ϕk 2 ( r2 ) … ϕk N ( rN )⎤⎦ .
p
(I.22)
{n1′ , … n∞′ } N! P

We may multiply both sides of EQ. (I.22) by the conjugate of a particular Slator determinant that
corresponds to a specific set of occupation numbers ( n1 , … , n∞ ) , which yields

Nai-Chang Yeh I-5 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

∂f ( n1 , … , n∞ , t ) 1
∑ f ( n1′, … n∞′ , t ) ∑ ( −1)
p + p′
i
∂t
=
N ! {n1′ , … n∞′ } P , P′
∫ dr1 … drN
× P′ ⎡⎣ϕk*1 ( r1 ) ϕk*2 ( r2 ) … ϕk* N ( rN ) ⎤⎦ H P ⎡⎣ϕk1 ( r1 ) ϕk 2 ( r2 ) … ϕk N ( rN ) ⎤⎦ , (I.23)

For simplicity, we first consider a Hamiltonian with kinetic energy only. That is, V ( ri , r j ) = 0 , and

H = ∑ T ( ri ), i = 1, 2, ,N . (I.24)
i

Since T ( ri ) is a one-particle operator, the set of occupation numbers {n1′, … , n∞′ } cannot differ from a given
set {n1 , … , n∞ } in EQ. (I.23) by more than two numbers. Thus, the right side of EQ. (I.23) can be simplified
into the following form if we assume that k < l and define k ( l ) as the kth (lth) state of which {n1 , … , n∞ }
has an occupation number nk (nl):

∑ ( −1) f ( n1 , … , nk − 1, … , nl + 1, … , n∞ , t ) ∫ dr ϕk*( r ) T ( r ) ϕl ( r )
Σ k +Σl

k ,l

≡ ∑ ( −1) f ( n1 , … , nk − 1, … , nl + 1, … , n∞ , t ) k T l .
Σ k +Σl
(I.25)
k ,l

Therefore the Schrödinger equation using EQ. (I.23) and EQ. (I.25) becomes:

∂ Ψ (t ) ∂f ( n1 , … n∞ , t )
i
∂t
= ∑ i
∂t
n1 , … n∞ ,
{n1 , … n∞ }

∑ ∑ f ( n , … , n − 1, … , n + 1, … , n , t ) k T l ( −1)
Σ k +Σl
= 1 k l ∞ n1 , … , n∞ ,
{n1 , n∞ } k ,l

= ∑ ∑ f ( n , … , n − 1, … , n + 1, … , n , t )
1 k l ∞ k T l ak† al n1 , … , nk − 1, … , nl + 1, … , n∞ ,
{n1 , … n∞ } k ,l

= ∑ k T l ak† al Ψ ( t ) . (I.26)
k ,l

We note that in EQ. (I.26) the sum over P and P′ give a factor N! that cancels the same factor in the
denominator. Consequently, from EQ. (I.26) we find that for H = ∑ i =1 T ( ri ) , its second-quantization form
N

is:
H = ∑ k T l ak† al . (I.27)
k ,l

Following similar procedures that lead to EQ. (I.27), the interaction term of the
Hamiltonian, V ( ri , r j ) , can be expressed by the second-quantization form (see Problem Set 1):

1 1

2 k , l , s ,t
kl V st ak† al† at as ≡ ∑ ⎡ ∫ dr1dr2 ϕ k*( r1 ) ϕl*( r2 ) V ( r1 , r2 ) ϕ s ( r1 ) ϕt ( r2 ) ⎤ ak† al† at as . (I.28)
2 k , l , s ,t ⎣ ⎦

Hence, the second-quantization expression for a general Hamiltonian with both the kinetic and potential
energy terms is given by:

Nai-Chang Yeh I-6 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

1
H = ∑ k T l ak† al + ∑ kl V st ak†al†at as . (I.29)
k ,l 2 k ,l , s ,t

A more general recipe to second-quantize an interaction Hamiltonian is by means of the field


operator ψ ( r ) in the Hilbert space, where the field operator is defined in terms of a complete set of single
particle states ϕ k ( r ) characterized by the quantum number k:

ψ ( r ) = ∑ ϕk ( r ) ak , (I.30)
k

and ak is a fermion operator. Using EQ. (I.30), we may obtain the second-quantization expression of an
interaction Hamiltonian by writing the following:

1
H = ∫ dr ψ †( r ) T ( r ) ψ ( r ) + dr dr′ ψ †( r )ψ †( r′ ) V ( r, r′ ) ψ ( r′ )ψ ( r ) .
2∫
(I.31)

You can easily verify that EQ. (I.31) is entirely consistent with EQ. (I.29).

[Coulomb interaction in a degenerate electron gas]

Now let’s consider applying the above formalism to an explicit example, the Coulomb interaction in
a degenerate electron gas. The Hamiltonian for N electrons of mass me and charge e is approximated by:

H e−e = ∑
N
pi2 e 2 N (
exp − μ ri − r j ),
i =1
+
2me 2

i≠ j ri − r j
(I.32)

where μ is the screening coefficient of the electron gas, ri and rj are the positions of the electrons, and pi
denotes the momentum of the i-th electron. The field operator is given by

1 ik i r
ψ (r ) = ∑ e ησ akσ , (I.33)
k ,σ Ω

where k denotes the wave vector, σ is the spin quantum number, Ω is the volume, and

⎛1⎞ ⎛0⎞
η↑ = ⎜ ⎟ , η↓ = ⎜ ⎟ , (I.34)
⎝0⎠ ⎝1⎠
are the spinors. We also note that the following condition is satisfied:

∫ dr ψ ( r )ψ ( r ) = ∑σ a σ a σ = N .
† †
k k (I.35)
k,

Using EQ. (I.31) and EQ. (I.33), the Coulomb interaction term of the Hamiltonian in EQ. (I.32) becomes:

e2 ⎧⎪ − i ( k1 i r + k 2 i r ′ ) ⎛ e
− μ r −r′
⎞ i ( k 3 i r + k 4 i r ′)
∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ ⎨∫ dr ∫ dr′ e ⎜⎜ ⎟⎟ e
2Ω 2 k1σ1 k 2σ 2 k 3σ 3 k 4σ 4 ⎩⎪ ⎝ r − r′ ⎠

Nai-Chang Yeh I-7 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

× ησ†1 ( r )ησ†2 ( r′ )ησ 4 ( r′ )ησ 3 ( r ) ak†1σ1 ak†2σ 2 ak 4σ 4 ak 3σ 3 , }


e2 ⎧⎪ − i ( k1 + k 2 − k 3 − k 4 ) i r ⎛ e
i ( k 2 − k 4 ) i ( r −r ′ ) − μ r − r ′
e ⎞ † † ⎫⎪
= ∑
2Ω 2
∑ ∑ ∑ ⎨ σ1σ 3 σ 2σ 4 ∫ ∫
k1σ1 k 2σ 2 k 3σ 3 k 4σ 4 ⎪
δ δ d r dr ′ e ⎜⎜
r − r′
⎟⎟ ak1σ1 ak 2σ 2 ak 4σ 4 ak 3σ 3 ⎬ ,
⎩ ⎝ ⎠ ⎪⎭
e2 ⎧⎪ ⎡ 4π ⎤ † † ⎫⎪
= ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑⎨ σσ σ σ δ δ Δ ( k + k − k − k ) ⎢ ⎥ ak1σ1 k 2σ 2 k 4σ 4 k 3σ 3 ⎬ ,
a a a (I.36)
( )
1 2 3 4
2Ω k1σ1 k 2σ 2 k 3σ 3 k 4σ 4 ⎪ 1 3 2 4 ⎢
⎣ 2 4 k − k
2
+ μ 2

⎦ ⎪
⎩ ⎭

where Δ ( k ) is the delta function, and we have used the identity:

3 ⎛e
i qix
⎞ −μx 4π
∫ ⎜⎝ x ⎟⎠ e = q 2 + μ 2 .
d x (I.37)

If we further define ( k 2 − k 4 ) ≡ q , σ 1 ≡ σ , σ 2 ≡ σ ′ , so that k 1 = ( k 3 − q ) ≡ k − q and k 2 = ( k 4 + q ) ≡ k ′ + q ,


EQ. (I.36) becomes

e2 ⎛ 4π ⎞ †
∑∑∑ ⎜
2Ω kσ k ′σ ′ q ⎝ q 2 + μ 2 ⎠

⎟ ak −q ,σ ak ′+q ,σ ′ ak ′,σ ′ ak ,σ , (I.38)

The second-quantization expression for the total Hamiltonian of the degenerate electron gas is therefore:

⎛ 2k 2 ⎞ † e2 ⎛ 4π ⎞ †
H = ∑⎜ ⎟ k ,σ k ,σ
a a + ∑∑∑ ⎜ 2 a† a a .
2 ⎟ k −q ,σ k ′+ q ,σ ′ k ′,σ ′ k ,σ
a (I.39)
kσ ⎝ 2 me ⎠ 2Ω kσ k ′σ ′ q ⎝ q + μ ⎠

The physical significance of the interaction Hamiltonian can be readily seen from its second-
quantization expression if we compare EQ. (I.39) with the corresponding diagrammatic depictions of the
interaction in Figure I.2.1, where we have defined V(q) ≡ 4π/(q 2 + μ 2). Specifically, the Coulomb interaction
leads to two types of processes, electron-electron scattering and electron-hole pair creation and annihilation.
There is no spin flipping involved in the processes because the Hamiltonian does not include magnetic
interaction.

( k − q, σ ) ( k ′ + q, σ ′ ) ( k − q, σ ) ( k ′ + q, σ ′ )
V (q ) V (q )

(k,σ ) ( k ′, σ ′ ) (k,σ ) ( k ′, σ ′ )

[Particle-particle interaction] [Particle-hole interaction]

Fig.I.2.1 Diagrammatic depictions of the Coulomb interaction in EQ. (I.39). Here holes refer to the
removal particles below the Fermi level.

Nai-Chang Yeh I-8 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

Thus far we have only considered the second-quantization of fermionic systems. In the following we
examine an example involving a bosonic system.

[Quantization of the free electromagnetic field]


To obtain the second-quantization expression for the free electromagnetic field, we consider the
energy U of an electromagnetic field in the absence of charges and currents, which is given by

⎡1 1 2⎤
U = ∫ dr ⎢ ε 0 E ( r ) + B (r ) ⎥ ≡ U E + U M .
2
(I.40)
⎣2 2 μ0 ⎦
The electric and magnetic fields E(r) and B(r) can be expressed in terms of the normal coordinate qα and the
canonical momentum pα ≡ qα as follows:
∂A ( r )
E (r ) = − , B ( r ) = ∇ × A( r ) ,
∂t
1/ 2
⎛ μ ⎞
A( r ) = c ⎜ 03 ⎟
⎝ 8π ⎠

α
eˆα ∫ dk qα ( k , t ) e i k ir
, (α : polarization) ,

1/ 2
⎛ μ ⎞
B ( r ) = ic ⎜ 03 ⎟
⎝ 8π ⎠

α
∫ dk ( k × eˆα ) qα ( k , t ) e
i k ir
,
1/ 2
⎛ μ ⎞
E ( r ) = −c ⎜ 03 ⎟
⎝ 8π ⎠

α
eˆα ∫ dk qα ( k , t ) e i k ir
. (I.41)

Assuming ∇i A = 0 so that k i eˆα = 0 and qα* ( k , t ) = qα ( −k , t ) to ensure a real vector potential, we obtain

c2
UM =
2 ( 2π )
3 ∑ ∫ dk ( k × eˆα ) i ( k × eˆα ) qα ( k , t ) qα ( k , t ) ,
, ′
αα

*

c2 1
∑ ∫ dk ( k δαα ) qα ( k , t ) qα ( k , t ) = 2 ∑ ∫ dk qα ( k , t )
2
= 2

*
′ ω2 , (I.42)
2 ( 2π ) ( 2π )
3 3
αα ′ α

1 1
∑ ∫ dk qα ( k , t ) ∑ ∫ dk pα ( k , t )
2 2
UE = = . (I.43)
2 ( 2π ) 2 ( 2π )
3 3
α α

Note that in EQ. (I.42), we have used the dispersion relation ω = ck for free electromagnetic field. Hence,
we obtain the following expression for the Hamiltonian:

1
∑ dk ⎡ pα ( k , t ) + ω 2 qα ( k , t ) ⎤ .
2 2
H =
2 ( 2π )
3
α
∫ ⎣ ⎦
(I.44)

From EQ. (I.44) we note that qα and pα are in fact conjugates so that the corresponding Lagrangian L of EQ.
(I.44) yields pα = ∂L ∂qα = qα . Therefore qα and pα satisfy the following relations (by restoring ):

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

⎡⎣ qα* ( k ) , pα ′( k ′ ) ⎤⎦ = i δαα ′ δ ( k − k ′ ) ,
⎡⎣ qα ( k ) , qα ′( k ′ ) ⎤⎦ = ⎣⎡ pα ( k ) , pα ′( k ′ ) ⎦⎤ = 0 . (I.45)

To second-quantize EQ. (I.45), we introduce the photon creation and annihilation operators bᆠand
bα so that
⎡⎣bα ( k ) , bα† ′( k ′ ) ⎤⎦ = δαα ′ δ ( k − k ′ ) ,
⎡⎣bα ( k ) , bα ′( k ′ ) ⎤⎦ = ⎡⎣bα† ( k ) , bα† ′( k ′ ) ⎤⎦ = 0 . (I.46)

This leads to
1/ 2
⎛ω ⎞ i
bα ( k ) = ⎜ ⎟ qα ( k ) + pα* ( k ) ,
(2 ω )
1/ 2
⎝2 ⎠
1/ 2
⎛ω ⎞ i
bα ( k ) = ⎜ ⎟ qα* ( k ) −

pα ( k ) . (I.47)
(2 ω )
1/ 2
⎝2 ⎠
Or equivalently,
1/ 2
⎛ ⎞
qα ( k ) = ⎜ ⎟ ⎡⎣bα ( k ) + bα† ( −k ) ⎤⎦ ,
⎝ 2ω ⎠
1/ 2
1⎛ ω ⎞
pα ( k ) = ⎜ ⎟ ⎡⎣bα ( k ) − bα† ( −k ) ⎤⎦ . (I.48)
i⎝ 2 ⎠
Thus, we obtain

1 ⎡ 1⎤ 1 ⎡ 1⎤
H = ∑ ∫ dk ⎢⎣bα ( k ) bα ( k ) + 2 ⎥⎦

ωα ( k ) ≡ ∑ ∫ dk ⎢⎣nα ( k ) + 2 ⎥⎦ ωα ( k ) , (I.49)
( 2π ) ( 2π )
3 3
α α

where nα ( k ) ≡ bα† ( k ) bα ( k ) represents the number of photons with wave vector k.

We note that similar techniques may be applied to phonons, the normal modes of lattice vibrations,
except that the k-vectors are associated with the lattice vibrations, and that ωα ( k ) contains the dispersion
relation of phonon branches, in contrast to the dispersion relation ω = ck for the free electromagnetic field.

I.3. Review of Pictures of Quantum Dynamics and Time-Dependent Perturbation Theory

In this section we review three pictures (the Schrödinger, interaction, and Heisenberg pictures) of
quantum dynamics and their application to the time-dependent perturbation theory that will be essential for
our later development of the Green’s function and diagrammatic techniques.

We begin with general consideration for the solution to the following differential equation


i Ψ( t ) = H ( t ) Ψ( t ) , (I.50)
∂t

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

where H (t) is a Hermitian operator, (which is usually the case when H(t) corresponds to an energy operator
of a physical system, although sometimes it is allowed to be non-Hermitian to represent dissipative systems).
To find the general solution to EQ. (I.50) without restricting to any specific picture, we first introduce a time
evolution operator U ( t , t0 ) , which relates the initial state Ψ ( t0 ) to the final state Ψ ( t ) by the expression:

Ψ ( t ) ≡ U ( t , t0 ) Ψ ( t0 ) . (I.51)

From EQs. (I.50) and (I.51), the time evolution operator satisfies the following differential equation and
initial condition:

i U ( t , t0 ) = H ( t ) U ( t , t0 ) , (I.52)
∂t
U ( t0 , t 0 ) = 1 . (I.53)

Following EQs. (I.50) – (I.53) and assuming that H(t) is Hermitian, the evolution for the adjoint space is
given by:

−i Ψ( t ) = Ψ( t ) H ( t ) , (I.54)
∂t
∂ †
−i U ( t , t 0 ) = U † ( t , t0 ) H ( t ) , (I.55)
∂t
U ( t0 , t0 ) = 1 .

(I.56)

From EQs. (I.52) and (I.55), we find that

∂ 1
⎡⎣U †( t , t0 ) U ( t , t0 ) ⎤⎦ = ⎡⎣ −U †( t , t0 ) H ( t ) U ( t , t0 ) + U †( t , t0 ) H ( t ) U ( t , t0 ) ⎤⎦ = 0 , (I.57)
∂t i
which, together with the initial conditions, implies that:

U †( t , t0 ) U ( t , t0 ) = 1 ⇒ U †( t , t0 ) = U −1( t , t0 ) = U ( t0 , t ) . (I.58)

In other words, the time evolution U-operator is unitary. In addition, we note that

U ( t1 , t2 ) U ( t2 , t3 ) = U ( t1 , t3 ) .

In the special case of H being a constant of time, the U-operator satisfies the group property.

Solving for quantum evolution is equivalent to finding the solution for the U-operator. From EQs.
(I.52) and (I.53), the time evolution operator satisfies the following integral equation:

i i
U ( t , t0 ) = U ( t0 , t0 ) − dt ′ H ( t ′ ) U ( t ′, t0 ) = 1 − dt ′ H ( t ′ ) U ( t ′, t0 ) .
t t

t0 ∫
t0
(I.59)

Equation (I.59) may be solved by means of iteration:

⎛ −i ⎞ t ′ ⎛ −i ⎞ t ⎡ ⎛ −i ⎞ t ′ ⎤
U ( t , t0 ) = 1 + ⎜ ⎟ ∫t0 dt H ( t ′ ) U ( t ′, t0 ) = 1 + ⎜ ⎟ ∫t0 dt ′ H ( t ′ ) ⎢1 + ⎜ ⎟ ∫t0 dt ′′ H ( t ′′ ) U ( t ′′, t0 ) ⎥ ,
⎝ ⎠ ⎝ ⎠ ⎣ ⎝ ⎠ ⎦

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

2
⎛ −i ⎞ t ⎛ −i ⎞ t′
= 1 + ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt ′ H ( t ′ ) + ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt ′ H ( t ′ ) ∫ dt ′′ H ( t ′′ ) + … .
t
(I.60)
⎝ ⎠ t0 ⎝ ⎠ t0 t0

In EQ. (I.60) the second term can be rewritten as:


t′ 1 t
dt ′∫ dt ′′ H ( t ′ ) H ( t ′′ ) = dt ′∫ dt ′′ ⎣⎡ H ( t ′ ) H ( t ′′ ) θ ( t ′ − t ′′ ) + H ( t ′′ ) H ( t ′ ) θ ( t ′′ − t ′ ) ⎦⎤ ,
t t
∫t0 t0 ∫
2 t0 t0

1 t
≡ ∫ dt ′∫ dt ′′ Tˆ ⎡⎣ H ( t ′ ) H ( t ′′ ) ⎤⎦ ,
t
(I.61)
2 0 t t 0

where we have introduced a time-ordering operator Tˆ that orders the operators in the bracket from left to
right with descending times, and the step function θ ( ti − t j ) is defined by:

θ ( ti − t j ) = 1 for ti > t j ,
=0 for ti < t j . (I.62)

The expression in EQ. (I.61) can be generalized to all terms in EQ. (I.60) by considering the following:

⎡ n ⎤
Tˆ ⎢ ∏ H ( ti ) ⎥ = Tˆ ⎡⎣ H ( t1 ) … H ( tn ) ⎤⎦
⎣ i =1 ⎦
= ∑ θ ( tσ (1) − tσ (2) ) … θ ( tσ ( n −1) − tσ ( n ) ) H ( tσ (1) ) … H ( tσ ( n ) )
σ ∈Sn

⎛ n −1

∑ ⎜⎝ ∏θ ( tσ − tσ (i +1) )∏ H ( tσ (i ) ) ⎟ ,
n
= (i ) (I.63)
σ∈Sn i =1 i =1 ⎠
where the summation is over Sn, the permutation group of n objects. Hence, we have

dtn Tˆ ⎡⎣H ( t1 ) … H ( tn ) ⎤⎦
t t

t0
dt1 … ∫
t0

⎡ t ⎛ n −1 ⎞⎤
( σ ( i +1) ∏ H ( tσ ( i ) ) ⎟ ⎥
)
n

∑ n ⎜∏
t
= ⎢ ∫t0 1
dt … ∫ dt θ tσ (i ) − t
σ ∈Sn ⎣
t0
⎝ i =1 i =1 ⎠⎦
⎡ t ⎞⎤
( ) ⎛
( )
n −1 n
= ∑ ⎢ ∫ d tσ −1 (1) … ∫ d tσ −1 ( n ) ⎜ ∏ θ ( ti − ti +1 )∏ H ( ti ) ⎟ ⎥
t

σ ∈Sn ⎣ 0
t t0
⎝ i =1 i =1 ⎠⎦
⎡ t ⎛ n −1 n
⎞⎤
= ∑ ⎢ ∫ dt1 … ∫ dtn ⎜ ∏ θ ( ti − ti +1 )∏ H ( ti ) ⎟ ⎥
t

σ ∈Sn ⎣
t0 t0
⎝ i =1 i =1 ⎠⎦
⎡ t ⎛ n −1 n
⎞⎤
= n ! ⎢ ∫ dt1 … ∫ dtn ⎜ ∏ θ ( ti − ti +1 )∏ H ( ti ) ⎟ ⎥
t

⎣ t0 t0
⎝ i =1 i =1 ⎠⎦
= n ! ⎡ ∫ dt1 ∫ dt2 … ∫ dtn H ( t1 )… H ( tn ) ⎤ .
t t1 t n−1
(I.64)
⎢⎣ t0 t0 t0 ⎥⎦

From EQs. (I.60) and (I.64), we find that the U-operator takes the form:

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

⎛ −i ⎞ 1 t
∞ n

U ( t , t0 ) = ∑ ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt1 … ∫ dtn Tˆ ⎡⎣H ( t1 ) … H ( tn ) ⎤⎦ ,


t

n =0 ⎝ ⎠ n ! t0 t0

⎧ ⎡ ⎛ −i ⎞ t ⎤⎫
= Tˆ ⎨exp ⎢ ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt ′ H ( t ′ ) ⎥ ⎬ . (I.65)
⎩ ⎣ ⎝ ⎠ t0 ⎦⎭

In EQ. (I.65) we note that the term associated with n = 0 is simply 1. In the event that H is time independent,
the time-evolution operator takes a simple form U ( t , t0 ) = exp [ − iH ( t − t0 ) / ].
Having derived the above general solution for the differential equation EQ. (I.50), we now apply it to
special cases in the following.

[The Schrödinger picture]


The first case is the Schrödinger picture that you are probably most familiar with. The Schrödinger
picture assumes that the state vectors Ψ S ( t ) are time dependent and the Hermitian operator H(t) is the
Hamiltonian of a physical system. Therefore, the Schrödinger equation takes the form:

i Ψ S (t ) = H (t ) Ψ S (t ) . (I.66)
∂t

For an initial value of the state vector Ψ S ( t0 ) at t = t0, Ψ S ( t ) satisfies

Ψ S ( t ) = U ( t , t0 ) Ψ S ( t0 ) ,
− iH ( t -t0 ) /
→e Ψ S ( t0 ) if H is time independent. (I.67)

Thus, for a given solution Ψ S ( t0 ) at time t0, the unitary transformation in EQ. (I.67) generates the solution
to the Schrödinger equation at time t if H is time independent.

[The interaction picture]

In dealing with many realistic physical problems, we are often interested in a Hamiltonian that
consists of two terms, one is a model Hamiltonian H0 typically chosen as a soluble term, and the other is the
“interaction” term H ′:
H = H0 + H ′. (I.68)

The state vectors of the interaction picture are defined according to the following form:

Ψ I ( t ) = U 0 ( 0, t ) Ψ S ( t ) , (I.69)

where U0 refers to the time-evolution operator of the Hamiltonian H0. In the event that H0 is a constant of
time, we have U 0 ( 0, t ) = exp ( iH 0 t / ) and the state vectors of the interaction picture are given by:

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

Ψ I (t ) = e ΨS (t ) .
iH 0 t /
(I.70)

Using EQs. (I.52) and (I.67) – (I.69), we obtain the state of motion of the interaction state vector:

∂ ∂U 0 ( 0, t ) ∂
i Ψ I (t ) = i Ψ S ( t ) + U 0 ( 0, t ) i ΨS (t ) ,
∂t ∂t ∂t
= − U 0 ( 0, t ) H 0 Ψ S ( t ) + U 0 ( 0, t ) H Ψ S ( t ) ,
= − U 0 ( 0, t ) H 0 U 0 ( t , 0 ) Ψ I ( t ) + U 0 ( 0, t ) ( H 0 + H ′ ) U 0 ( t , 0 ) Ψ I ( t ) ,
= U 0 ( 0, t ) H ′ U 0 ( t , 0 ) Ψ I ( t ) ,
≡ H I′( t ) Ψ I ( t ) . (I.71)

We note that the order of H0 and H ′ must be tracked carefully because in general they do not commute.
Equation (I.71) has essentially the same form as EQ. (I.50) except that it is associated with HI′(t) and
Ψ I ( t ) rather than H and Ψ ( t ) .

The definition of HI′(t) in EQ. (I.71) may be compared with the matrix element of any arbitrary
operator OS ( t ) in the Schrödinger picture:

Ψ ′S ( t ) OS ( t ) Ψ S ( t ) = Ψ′I ( t ) U 0 ( 0, t ) OS ( t ) U 0 ( t , 0 ) Ψ I ( t ) ≡ Ψ ′I ( t ) OI ( t ) Ψ I ( t ) . (I.72)

Therefore, HI′(t) is an operator in the interaction picture, and both the operators and the state vectors in the
interaction picture are dependent on time. Moreover, if Os is time independent, we find that

∂ ∂
i OI ( t ) = i ⎡U 0 ( 0, t ) OS U 0 ( t , 0 ) ⎤⎦ = U 0 ( 0, t ) ⎣⎡OS H 0 − H 0OS ⎦⎤ U 0 ( t , 0 ) ,
∂t ∂t ⎣
= ⎡⎣ U 0 ( 0, t ) OS U 0 ( t , 0 ) ⎤⎦ H 0 I − H 0 I ⎡⎣ U 0 ( 0, t ) OS U 0 ( t , 0 ) ⎤⎦ = ⎡⎣OI ( t ) , H 0 I ⎤⎦ . (I.73)

More generally, for a time-dependent operator Os(t), we have

∂ ∂ ⎡ ∂OS ( t ) ⎤
i OI ( t ) = i ⎡⎣U 0 ( 0, t ) OS ( t ) U 0 ( t , 0 ) ⎤⎦ = U 0 ( 0, t ) ⎢OS ( t ) H 0 − H 0OS ( t ) + i ⎥ U 0 (t, 0) ,
∂t ∂t ⎣ ∂t ⎦
∂OS ( t )
= ⎡⎣ U 0 ( 0, t ) OS ( t ) U 0 ( t , 0 ) ⎤⎦ H 0 I − H 0 I ⎡⎣ U 0 ( 0, t ) OS ( t ) U 0 ( t , 0 ) ⎤⎦ + i U 0 ( 0, t ) U 0 (t, 0) ,
∂t
⎛ ∂O ⎞
≡ ⎡⎣OI ( t ) , H 0 I ⎤⎦ + i ⎜ S ⎟ . (I.74)
⎝ ∂t ⎠ I

Equation (I.73) can be readily applied to the creation and annihilation operators. For a representation
in which H0 is diagonal, we can express H0 in terms of the creation and annihilation operators ck† and ck as
follows:

H 0 = ∑ ωk ck† ck . (I.75)
k

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

Hence, the time dependence of the creation and annihilation operators ck†I ( t ) and ckI ( t ) in the interaction
picture can be determined by using EQs. (I.70) and (I.73):


i ckI ( t ) = ⎡⎣ckI ( t ) , H 0 I ⎤⎦ = ei H 0 t / ⎡⎣ck , H 0 ⎤⎦ e −i H 0 t / = ωk ei H 0 t / ck e− i H 0 t / = ωk ckI ( t ) , (I.76)
∂t
which leads to a solution:

ckI ( t ) = ck e − iωk t and ck†I ( t ) = ck† eiωk t . (I.77)

Since any operators in the Schrödinger picture can be expressed in terms of a complete set of operators ck†
and ck , the operators in the interaction picture can then be obtained by making the following substitutions:

ck → ckI ( t ) and ck† → ck†I ( t ) . (I.78)

Now we want to find an explicit solution to the state vector in EQ. (I.71). Evidently, EQ. (I.71) is
essentially the same as the general differential equation in EQ. (I.50) if we make the substitutions H(t) →
HI′(t) and Ψ ( t ) → Ψ I ( t ) . Therefore, we simply follow the same prescription as before by introducing a
unitary operator U I ( t , t0 ) that describes the time evolution of the state vector Ψ I ( t ) from time t0 to time t:

Ψ I ( t ) ≡ U I ( t , t 0 ) Ψ I ( t0 ) . (I.79)

Clearly U I ( t0 , t0 ) = 1 . Moreover, from EQs. (I.67) and (I.69), we can rewrite EQ. (I.79) into the following:

Ψ I ( t ) = U 0 ( 0, t ) Ψ S ( t ) = U 0 ( 0, t ) U ( t , t0 ) Ψ S ( t0 ) = U 0 ( 0, t ) U ( t , t0 ) U 0 ( t0 , 0 ) Ψ I ( t0 ) . (I.80)

Hence, we obtain an explicit expression for U I ( t , t0 ) by comparing EQs. (I.79) and (I.80):

U I ( t , t0 ) = U 0 ( 0, t ) U ( t , t0 ) U 0 ( t0 , 0 ) . (I.81)

The operator U I ( t , t0 ) is unitary and satisfies the same group property as U ( t , t0 ) . In addition, from EQs.
(I.71) and (I.79), we find that
∂ ∂
i Ψ I (t ) = i U I ( t , t0 ) Ψ I ( t0 ) = H I′ ( t ) Ψ I ( t ) = H I′ ( t ) U I ( t , t0 ) Ψ I ( t0 ) ,
∂t ∂t

⇒ i U I ( t , t0 ) = H I′ ( t ) U I ( t , t0 ) . (I.82)
∂t
Consequently, similar to our previous derivation for the general time-evolution U-operator, in the interaction
picture U I ( t , t0 ) is given by:

i
U I ( t , t0 ) = 1 − dt ′ H I′ ( t ′ ) U I ( t ′, t0 )
t
∫ t0

⎛ −i ⎞ 1 t
∞ n

= ∑⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt1 … ∫ dtn Tˆ ⎡⎣H I′( t1 ) … H I′( tn ) ⎤⎦ ,


t

n =0 ⎝ ⎠ n ! t0 t0

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

⎧ ⎡ ⎛ −i ⎞ t ⎤⎫
= Tˆ ⎨exp ⎢ ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt ′ H I′( t ′ ) ⎥ ⎬ . (I.83)
⎩ ⎣⎝ ⎠ t0
⎦⎭
The expressions in EQ. (I.83) will be important for our diagrammatic consideration later.

An immediate application of EQ. (I.83) is found in time-dependent perturbation theory. To the first-
order of time-dependent perturbation, the U-operator is approximated by:

⎛i⎞ t
U I ( t , t0 ) ≈ 1 − ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt1 H I′( t1 ) , (I.84)
⎝ ⎠ t0
which is used to find the transition probabilities between the eigenstates of the unperturbed Hamiltonian H0.
Specifically, the transition probability Pi → f ( t ) from an initial eigenstate ϕi to a final eigenstate ϕ f of the
unperturbed Hamiltonian H0 due to a time-dependent perturbation Hamiltonian HI′(t) is given by the
formula:
2 2
Pi → f ( t ) = ϕ f U ( t , t0 ) ϕi = ϕ f U 0( t , 0 ) U I ( t , t0 ) U 0( 0, t0 ) ϕi ,
2 2
= ϕ f e − i H 0 t U I ( t , t 0 ) e i H 0 t0 ϕi = ϕ f U I ( t , t0 ) ϕi ,
2 2
⎛i⎞ t ⎛i⎞ t
≈ ϕ f 1 − ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt1 H I′( t1 ) ϕi = ϕ f 1 − ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt1 ei H 0 t1 H ′ e − i H 0 t1 ϕi ,
⎝ ⎠ t0 ⎝ ⎠ t0
2
⎛i⎞ t i (E −E ) t
= δ i f − ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt1 e f i 1 ϕ f H ′ ϕi .
⎝ ⎠ t0
2
(i ≠ f ) 1 t i (E −E ) t
⎯⎯⎯ → 2 ∫ dt1 e f i 1 ϕ f H ′ ϕi . (I.85)
t0

In EQ. (I.85) we have taken the unperturbed Hamiltonian H0 as time-independent. The fifth line in EQ.
(I.85) is the familiar expression for the transition probability between two different eigenstates in the first-
order time-dependent perturbation theory.

[The Heisenberg picture]

In the Heisenberg picture the state vector is defined as

Ψ H ( t ) ≡ U ( 0, t ) Ψ S ( t ) = Ψ S ( 0 ) , (I.86)

which immediately gives the equation of motion of Ψ H ( t ) :

∂ ∂
i Ψ H (t ) = i Ψ S (0) = 0 , (I.87)
∂t ∂t

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

implying that the state vector in the Heisenberg picture is time independent. The operator in the Heisenberg
picture OH ( t ) can be related to the operator in the Schrödinger picture OS by considering the matrix element
of OS :

Ψ ′S ( t ) OS ( t ) Ψ S ( t ) = Ψ′H U ( 0, t ) OS ( t ) U ( t , 0 ) Ψ H ≡ Ψ ′H OH ( t ) Ψ H . (I.88)

From EQs. (I.87) and (I.88) we find that all the time dependence in the Heisenberg picture is ascribed to the
operator OH ( t ) whereas the corresponding state vector is time independent, in contrast to the situation in the
Schrödinger picture. We may also rewrite the operator OH ( t ) in terms of the operator in the interaction
picture by using EQs. (I.69) and (I.81):

OH ( t ) = U ( 0, t ) OS ( t ) U ( t , 0 ) = U I ( 0, t ) OS ( t ) U 0( t , 0 ) U I ( t , 0 ) U 0( 0, t ) ,
= U I ( 0, t ) ⎡⎣U 0( 0, t ) OS ( t ) U 0( t , 0 ) ⎤⎦ U I ( t , 0 ) = U I ( 0, t ) OI ( t ) U I ( t , 0 ) . (I.89)

In addition, for all three pictures at t = 0, we find that

Ψ H = Ψ S ( 0) = Ψ I (0) , (I.90)

and OS = OI ( 0 ) = OH ( 0 ) . (I.91)

In other words, all three pictures coincide at t = 0. Moreover, from EQs. (I.79) and (I.90), we obtain the
relation:
Ψ H = Ψ I ( 0 ) = U I ( 0, t0 ) Ψ I ( t0 ) , (I.92)

which implies that the eigenstate in the Heisenberg picture can be derived from the eigenstate at a given time
t0 in the interaction picture through the U I -operator.

[Adiabatically turning on the interaction]

Having introduced all three pictures and the time-evolution operators, we are now well equipped to
discuss time-dependent perturbation theory. A representative case is to consider adiabatically turning on an
interaction within a non-interacting system, assuming that the eigenstates and eigen-energies are known for
the non-interacting system described by H0. The Hamiltonian H for such a process is given by:

H =H0 +e
−ε t
H ′, (ε > 0 ) (I.93)

where ε is a small positive quantity. In general we take ε → 0+ in the end of our calculations. Clearly H →
H0 for t → ± ∞ , and H = H0 + H ′ at t = 0. Moreover, any physically significant result should not be
dependent on the exact choice of ε. Following EQ. (I.83), we introduce a new ε-dependent U I -operator, U I ε ,
so that we can derive a solution for the Schrödinger equation in the interaction picture. We have

Ψ I ( t ) ≡ U I ε ( t , t0 ) Ψ I ( t 0 ) , (I.94)
and

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

⎛ −i ⎞ 1 t
∞ n

dtn e ( 1
− ε t + … + tn ) ˆ
U I ε ( t , t0 ) = ∑ ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt1 … ∫ T ⎡⎣H I′( t1 ) … H I′( tn ) ⎤⎦ .
t
(I.95)
n =0 ⎝ ⎠ n ! t0 t0

In the limit of t0 → −∞ where H → H0, we define a time-independent stationary eigenstate for H0 in the
Schrödinger picture as Φ 0 and the corresponding eigen-energy as E0, so that

H 0 Φ 0 = E0 Φ 0 . (I.96)

For the state vector in the interaction picture to be time independent and coincide with the solution for the
unperturbed Schrödinger equation in the t0 → −∞ limit, we have:

Ψ I ( t0 ) = Φ 0 = U 0( 0, t0 ) Ψ S ( t0 ) . (I.97)
Ψ S ( t 0 ) = U 0 ( t0 , 0 ) Φ 0 . (I.98)

As time increases from −∞, the interaction is turned on adiabatically for small ε and the state vector in the
interaction picture develops in time. At t = 0, the interaction reaches its full strength, and we have the
following relation

Ψ H = Ψ I ( 0 ) = U I ε ( 0, −∞ ) Ψ I ( −∞ ) = U I ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0 . (I.99)

In other words, we can obtain an exact eigenstate of H from the eigenstate of the unperturbed Hamiltonian
H0 by using the ε-dependent U I -operator.

Next we want to find out whether we can still obtain physically meaningful results if we have ε →
0+. The answer to this question is proven by the following theorem of Gell-Mann and Low [M. Gell-Mann
and F. Low, Phys. Rev. 84, 350 (1951)].

[Gell-Mann & Low Theorem]

If the following quantity exists to all orders in perturbation theory:

U I ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0 Ψ Iε ( 0 ) Ψε
≡ ≡ ,
Φ0 Ψ Iε ( 0) Φ0 Ψ Iε ( 0) Φ0 Ψε

then an exact eigenstate Ψ of the Hamiltonian H can be derived from the unperturbed ground state Φ 0
via the relation

Ψ I (0) U I ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0 U I ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0
Ψ ≡ = lim = lim , (I.100)
Φ0 Ψ I ( 0) ε →0 Φ 0 Ψ Iε ( 0 ) ε →0 Φ 0 U I ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0

where the Hamiltonian H in the time-evolution operator satisfies:

H Ψ =E Ψ , (I.101)

and E denotes the exact eigen-energy of H.

Nai-Chang Yeh I-18 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

Proof: Given the definitions Ψ ε ≡ Ψ I ε ( 0 ) ≡ U I ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0 , we consider the quantity

(H 0 − E0 ) Ψ ε = ( H 0 − E0 ) U I ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0 = ⎣⎡H 0 , U I ε ( 0, −∞ ) ⎦⎤ Φ 0 . (I.102)

To evaluate the commutator in EQ. (I.102), we recall the expression for U I ε in EQ. (I.95) and so we first
examine the following commutator:

⎡H 0 , H I′( ti ) H I′( t j ) H I′( tk ) ⎤⎦ = ⎡⎣H 0 , H I′( ti ) ⎤⎦ H I′( t j ) … H I′( tk ) + H I′( ti ) ⎡⎣H 0 , H I′( t j ) ⎤⎦ … H I′( tk )

+H I′( ti ) H I′( t j ) … ⎣⎡H 0 , H I′( tk ) ⎦⎤ . (I.103)

Here H I′( ti ) H I′( t j ) H I′( tk ) represents an arbitrary time ordering of the n indices. From EQ. (I.73), we
have

−i H I′( t ) = ⎡⎣H 0 , H I′( t ) ⎤⎦ , (I.104)
∂t
so that each commutator in EQ. (I.103) yields a time derivative of HI′(t) and EQ. (I.103) for all possible time
orderings becomes:
⎛ n ∂ ⎞
⎡H 0 , H I′( ti ) H I′( t j ) … H I′( tk ) ⎤ = ⎜ ∑
⎦ i ν =1 ∂t ⎟ ⎣H I ( ti ) H I ( t j ) … H I ( tk ) ⎦ .
⎡ ′ ′ ′ ⎤ (I.105)

⎝ ν ⎠

Consequently, EQ. (I.102) can be rewritten as


n −1
⎛ −i ⎞ ε ( t1 +…+ tn ) ⎛ ∂ ⎞

1 0 n
(H 0 − E0 ) Ψ ε = −∑ ⎜ ⎟ ∑
0
∫ dt1 … ∫ dt e ⎜ ⎟ Tˆ ⎡⎣H I′( t1 )… H I′( tn ) ⎤⎦ Φ 0 (I.106)
⎝ ν =1 ∂tν
n
n =1 ⎝ ⎠ n ! −∞ −∞

We note that each time-derivate term in EQ. (I.106) makes the same contribution. If we further assume that
HI′(t) is proportional to a coupling constant g, we may integrate EQ. (I.106) by parts with respect to one of
the time variables, and also use the following identity:
n −1
⎛ −i ⎞ ∂ ⎛ −i ⎞ 1 n
n
1
⎜ ⎟ gn = i g ⎜ ⎟ g ,
⎝ ⎠ ( n − 1)! ∂g ⎝ ⎠ n !

we find that EQ. (I.106) becomes


(H 0 − E0 ) Ψ ε = −H ′ Ψ ε + i ε g
∂g
Ψε , (I.107)

so that

(H − E0 ) Ψ ε = i ε g
∂g
Ψε . (I.108)

[Φ ]
−1
Multiplying EQ. (I.108) by 0
Ψε Φ 0 , we obtain

Φ 0 ( H − E0 ) Ψ ε Φ 0 ( E0 + H ′ − E0 ) Ψ ε Φ0 H ′ Ψε
= = ≡ ( E − E0 )
Φ0 Ψε Φ0 Ψε Φ0 Ψε

Nai-Chang Yeh I-19 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

Φ 0 ∂ ∂g Ψ ε ∂
=i εg =i εg ln Φ 0 Ψ ε , (I.109)
Φ0 Ψε ∂g

where we have used the fact that ( ∂ ∂g ) Φ 0 = 0 . Moreover, from EQs. (I.108) and (I.109), we find

⎛ ∂ ⎞ Ψε Ψε ⎡ ∂ ⎤ Ψε
⎜ H − E0 − i ε g ⎟ = ⎢ i εg ln Φ 0 Ψ ε ⎥ = ( E − E0 ) , (I.110)
⎝ ∂g ⎠ Φ 0 Ψ ε Φ0 Ψε ⎣ ∂g ⎦ Φ0 Ψε

which yields

Ψε ∂ ⎡ Ψε ⎤ Ψ I (0)
(H − E ) Φ0 Ψε
=i εg ⎢ ⎥
∂g ⎣ Φ 0 Ψ ε ⎦
(
⎯⎯⎯)ε →0
→ (H − E ) Φ0 Ψ I ( 0)
= 0. (I.111)

Thus, we have proven EQ. (I.101) by taking ε → 0 in EQ. (I.111). We remark that while it is justified to take
the limit of ε → 0 in EQ. (I.111), the same cannot be trivially applied to EQ. (I.109), because the term
( ∂ ∂g ) ln Φ 0 Ψ ε in fact diverges in the ε → 0 limit, whereas the term ( ∂ ∂g ) ⎡⎣ Ψ ε Φ 0 Ψ ε ⎤⎦ in EQ.
(I.109) is finite for ε → 0.

[Comparison with the time-independent perturbation theory]

Before closing our discussion of the time-dependent perturbation theory, we demonstrate in the
following that the time-independent perturbation theory is equivalent to a special case of the time-dependent
perturbation theory if we take a time-evolution operator U I (0, −∞ ) .

From EQ. (I.95), the operator U I (0, −∞) can be explicitly given by the following:

⎛ −i ⎞ 1 0
∞ n

dtn e ( 1
− ε t + … + tn ) ˆ
U I ε ( 0, −∞ ) = ∑ ⎜ ⎟
0
∫ dt1 … ∫ T ⎡⎣H I′( t1 ) … H I′( tn ) ⎤⎦ . (I.112)
n =0 ⎝ ⎠ n ! −∞ −∞

Thus, the lowest order term in the construction of the matrix element Φ f U I (0, −∞ ) Φ 0 between two
unperturbed eigenstates Φ 0 and Φ f is:

⎛ −i ⎞ 0 ⎛ −i ⎞ 0
Φ f U I 1 ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0 = ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt1 e 1 Φ f H I′( t1 ) Φ 0 = ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt1 e 1 Φ f ei H 0 t1 / H ′ e − i H 0 t1 / Φ 0
−ε t −ε t

⎝ ⎠ −∞ ⎝ ⎠ −∞

⎛ −i ⎞ 0 i ( E − E − i ε ) t1 Φ f H ′ Φ0
= ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt1 e f 0 Φ f H ′ Φ0 = − , (I.113)
⎝ ⎠ −∞ (E f − E0 − i ε )

where Ef and E0 are the eigenvalues of the unperturbed states. Equation (1.113) is consistent with the familiar
expression for the perturbation amplitude in the first-order time-independent perturbation theory.

Nai-Chang Yeh I-20 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

Similarly, if we denote the intermediate state vectors by Φ p and use the identity ∑ p
Φp Φp = 1,

the second-order term in the construction of the matrix element Φ f U I 2 (0, −∞ ) Φ 0 becomes:
2
⎛ −i ⎞ 0
Φ f U I 2 ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0 = ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dt1 ∫ dt2 e ( 1 2 )
t1 −ε t + t

⎝ ⎠ −∞ −∞

⎡ ⎤
× ⎢ ∑ Φ f ei H 0 t1 / H ′ e − i H 0 t1 / Φ p Φ p e i H 0 t2 / H ′ e − i H 0 t2 / Φ 0 ⎥ ,
⎣ p ⎦
⎛ +i ⎞ i ( E − E − i ε ) t1 i ( E − E − i ε ) t1 Φ f H ′ Φ p Φ p H ′ Φ0
= ⎜ ⎟ ∑ ∫ dt1 e f p
0
e p 0 ,
⎝ ⎠ p −∞
(E p − E0 − i ε )

Φ f H ′ Φ p Φ p H ′ Φ0
=∑ . (I.114)
p (E f − E0 − i 2 ε )( E p − E0 − i ε )

Evidently EQ. (I.114) is consistent with the second-order time-independent perturbation theory.

In comparison with the ordinary perturbation theory, the time-dependent formalism introduced in
this section is more convenient in various ways. For instance, the time-dependent formalism can better
handle the poles encountered in the perturbation theory because we may use the following relation to deal
with the results in EQs. (I.113) and (I.114):

1 ⎛1⎞
lim = P ⎜ ⎟ ± iπδ ( x ) , (I.115)
α →0 + ( x ∓ iα )
⎝ x⎠

where P(…) represents the principal value of the function inside the parenthesis. Another advantage is that
one can easily separate parts of the problem that are associated with the disconnected parts of the system.
This point will be verified in general terms when we introduce Feynman diagrams in Part II. For now, we use
a simple example in the following to illustrate this concept.

Consider the Hamiltonian H = H 0a + H 0b + Va + Vb , where a and b denote different regions in


space that are not connected physically so that operators of the respected regions necessarily commute. The
U I -operator for the Hamiltonian in the interaction picture is:

⎧ ⎡ i 0 ⎤⎫ ⎧ ⎡ i 0 i ( H a +H b ) t / − i ( H 0a + H 0b ) t / ⎤⎫
U I ( 0, −∞ ) = Tˆ ⎨exp ⎢ − ∫ dt V ( t ) ⎥ ⎬ = Tˆ ⎨exp ⎢ − ∫ dt e 0 0 ( Va + Vb ) e ⎥⎦ ⎬
⎩ ⎣ −∞
⎦⎭ ⎩ ⎣ −∞



⎡ i 0

(−∞
a 0

−∞
b b ⎤⎫
= Tˆ ⎨exp ⎢ − ∫ dt ei H 0 t / Va e −i H 0 t / + ∫ dt ei H 0 t / Vb e − i H 0 t / ⎥ ⎬
a

⎦⎭
)
= U Ia ( 0, −∞ ) U Ib ( 0, −∞ ) . (I.116)

Therefore the U I -operator can be written as the product of independent operators if the corresponding
Hamiltonian involves disconnected parts.

Nai-Chang Yeh I-21 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

I.4. Various Forms of Low-Energy Excitations in Condensed Matter

Generally speaking, the low energy excitations in solids may be described in terms of quantized units
of energy in various fields. These excitations often combine both aspects of waves and particles, and are
typically divided into bosonic and fermionic excitations. Interestingly, for two-dimensional electronic
systems, the low-energy excitations can be characteristic of neither bosons nor fermions. Rather, they obey
fractional or even non-abelian statistics. Such excitations are known as anyons, which will not be covered in
this course due to time constraints. In the following we list definitions of various representative low-energy
excitations in three-dimensional solids.

[Some representative low-energy excitation fields in solids]

Quasiparticles: electrons dressed by the interactions with the electron gas in a metal -- (fermions)
Polarons: charged particles associated with the polarization field in ionic crystals -- (fermions)
Phonons: elastic excitations of the crystalline lattice -- (bosons)
Magnons: elementary excitations of electron spins coupled together by the exchange interactions in a
magnetic system -- (bosons)
Plasmons: collective Coulomb excitations of the electron gas in a metal -- (bosons)
Excitons: coupled electron-hole pairs associated with the dielectric polarization field -- (bosons)

As an example, we consider the collective elastic motion of an electron gas relative to the rigid
background of positive charge, known as the plasmons. The Hamiltonian density of the electron gas can be
expressed in terms of the displacement fields uα and the conjugate fields πα (α: polarization) as follows:

1 1 ∂u ∂uβ 1
H el = ∑ παπα + λ ∑ α
2 α β ∂r
+ ( ρe − ρ0 ) ϕ( r ) , (I.117)
2ne me α , α ∂rβ 2

where ne and ρe denote the volume density and the charge density of electrons, respectively; ρ0 is the uniform
positive charge background, λ represents the bulk modulus, and ϕ( r ) is the electrostatic potential.

The plasmons are associated with the longitudinal waves of electron density fluctuations that destroy
the local charge neutrality, thereby inducing a Coulomb restoring force. To understand the nature of
plasmons, we begin with the charge density fluctuations δρ due to local dilation of the electron gas:

∂ul ( r )
δρ ( r ) = ρe ( r ) − ρ0 ( r ) = −ne e , ( l: longitudinal polarization ) (I.118)
∂rl
and ∇ 2ϕ ( r ) = −4π δρ ( r ) . (I.119)

The longitudinal displacement field ul may be written as ul ( r ) = ∑ k


Qkl eik ir so that

δρ ( r ) = −ine e∑ kQkl ei k ir , ( if k eˆl and k = k eˆl ) . (I.120)


k

Similarly, the electrostatic potential can be expressed by ϕ ( r ) = ∑ k


ϕk eik ir so that

Nai-Chang Yeh I-22 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

∇ 2ϕ ( r ) = −∑ k 2ϕk ei k ir = i 4π ne e∑ kQkl ei k ir → ϕk = −i 4π ne eQkl k . (I.121)


k k

Consequently, the spatial integration of the third term in EQ. (I.117) becomes

1 i ( k + k ′) i r ⎛ ne e l ⎞ ⎛ −i 4π ne eQkl ′ ⎞
∫ 2 () () ∑
d r δρ r ϕ r =
k ,k ′
∫ d r e ⎜

− i
2
kQk ⎟ ⎜
⎠⎝ k′


= 2π ne2 e 2 ∑ Qkl Q−l k . (I.122)
k

The conjugate momentum density field is given by π α ( r ) = ∑ k Pkα e − ik i r so that

∫ dr π α ( r ) π α ( r ) = ∑ k
Pkα P−αk . (I.123)

In addition, the elastic energy in the second term of EQ. (I.117) can be rewritten into the form

λ
∑∑
2 αβ
k
kα kβ Qα Q β
,
k −k . (I.124)

Consequently, for k eˆl and from EQs. (I.122) – (I.124), we obtain the Hamiltonian of the electron gas:
⎡ 1 1 ⎤
H el = ∫ dr H el = ∑ ⎢ Pk P− k + ( λ k 2 + 4π ne2 e 2 ) Qk Q− k ⎥ . (I.125)
k ⎣ 2ne me 2 ⎦
From EQ. (I.125), we may define the plasmon frequency ωk and the plasma frequency ωp as follows:

⎛ λ ⎞ 2 4π ne2 e 2 ⎛ λ ⎞ 2
ωk2 = ⎜ ⎟k + ≡⎜ ⎟ k + ωp ,
2
(I.126)
⎝ ne me ⎠ ne me ⎝ ne me ⎠
1/ 2
⎛ 4π ne2 e2 ⎞
ωp ≡ ⎜ ⎟ . (I.127)
⎝ ne me ⎠

In general the plasmon frequencies for collective electron excitations are much higher than the
phonon frequencies associated with the lattice vibration because of the much smaller mass density in the
former. More quantitatively, if we take a typical value of ne ~ 1023 cm−3 and me ~ 10−27 g, we obtain ωp ~ 1016
s−1. On the other hand, even if we take the maximum k-value in the crystal, i.e., kmax ~ 108 cm−1, the first
quantity in EQ. (I.126), [λ kmax
2
/( ne me )] , is still much smaller than ωp2 if we take a typical value λ ~ 109
dynes/cm2. Consequently, the plasmon excitations of the electron gas in a solid can be regarded as nearly
uniform.

Finally, we conclude this example of low-energy excitations in solids by second-quantizing


plasmons. Introducing the boson operators:
1/ 2 1/ 2
⎛n mω ⎞ ⎛ 1 ⎞
bk = ⎜ e e k ⎟ Qk + i ⎜ ⎟ Pk* ,
⎝ 2 ⎠ ⎝ 2ne me ωk ⎠

Nai-Chang Yeh I-23 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part I: Introduction & Review of Second Quantization Techniques
Field Theory

1/ 2 1/ 2
⎛n mω ⎞ ⎛ 1 ⎞
b =⎜ e e k ⎟

Q −i⎜
*
⎟ Pk , (I.128)
⎝ 2ne me ωk ⎠
k k
⎝ 2 ⎠

we obtain the second-quantized Hamiltonian for the electron gas:

⎛ 1⎞
H el = ∑ ωk ⎜ bk†bk + ⎟ . (I.129)
k ⎝ 2⎠

Equation (I.129) is analogous to EQ. (I.49), except that the dispersion relations associated with the bosonic
excitations differ in the two cases.

Further Readings
Review of aspects of modern condensed matter physics:
1. N.-C. Yeh: Bulletin of AAPPS, Vol. 18, No. 2, pg. 11--29 (2008)
Second quantization and quantum dynamics:
2. Fetter and Walecka, “Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems”: Sections 1 – 3 and 6.
3. Kittel, “Quantum Theory of Solids”: Chapters 1 and 2.
4. Schweber, “An Introduction to Relativistic Quantum Field Theory”, Chapter 6.
5. Merzbacher, “Quantum Mechanics”, Chapters 14, 21 and 22.

Nai-Chang Yeh I-24 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

PART II. Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body


Systems
Quantum field theory (QFT) can be thought of as taking quantum mechanics of a system to the limit
with an infinite number of degrees of freedom, and is therefore a very useful tool in describing many-body
systems and has become indispensable in modern physics. In general, the application of QFT to different
branches of physics often involves quite different techniques and approaches. For instance, the relevant QFT
considered in particle physics is generally relativistic with the assumption of Lorentz invariance. On the
other hand, most phenomena of interest to condensed matter physicists involve QFT in the non-relativistic
limit, and time-dependent perturbation theory in the interaction picture is often employed. In the interest of
time, we only discuss the basic notations of non-relativistic quantum field theory in Part II, with emphasis on
Green function (or propagator) techniques, which play a fundamental role in the treatment of many-body
systems. Specifically, various fundamental physical properties of a many-body system, such as the ground
state energy, the density of states and the excitation spectrum, the response functions (e.g., conductivity,
magnetic susceptibility, dielectric constant, etc.), and the thermodynamic quantities, can be derived from the
Green functions. The applications of non-relativistic Green function techniques to many-body interactions
and linear response of condensed matter systems will be explored further in subsequent chapters.

II.1. Basic Properties of Green Functions


Before proceeding with formal treatment of Green function techniques for many-body systems, it is
worthwhile reviewing some basic mathematical properties of Green functions. Let’s first consider the case of
time-independent Green functions. Given a linear, hermitian and time-independent differential operator L(r)
and a complex variable z = λ + is, the Green function G(r, r′; z) of L(r) is defined as the solution to the
following equation

[ z − L ( r )] G ( r, r′; z ) = δ ( r − r′ ) , (II.1)

subject to certain homogeneous boundary conditions on the surface S of the domain Ω of r and r′.

Assuming that {φ }n
is the complete orthonormal set of eigenfunctions of L, subject to the same
conditions on the surface S as G(r, r′; z), and that {λn } is the eigenvalues, we may express the Green
function G as follows:
1 φ φ φ φ
G ( z) = = Σ′n n n + ∫ dn n n , (II.2)
( z − L) z − λn z − λn
or equivalently
φ ( r ) φn* ( r′ ) φ ( r ) φn* ( r ′ )
G ( r , r ′; z ) = Σ′n n + ∫ dn n , (II.3)
z − λn z − λn

where L ( r ) φn = λn φn , Σ′ n
denotes the sum over the eigenfunctions of the discrete spectrum, and ∫ dn is
an integration over the continuous spectrum. We also note that the following orthogonality relations:

φn φm = δ nm = ∫ d 3 r φn*( r′ ) φm( r ) , ∑ φ ( r ) φ ( r′ ) = δ ( r − r′ ) .
n n
*
n
(II.4)

Moreover, since L is hermitian, all eigenvalues λn’s are real, implying that the singularities of G(z) are all on
the real axis. For branch cuts of G(z), we may define G+(λ) and G−(λ) so that

Nai-Chang Yeh II-1 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

G ± ( λ ) ≡ lim G ( λ ± is ) . (II.5)
s →0+

The simple poles and branch cut of G(z) on the λ-s complex plane are illustrated in Fig. II.1.1.

Once G(z) is known, we can do the following:

〈1〉 Finding the solutions to the inhomogeneous equation

[ z − L( r ) ] u ( r ) = f ( r ) , (II.6)
where
u ( r ) = ∫ d 3 r ′ G ( r, r ′; z ) f ( r ′ ) if z ≠ λn ,
u ( r ) = ∫ d 3 r ′ G ( r , r ′; z ) f ( r′ ) + φ ( r ) if z = λ ∈ {branch cuts of G(z)},

and u(r), φ(r), G(r, r′; z), all satisfy the same boundary conditions on S, with φ(r) being the solution to
the homogeneous equation:

[ z − L( r ) ] φ ( r ) = 0 . (II.7)

Here we note that there is no solution to u(r) if z coincides with λn unless f (r) is orthogonal to all
eigenfunctions of λn.
s z-plane
Simple poles of G(z), Natural boundary of Branch cut of G(z),
discrete spectrum of L, G(z), continuous continuous spectrum
localized eigenstates. spectrum of L, localized of L, extended
eigenstates. eigenstates. λ

Fig. II.1.1 Green function solutions on the z-plane.

〈2〉 Obtaining information for the eigenfunctions and eigenvalues of L(r). That is, finding the poles of G(z),
which correspond to the discrete eigenvalues of L(r); the residues at the poles, which correspond to the
products of φn ( r ) φn* ( r ′ ) , provided that φn ( r ) are not degenerate; and the branch cuts of G(r, r′; z) along
the real axis, which correspond to the continuous spectrum of L(r).

〈3〉 Deriving the density of states N (λ) associated with the operator L(r):

From G*(r, r′; z) = G(r′, r; z*) and EQ. (II.5), we have G−(r, r′; z) = [G+(r′, r; z)]*. Consequently,
Re{G−(r, r′; z)} = Re{[G+(r, r′; z)]}, Im{G−(r, r′; z)} = − Im{[G+(r, r′; z)]}, and

G ( r , r ′; λ ) ≡ G + ( r , r ′; λ ) − G − ( r , r ′; λ ) = −2π i ∑ n δ ( λ − λn ) φn ( r ) φn* ( r ′ )

= −2π i ⎡Σ′n δ ( λ − λn ) φn ( r ) φn* ( r ′ ) + ∫ dn δ ( λ − λn ) φn ( r ) φn* ( r′ ) ⎤ , (II.8)


⎣ ⎦
where we have used the identity

1 ⎛1⎞
lim = P ⎜ ⎟ ∓ iπδ ( x ) . (II.9)
s →0+ x ± is ⎝x⎠

Nai-Chang Yeh II-2 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

In the case of diagonal matrix elements, we have

⎡ φn ( r ) φn* ( r ) ⎤
G ± ( r , r; λ ) = P ⎢ ∑ n ⎥ ∓ π i ∑ n δ ( λ − λn ) φn ( r ) φn ( r ) ,
*
(II.10)
⎣ ( λ − λn ) ⎦
which yields the trace:

{ }
Tr G ± ( λ ) = ∫ d 3 r G ± ( r , r; λ )
⎡ 1 ⎤ ⎡ 1 ⎤
= P ⎢∑ n ⎥ ∓ iπ ∑ n δ ( λ − λn ) ≡ P ⎢ ∑ n ⎥ ∓ iπ N ( λ ) . (II.11)
⎣ ( λ − λn ) ⎦ ⎣ ( λ − λn ) ⎦
Therefore, ⎡⎣N ( λ ) d λ ⎤⎦ is the number of states in the interval [ λ , λ + d λ ] , and the quantity

ρ ( r; λ ) ≡ ∑ n δ ( λ − λn ) φn ( r ) φn* ( r ) (II.12)

is the density of states per unit volume, so that

N ( λ ) = ∫ d 3 r ρ ( r; λ ) . (II.13)
Consequently,
1
ρ ( r; λ ) = ∓
π
{
Im G ± ( r , r; λ ) , } (II.14)

1
and N (λ ) = ∓
π
{
Im Tr ⎡⎣G ± ( λ ) ⎤⎦ . } (II.15)

Furthermore,
φn ( r ) φn* ( r′ ) φn ( r ) φn* ( r ′ )
G ( r, r ′; z ) = ∑ n = ∫ d λ ∑ n δ ( λ − λn )

,
z − λn −∞
z −λ
i ∞ G ( r , r ′; z )
=
2π ∫ −∞

z−λ
. (II.16)

〈4〉 Using G0 ( z ) = ( z − L0 ) and L1 to obtain information for the eigenfunctions and eigenvalues of L = L0 +
−1

L1. Specifically, if the operator L is represented by the total Hamiltonian H of the system, so that for H
= H 0 + H 1, G0 ( z ) = ( z − H 0 ) and G ( z ) = ( z − H )
−1 −1
. Hence,

1
G = G0 = G0 + G0 H 1G0 + G0H 1G0H 1G0 + …
1 − H 1G0
= G0 + G0 H 1G = G0 + GH 1G0 . (II.17)

We further note that in EQ. (II.17), the equivalence of G0 + G0 H 1G and G0 + GH 1G0 (corresponding to
the equivalence of G0 (1 − H 1G0 ) and (1 − G0H 1 ) G0 ) is generally true without requiring specific
−1 −1

symmetries for H0 and H 1.

Next, let’s consider time-dependent Green functions. The Green function associated with a first-
order (in time) partial differential equation of the form

Nai-Chang Yeh II-3 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

⎡i ∂ ⎤
⎢⎣ C ∂t − L ( r ) ⎥⎦ φ ( r , t ) = 0 , (II.18)

is defined as the solution of the following equation:

⎡ i ∂ − L r ⎤ g r, t ; r ′, t ′ = δ r − r′ δ t − t ′
⎢⎣ C ∂t ( )⎥ ( ) ( ) ( ) (II.19)

subject to certain boundary conditions on the surface S of the domain Ω of r and r′; L(r) is a linear, hermitian
and time-independent operator with a complete set of eigenfunctions {φ (r)}; and C is a constant. If C is real,
it may be taken as positive without losing generality. In this case, g ( r , t ; r ′, t ′ ) is associated with a
Schrödinger type equation. On the other hand, if C is imaginary, g ( r , t ; r ′, t ′ ) is associated with a diffusion
type equation.

Generally for time-independent L(r), g ( r , t ; r ′, t ′ ) may be expressed in terms of the time difference
τ ≡ t − t ′ . In this case, the Fourier transform of g ( r, r ′;τ ) is g ( r, r ′; ω ) , which is directly related to the
time-independent Green function G ( r , r ′; z ) if we take z = ω/C and allow ω to be complex. Thus, we have

∞ dω ′ ⎛ ω ′ ⎞ − iω ′τ
g > ,< ( r, r′;τ ) = ∫ G + , − ⎜ r, r ′; ⎟e . (II.20)
−∞
2π ⎝ C⎠

The Green function associated with a second-order (in time) differential equation is defined as the
solution of
⎡ 1 ∂2 ⎤
⎢ − C 2 ∂t 2 − L ( r ) ⎥ g ( r , r′;τ ) = δ ( r − r ′ ) δ (τ ) . (II.21)
⎣ ⎦

The Fourier transform g ( r, r ′; ω ) in this case is related to the time-independent Green function G ( r , r′; z )
⎛ ω2 ⎞
by g ( r, r ′; ω ) = G ⎜ r, r ′; ⎟2
. The special case of L = −∇ 2 reduces to the wave equation.
⎝ C ⎠

ω-plane
>
g Re{ω}
ω-plane
g< Re{ω}
ω-plane
g Re{ω}

Fig. II.1.2 Integration paths for Green functions on the ω-plane.

Having obtained g >(τ ) and g <(τ ) , we can:

〈1〉 Solve the homogeneous equation in EQ. (II.18) as

Nai-Chang Yeh II-4 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
i
φ ( r, t ) = d r g ( r , r′, t − t ′ ) φ ( r ′, t ′ ) ,
C∫
3
(II.22)

where g (τ ) ≡ g > (τ ) − g < (τ ) , with the corresponding integration paths in the ω-plane illustrated in Fig.
II.1.2.

〈2〉 Solve the inhomogeneous equation:

⎡i ∂ ⎤
⎢⎣ C ∂t − L ( r ) ⎥⎦ ψ ( r , t ) = f ( r, t ) , (II.23)

with ψ ( r , t ) given by
ψ ( r , t ) = φ ( r, t ) + ∫ d 3 r ′∫ dt ′ g > ( r, r′; t − t ′ ) f ( r′, t ′ ) , (II.24)

where φ ( r , t ) is the solution of the homogenous equation EQ. (II.18).

〈3〉 Use g0(τ) and L1(r) to obtain information for the solution of

⎡i ∂ ⎤
⎢⎣ C ∂t − L ( r ) ⎥⎦ ψ ( r , t ) = 0 , (II.25)

where g0(τ) is the Green function of solution of L0(r), and L = L0 + L1, similar to what we have done in
EQ. (II.17).

Having reviewed some basic properties of Green functions, next we consider the effect of
temperature, in preparation for applying Green functions to the derivation of thermodynamic properties.

II.2. Temperature Dependent Quantum Field Theory in the Path Integral Formalism

Temperature is one of the most fundamental variables in the description of a condensed matter
physics system. In reality, temperature T can be naturally introduced into the zero-temperature quantum field
theory through a Wick rotation t = − itE if one identifies the inverse of temperature (β = 1/T) with the
imaginary time. This concept is best described in terms of path integral formalism. For completeness, before
we proceed with the description of temperature-dependent quantum field theory, it is useful to briefly review
the path integral formalism.

Let’s consider the propagation of a quantum system, governed by a Hamiltonian H, from a point qI
to a point qF in time t. The amplitude for the propagation is given by qF exp ( − iH t ) qI , where we have
used the Dirac bra and ket notations, and exp ( − iH t ) is a unitary operator. If we divide the time t into N
segments and define δt = t/N, and recall that |q〉 forms a complete set of states so that ∫ dq |q〉 〈q| = 1, we can
rewrite qF exp ( − iH t ) qI into the following:

qF | e − i H t | qI
⎛ N −1 ⎞
= ⎜ ∏ ∫ dq j ⎟ qF | e − i Hδ t | qN −1 qN −1 | e − i Hδ t | qN − 2 ... q2 | e − i Hδ t | q1 q1 | e − i Hδ t | qI . (II.26)
⎝ j =1 ⎠

Nai-Chang Yeh II-5 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
The simplest case is the free-particle Hamiltonian H = p 2 /(2m), where p is the momentum operator.
Noting that p |p〉 = p |p〉 and ∫ (dp/2π) |p〉 〈p| = 1, we can compute 〈qj+1 | exp (− iH δt) |qj〉 as follows:

⎛ p2 ⎞ dp ⎛ p2 ⎞ dp − iδ t ( p2 / 2 m )
q j +1 exp ⎜ −iδ t ⎟ qj = ∫ q j +1 exp ⎜ −iδ t ⎟ p p qj = ∫ e q j +1 p p q j
⎝ 2m ⎠ 2π ⎝ 2m ⎠ 2π
1
⎛ p2 ⎞ ⎛ −im ⎞ 2 ⎛ ⎛ m ⎞ ⎡ (q j +1 − q j ) ⎤ ⎞
2

⎟ exp ⎡⎣ip ( q j +1 − q j ) ⎤⎦ = ⎜
dp
=∫ exp ⎜ −iδ t ⎟ exp ⎜⎜ iδ t ⎜ ⎟ ⎢ ⎥ ⎟⎟ . (II.27)
2π ⎝ 2m ⎠ ⎝ 2πδ t ⎠ ⎝ 2 ⎠⎣ δ t ⎦ ⎠

In the above derivation we have used the identities 〈q | p〉 = e ipq and


1 2 1/ 2
+∞ − ax ⎛ 2π ⎞
∫−∞
dx e 2
=⎜
⎝ a ⎠
⎟ (II.28)

Therefore 〈qI | exp(− iH t) |qF〉 becomes:


N
⎛ −im ⎞ 2 ⎛ N −1 ⎞ ⎛ ⎛ m ⎞ N −1 ⎡ (q j +1 − q j ) ⎤ 2 ⎞
⎟ ⎜ ∏ ∫ dq j ⎟ exp ⎜⎜ iδ t ⎜ ⎟ ∑ j =0 ⎢ ⎥ ⎟⎟ , (II.29)
−i H t
qF e qI = ⎜
⎝ 2πδ t ⎠ ⎝ j =1 ⎠ ⎝ ⎝ 2 ⎠ ⎣ δ t ⎦ ⎠

t
where we have taken qI = q0 and qF = qN. In the δ t → 0 limit, [(qj+1−qj)/δt]2 → q 2 , and δt ∑j → ∫ dt . If we
0
further define the integral over paths as
N
⎛ − im ⎞ 2 ⎛ N −1 ⎞
∫ Dq(t ) = Nlim ⎜⎜ ⎟⎟ ⎜⎜ ∏ ∫ dq j ⎟⎟ , (II.30)
→∞ 2πδ t
⎝ ⎠ ⎝ j =1 ⎠

we arrive at the path integral representation for free particles:

⎛ t 1 ⎞
qF | e − i H t | qI = ∫ Dq (t ′) exp ⎜ i ∫ dt ′ mq 2 ⎟ . (II.31)
⎝ 0 2 ⎠

The above result can be generalized to a Hamiltonian for a particle in a potential V (q), so that H =
p2
/(2 m) + V( q ), and

⎛ t ⎡1
⎝ 0
⎣2
⎤⎞
⎦⎠
t

0 (
qF | e − i H t | qI = ∫ Dq (t ′) exp ⎜ i ∫ dt ′ ⎢ mq 2 − V ( q ) ⎥ ⎟ = ∫ Dq (t ′) exp i ∫ dt ′L (q, q ) , ) (II.32)

where L (q, q) denotes the Lagrangian of the system.

In most of the problems that interest us, we want to consider the amplitude between an initial state |I〉
and a final state |F〉 rather than between the initial and the final positions |qI〉 and |qF〉. We therefore rewrite
EQ. (II.32) into the following form:

F | e − i H t |I = ∫ dqF ∫ dqI F | qF q F | e − i H t | qI qI | I = ∫ dqF ∫ dqI Ψ F (qF ) * qF | e − i H t | qI Ψ I ( qI ) ,


(II.33)
where ΨI and ΨF denote the Schrödinger’s wavefunctions for the initial and final states, respectively.

Nai-Chang Yeh II-6 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
Next, we consider the amplitude Z ≡ 〈0| exp(−iHt) |0〉 ≡ ∫ Dq eiS(q) evaluated at the ground state of an
N-particle system, where S(q) denotes the action

⎡N 1 ⎤
S (q ) = ∫ dt ′ ⎢ ∑ ma qa 2 − V (q1 , q2 ,..., qN ) ⎥ = ∫ dt ′ L [ qa (t ′), qa (t ′) ] ,
t t
(II.34)
0
⎣ a =1 2 ⎦ 0

and V(q1, q2,…, qN) is the potential energy, which includes the interaction energy among particles. We may
take the continuum limit so that the discreteness of particles is replaced by a four-dimensional variable x ≡ (t,
x), and the discrete coordinates and momentum of particles by the field ϕ (x) and its space-time derivatives
∂μϕ (x), where ∂μ ≡ (∂/∂t, ∂/∂xi) and the superscript index i runs through three spatial dimensions. The action
S is now given by a 4-dimensional integral over the Lagrangian density L(ϕ(x),∂μϕ (x)): S = ∫ d 4 x L (ϕ , ∂ μϕ) ,
so that Z = 〈0| exp(− iH t) |0〉 becomes (after restoring the Planck constant)

⎡i ⎤
Z = ∫ Dϕ exp ⎢ ∫ d 4 x L(ϕ , ∂ μϕ ) ⎥ = ∫ Dϕ exp ⎡⎣ iS (ϕ , ∂ μϕ ) ⎤⎦ . (II.35)
⎣ ⎦

Using the Euler-Lagrangian variational procedure by minimizing the action and also integration by parts:

⎡δ L δL ⎤ ⎡⎛ δ L δL ⎞ ⎤
δ S = ∫ d 4x ⎢ δϕ + δ ∂ μϕ ⎥ = ∫ d 4 x ⎢⎜⎜ − ∂μ ⎟ δϕ ⎥ = 0 ,
⎣⎢ δϕ δ ∂ μϕ ⎦⎥ ⎢⎣⎝ δϕ δ∂ μϕ ⎠⎟ ⎥⎦

we obtain the equation of motion:


δL δL (II.36)
∂μ − =0,
δ ∂ μϕ δϕ

which is consistent with the classical field equation.

Having established the path integral formalism, we consider a specific example, the Minkowskian
path integral for scalar field theory in d-dimensional spacetime at T = 0 with a Lagrangian density
L (ϕ ) ≡ ⎡⎣( ∂ϕ ) 2 ⎤⎦ − V (ϕ ) :
2

⎡i d ⎛1 ⎞⎤
Z = ∫ Dϕ exp ⎢ ∫ d x ⎜ ( ∂ϕ ) − V (ϕ ) ⎟ ⎥ ,
2
(II.37)
⎣ ⎝2 ⎠⎦

where ϕ represents the scalar field, and V (ϕ ) denotes the potential of the scalar field. Under a Wick rotation
t = − itE, EQ. (II.37) is converted into the Euclidean functional integral

⎡ 1 d ⎛1 ⎞⎤ ⎡ 1 ⎤
Z = ∫ Dϕ exp ⎢ − ∫ d E x ⎜ ( ∂ϕ ) + V (ϕ ) ⎟ ⎥ ≡ ∫ Dϕ exp ⎢ − S (ϕ ) ⎥ ,
2
(II.38)
⎣ ⎝ 2 ⎠⎦ ⎣ ⎦

where we have defined d d x ≡ − i d Ed x ≡ − i dt E d ( d −1) x , ( ∂ϕ )2 = ( ∂ϕ / ∂t )2 − ( ∇ϕ )2 in EQ. (II.37), and


( ∂ϕ )2 ⇒ − ⎡⎣( ∂ϕ / ∂t E )2 + ( ∇ϕ )2 ⎤⎦ in EQ. (II.38). The term S (ϕ ) defined in EQ. (II.38) can be considered as
the effective energy functional of the field ϕ. In this context, if we identify as the temperature T = 1/β and
recall that the scalar field ϕ(x) can be mapped onto the coordinates qi (i = 1, 2, …, N) of an N-particle system,
we find that EQ. (II.38) becomes consistent with the partition function of classical statistical mechanics in d-
dimensional space because of the correspondence

Nai-Chang Yeh II-7 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

⎡ 1 ⎤
Z = ∏ ∫ dqi exp [ − β H (q1 , q2 , , qN ) ] ↔ Z = ∫ Dϕ exp ⎢ − S (ϕ ) ⎥ . (II.39)
i ⎣ ⎦
Hence, the Euclidean quantum field theory in d-dimensional spacetime is consistent with classical statistical
mechanics in d-dimensional space.

Let’s now consider the situation in quantum statistical mechanics. The partition function for a system
described by the Hamiltonian H is

{ }
Z = Tr e − β H = ∑ n e − β H n .
n
(II.40)

If we replace the time t in the expression of F e − i H t I in EQ. (II.33) by (−iβ) and set I = F = n , we
reach the following expression:

{ } Dq exp ⎡ − ∫ dτ L ( q ) ⎤ ,
β
Z = Tr e − β H = ∫
PBC ⎣ 0 ⎦
n =∞
Dq exp ⎡ − ∫ dτ H (q ) ⎤ n
β
= ∑ n ∫PBC ⎣ 0 ⎦
(II.41)
n =−∞

where “PBC” refers to periodic boundary condition because of the trace operation, the Lagrangian L(q) =
½(dq/dτ)2 +V(q) under the change of variable from dt to (−idτ ) is precisely the Hamiltonian H in the
Euclidean time τ, and the integration over τ runs from 0 to β. Since we are taking the trace in EQ. (II.41),
the boundary condition q(0) = q(β) must be satisfied. Equation (II.41) can be readily extended to field theory
if we take H as the Hamiltonian of a quantum field theory in D-dimensional space (or equivalently, d =
(D+1)-dimensional spacetime) and consider the following correspondence:

q ↔ ϕ, L ( q ) ↔ ∫ d D x H (ϕ ) = H ,

where H (ϕ ) denotes the Hamiltonian density. Hence, EQ. (II.41) may be rewritten as follows:

{ }
β
Z = Tr e − β H = ∫ Dϕ exp ⎡ − ∫ dτ ∫ d D x H (ϕ ) ⎤ ,
PBC ⎣ 0 ⎦

β
= ∑ n ∫ Dϕ exp ⎡ − ∫ dτ H (ϕ ) ⎤ n (II.42)
n =−∞
PBC ⎣ 0 ⎦

Moreover, for all paths ϕ ( x ,τ ) the condition

ϕ ( x, 0 ) = ϕ ( x, β ) (II.43)

is satisfied. The boundary condition in EQ. (II.43) requires that the Euclidean frequency ω can only take on
discrete imaginary values:

ωn ≡ i ( 2π / β ) n = i ( 2π T ) n, ( n = −∞, , −1, 0,1, , ∞) . (II.44)

Equation (II.44) is satisfied for bosonic fields, and ωn is known as the Matsubara frequency. For fermionic
fields, on the other hand, the corresponding Matsubara frequency is given by

ω n ≡ i (π / β ) ( 2 n + 1) = i (π T ) ( 2n + 1) , ( n = −∞, , −1, 0,1, , ∞) , (II.45)

Nai-Chang Yeh II-8 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

so that the bosonic field operator ϕ ( x ,τ ) is replaced by the Dirac spinor field operator ψ ( x ,τ ) . The
difference in the expressions of the Matsubara frequency between bosons and fermions is the result of
Grassmann algebra associated with the spinor field operators of fermions in the path integrals, which is not
explicitly discussed here but can be found in typical relativistic field theory texts.

The expressions given in EQs. (II.41) -- (II.43) suggest that a field theory at finite temperature is
equivalent to rotate it to Euclidean space and impose the boundary condition in EQ. (II.43). In other words, a
Euclidean quantum field theory in (D+1)-dimensional spacetime with 0 ≤ τ < β is equivalent to quantum
statistical mechanics in D-dimensional space. In the limit of zero temperature where β → ∞, EQ. (II.42)
becomes the standard Wick rotated quantum field theory over an infinite spacetime, as expected. Thus, the
analytic continuation between [exp(− iH t)] in quantum physics and [exp(−βH)] in thermal physics leads to
a remarkable result suggesting that the notion of temperature is in fact equivalent to cyclic imaginary time.
Hence, we are able to deal with finite-temperature perturbation theory and Feynman diagrams by using the
Feynman rules in T = 0 and then replacing the frequency ω by the Matsubara frequency ωn.

In the high temperature limit T → ∞, we find that the dominant contribution to the propagator is
from the term n = 0 because large n values correspond to fast oscillating terms whose amplitude effectively
vanish. The fact that only the term n = 0 dominates implies that the Feynman diagrams are effectively
evaluated in D-dimensional space. In other words, the Euclidean quantum field theory in d-dimensional
spacetime is equivalent to high-temperature quantum statistical physics in D-dimensional space. One
important application of quantum field theory at finite temperature is to cosmology, because the early
universe may be considered as a soup of elementary particles at high temperatures. Finite-temperature
quantum field theory is also very important to condensed matter physics, as we shall see in the subsequent
chapters of this summer course.

II.3. The Physical Meanings of Green Functions


In condensed matter physics, we are interested in the propagation of particles in a many-body
system. Let’s begin our consideration with a many-body interacting system in the absence of any external
potential, so that the Hamiltonian H is also translational invariant in spacetime, and that all Green functions
are only dependent on the difference in the spacetime coordinates (x−x´). To incorporate interaction, we
define the field operators ψ ( x ) = ψ ( r , t ) and ψ †( x ) = ψ †( r , t ) in the Heisenberg picture as follows (taking
= 1 and recall EQ. (I.88) for the definition of operators in the Heisenberg picture):

ψ ( r , t ) = ei H tψ ( r , 0 ) e − i H t = ∑ anψ n ( r ) e − iε nt ,
n

ψ † ( r, t ) = ei H tψ † ( r , 0 ) e − i H t = ∑ an†ψ n∗( r ) eiε nt , (II.46)


n

and H = ∑ε a an

n n
. (II.47)
n

As before, the creation and annihilation operators an† and an obey the following communication relations:

an an†′ ∓ an†′ an = δ nn′ , an an′ ∓ an′ an = 0 , an† an†′ ∓ an†′ an† = 0 , (II.48)

where the upper (lower) sign corresponds to bosons (fermions).

The Green function g (r, t ; r ′, t ′) = g ( x, x′) = g ( x − x′) has the physical significance of a single-
particle propagator. For an N-particle system, each propagator corresponds to the propagation of a particle

Nai-Chang Yeh II-9 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
added to the N-particle system. As before, the Green function for the interacting system is defined by the
chronological operator T:

(
g ( x − x′) ≡ −i T ψ ( x)ψ † ( x′) ) , (II.49)

where the symbol A denotes thermal average of the quantity A over the grand statistical ensemble:

− β (ε − μ N )
∑ i A i exp ⎡⎣ − β ( ε i − μ Ni ) ⎦⎤ Tr ⎡⎣ Ae ⎤
⎦,
A ≡ i
= (II.50)
∑i ⎣
exp ⎡ − β ( ε i − μ N )
i ⎦⎤ ⎡
Tr ⎣e − β (ε − μ N )


N is the total number of particles, μ the chemical potential, { i } the common eigen-functions, and
( ) ( )
T ψ ( x)ψ † ( x′) = T ψ (r , t )ψ † (r ′, t ′) = ψ (r , t )ψ † (r ′, t ′), t > t ′;
= ±ψ † (r′, t ′)ψ (r , t ), t < t ′. (II.51)

In EQ. (II.51) the upper (lower) sign refers to bosons (fermions). It should be noted that the definition given
in EQ. (II.49) has not explicitly included the spin indices of the field operators. For simplicity we temporarily
neglect the spin indices, which is valid if we only deal with spin-independent interactions. We shall restore
the spin indices later for generality when we discuss the diagrammatic analysis.

It is convenient (as we shall see later) to define different forms of Green functions besides the one in
EQ. (II.49). The customary forms of Green functions in addition to EQ. (II.49) are listed below:

g ( x, x′) = g ( x − x′) ≡ −i ⎡⎣ψ ( x),ψ † ( x′) ⎤⎦ , (II.52)


g > ( x, x′) = g > ( x − x′) ≡ −i ψ ( x)ψ † ( x′) , (II.53)


g < ( x, x′) = g < ( x − x′) ≡ ∓ i ψ † ( x′) ψ ( x) , (II.54)

g R ( x, x′) = g R ( x − x′) ≡ −iθ (t − t ′) ⎡⎣ψ ( x ),ψ † ( x′) ⎤⎦ , (II.55)


g A ( x, x′) = g A ( x − x′) ≡ iθ (t ′ − t ) ⎡⎣ψ ( x ),ψ † ( x′) ⎤⎦ , (II.56)


where the upper (lower) sign refers to bosons (fermions). In the zero temperature limit the thermal average of
the physical quantity A becomes:

A → 0 A0 as T → 0+ , (II.57)

where 0 is the ground state of the entire many-system instead of vacuum.

In the presence of interactions, the Hamiltonian H (= K + V) of the system consists of both the
kinetic energy of particles K:
2 2 2
k2
K=
2m
3
(
∫ d r ∇ψ ∇ψ = −

) 2m
3 †
(
∫d r ψ ∇ψ = ∑
2
) 2m
ak† ak , (II.58)
k

and the interaction potential V (restricted to pair interactions for simplicity):

Nai-Chang Yeh II-10 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
1 1
V= ∑ V ( r , r ) = ∫ d r ∫ d r ′′ψ ( r )ψ ( r′′ ) V ( r, r′′ )ψ ( r′′ )ψ ( r ) .
3 3 † †
(II.59)
2 2
i j
ij

Consequently, the Schrödinger’s equation expressed in terms of the field operators becomes

⎛ ∂ ∇ 2r ⎞
⎟ψ ( r, t ) = ⎡⎣ ∫ d r ′′ψ ( r′′, t )V ( r′′ − r )ψ ( r′′, t ) ⎤⎦ψ ( r, t ) , (II.60)
3 †
⎜i +
⎝ ∂t 2m ⎠
and the corresponding Green function g ( x, x′) will involve the two-particle Green function g2:

⎛ ∂ ∇r2 ⎞
⎟ g ( x, x′ ) = δ ( x − x′ ) ± i ∫ d x1 V ( r − r1 ) g 2( x, x1 ; x′, x1 ) t1 = t , (II.61)
4 +
⎜i +
⎝ ∂t 2m ⎠

where x1+ ≡ lim ( r1 , t1 + s ) , and the two-particle Green function is given by:
s →0 +

g 2 ( x1 , x2 ; x1′ , x2′ ) = ( −i ) T ⎡⎣ψ ( x1 )ψ ( x2 )ψ † ( x2′ )ψ † ( x1′ ) ⎤⎦ ,


2
(II.62)

where the chronological operator T arranges the operators in chronological order so that the earliest time
appears on the far right and the latest time appears on the far left. In addition, for fermions only, a factor ±1
is introduced depending on whether the time-ordered product is an even or odd permutation of the original
ordering. From EQ. (II.61), we note that the pair interactions in EQ. (II.59) give rise to the added
contribution of the two-particle Green function to g ( x, x′) . Similarly, we expect that the differential equation
for g2 will involve the three-particle Green function g3, and so on. The n-particle Green function gn is defined
as:

xn ; x1′ , xn′ ) = ( −i ) T ⎡⎣ψ ( x1 ) ψ ( xn )ψ † ( xn′ ) ψ † ( x1′ ) ⎤⎦ .


n
g n ( x1 , (II.63)

Thus, the existence of interaction complicates the calculation of the Green function g ( x, x′) in an essential
way: While in the non-interacting case g ( x, x′) is determined by a single differential equation and proper
initial conditions, there is an infinite hierarchy of equations in the presence of pair interactions, each connects
a Green function of order n to one of order n + 1. Moreover, the chronological order plays an important role
in generalizing the Green functions to finite temperatures.

II.4. Non-Interacting Green Functions at T = 0


Before proceeding further with calculations of interacting Green functions, it is instructive to
consider the non-interacting Green functions associated with the Schrödinger’s equation, which differ from
those associated with the relativistic quantum field theory. Following EQ. (II.58), in the absence interaction,
we have H = K so that
⎛ k2 ⎞
H = ∑ ε k ak† ak , ⎜εk = ⎟.
k ⎝ 2m ⎠

From the general equation of motion idak ( t ) / dt = [ ak ( t ) , H ] we have idak ( t ) / dt = ε k ak ( t ) for the non-
interacting system, which leads to
ak ( t ) = exp ( −iε k t ) ak . (II.64)

Nai-Chang Yeh II-11 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
Let’s consider a heuristic example involving one-dimensional non-interacting fermions in a vacuum
state vac . The field operator is given by

ψ ( x1 , t ) = ∑ k ak ( t ) ei k x = ∑ k ak e − i ε k t ei k x ,
1 1
(II.65)

so that the one-particle Green function for the vacuum state is

(
Gvac ( x1 , t ) = −i vac T ψ ( x1 , t )ψ † ( 0, 0 ) vac , )
= −i vac T ( ∑ k ,k ′
ak ak†′ e − i ε k t ei k x 1
) vac ,
= −i ∑ k e
−iεk t
ei k x 1
for t > 0; (II.66)
=0 for t < 0. (II.67)

Hence, ( )
Gvac x1 , 0+ = −i ∑ k e
i k x1
= −iδ ( x1 ) , (II.68)

i ∞ ⎡⎛ k 2 ⎞⎤
and Gvac ( x1 , t > 0 ) = − ∫−∞ dk exp ⎢i ⎜ kx1 − t ⎟⎥ ,
2π ⎣⎝ 2m ⎠ ⎦
1/ 2
⎛ 2mπ ⎞ i ( m x12 ) / ( 2 t )
= e − i 3π / 4 ⎜ ⎟ e , (II.69)
⎝ t ⎠
which is consistent with the differential equation:

⎛ ∂ 2
∂2 ⎞
⎜ i + 2 ⎟
Gvac ( x1 , t ) = δ ( x1 ) δ ( t ) . (II.70)
⎝ ∂t 2m ∂x1 ⎠

Next, we consider the one-particle Green function for the ground state of non-interacting Fermi sea
in one dimension. (N.B.! In reality, one-dimensional fermions are necessarily strongly interacting and form a
non-Fermi liquid system known as the Luttinger liquid, which will be discussed in Part VIII. For simplicity,
we shall ignore this complication for now.) In this case, the ground state is a filled Fermi sea (with occupied
momentum ranging from –kF to kF) rather than vacuum. Therefore, the one-particle Green function
G0 ( x1 , t > 0 ) deals with a fermion propagating to an unfilled state, whereas G0 ( x1 , t < 0 ) concerns with a
fermion propagating from a filled state. Thus, we have

i ⎡ − kF i k x1 − i ( k t 2 m ) −i ( )⎤,
2 ∞ k 2 t 2m
G0 ( x1 , t > 0 ) = − ∫ dk e e + ∫ dk e i k x1 e (II.71)
2π ⎣⎢ −∞ kF ⎦⎥
i ⎡ kF i k x −i ( k t 2 m) ⎤
2

G0 ( x1 , t < 0 ) = − ∫ dk e 1 e , (II.72)
2π ⎣⎢ F
− k ⎦⎥
so that
i ⎡ sin ( k F x1 ) ⎤
(
G0 x1 , 0+ = − ) π ⎢⎣
π δ ( x1 ) − ⎥, (II.73)
x1 ⎦
sin ( k F x1 )
and (
G0 x1 , 0 − = i) π x1
. (II.74)

In the case of three-dimensional fermion systems, we may Fourier transform the Green functions into
the following:

Nai-Chang Yeh II-12 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
1
G0 ( k , t ) = ∫ d 3 r e − i k i r G0 ( r , t ) , G0 ( r , t ) = G0 ( k , t ) ;
( 2π ) ∫
3
⇔ d re
3
i k ir
(II.75)

1
G0 ( k , ω ) = ∫ dt e i ω t G0 ( k , t ) , G0 ( k , t ) = G0 ( k , ω ) .
2π ∫
−i ω t
⇔ dω e (II.76)

Consequently, the 3D non-interacting one-particle Green function G0 ( k , t ) in the ground state 0 of a filled
Fermi sea is given by

G0 ( k , t ) = −i 0 T (∑ k′ ∫ )
ak ′ ak† e − i ε k′ t d 3 r e − i k i r ei k i r 0

= −i 0 ak ak† 0 e − i ε k t = −i (1 − nk ) e − i ε k t , (t > 0); (II.77)


= i 0 ak† ak 0 e − i ε k t = i nk e − i ε k t , (t < 0), (II.78)

where 0 ak† ak 0 ≡ nk denotes the occupation number of the state k and nk is either 0 or 1 for fermions at T
= 0. Therefore, we may rewrite EQs. (II.77) and (II.78) into the following:

G0 ( k , t ) = −i e − i ε k t e −α tθ ( t ) if |k| > kF; (II.79)

G0 ( k , t ) = i e −i ε k t eα tθ ( −t ) if |k| < kF, (II.80)

where θ ( t ) is the step function and α > 0. Moreover, from EQs. (II.76), (II.79) and (II.80), we have

1
G0 ( k , ω ) = lim . (II.81)
α →0 + ω − ε k + iα sgn ( ω − ε F )

In a real Fermi gas, we expect the quasiparticle excitations to only last for a lifetime ∼ ( Γ k ) so that
−1

EQs. (II.79) and (II.80) are modified into

G0 ( k , t ) = −i e − i ε k t e −Γk tθ ( t ) if |k| > kF; (II.82)

G0 ( k , t ) = i e −i ε k t e Γk tθ ( −t ) if |k| < kF, (II.83)


and
1
G0 > ( k , ω ) = lim if |k| > kF; (II.84)
Γk → 0 + ω − ε k + iΓ k
1
G0 < ( k , ω ) = lim if |k| < kF. (II.85)
Γk → 0 + ω − ε k − iΓ k

II.5. Non-Interacting Green Functions at T > 0

The results given above for non-interacting fermions in the ground state (at T = 0) can be further
generalized to non-interacting bosons and fermions at finite temperatures (T > 0) if we replace the number
operator nk by the thermal average number operator ak† ak , which, for non-interacting particles with a
chemical potential μ, is given as follows:

Nai-Chang Yeh II-13 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

1
ak† ak = f ∓ ( ε k ) = , (II.86)
exp [ β ( ε k − μ )] ∓ 1

where the minus (plus) sign in the denominator refers to boson (fermion) statistics. Thus, we can express
various forms of the Green functions defined according to EQs. (II.52) -- (II.56) into the following (with
R ≡ r − r′ , τ ≡ t − t ′ ):

g > ( k , τ ) = ∫ d 3 R ⎡⎣ e − ik ⋅R g > ( r , t ′ + τ ; r ′, t ′ ) ⎤⎦ = −i ak ( t ′ + τ ) ak† ( t ′ )


= −i e
− iε kτ
ak ak† = −ie
− iε kτ
(1 ± ak† ak ). (II.87)

Similarly, it can be easily verified that


− iε kτ
g < ( k , τ ) = ∓ ie ak† ak . (II.88)

Following the derivation given above, the other Green functions can be derived and summarized below:

g ( k , τ ) = −ie
− iε kτ
[1 ± f ( ε )] ,
∓ k
(τ > 0) ;
− iε kτ
= ∓ ie f∓ (ε k ) , (τ < 0) ; (II.89)
g ( k , τ ) = −ie
− iε kτ
; (II.90)
g R
( k ,τ ) = −iθ (τ ) e − iε kτ
; (II.91)
g A
( k ,τ ) = iθ ( −τ ) e .
− iε kτ
(II.92)

Here the upper (lower) sign refers to the case for bosons (fermions). Hence, from EQs. (II.89) and (II.76), the
non-interacting single-particle Green function at T > 0 is given by:

⎡ f∓( ε k ) 1 − f∓( ε k )⎤
g ( k , ω ) = lim ⎢ + ⎥. (II.93)
α →0 +
⎣ ω − ε k − iα ω − ε k + iα ⎦

Interestingly, we note that for non-interacting systems, the Green functions g , g R and g A do not involve
either temperature or chemical potential μ, and are therefore identical to those associated with a single
particle moving in vacuum. In contrast, the Green functions g > , g < and g involve information pertaining not
only to the motion of the added particle (or hole) but also to the state of the system as well. In addition, for
fermions in the limit of T → 0, we have μ = εF = kF2/(2m). Therefore g ( k , τ ) at T = 0 becomes

g ( k , τ ) = −ie
− iε kτ
θ ( k − kF ) , (τ > 0) ;
= ie
− iε kτ
θ ( kF − k ) , (τ < 0) . (II.94)

On the other hand, for bosons in the T → 0 limit, the situation is more complicated because of the
phenomenon known as the Bose condensation. We shall consider the case of Bose condensation later.

Next, we take the Fourier transformation with respect to time for the Green functions given above,
and obtain the following expressions:

g ( k , ω ) = −2π i δ ( ω − ε k ) ; (II.95)

Nai-Chang Yeh II-14 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
1
g R ( k , ω ) = lim ; (II.96)
s →0 + ω + is − ε k
1
g A ( k , ω ) = lim . (II.97)
s →0 + ω − is − ε k

For fermions at T = 0, we obtain from EQ. (II.94):

⎡θ ( k − kF ) θ ( kF − k ) ⎤
g ( k , ω ) = lim ⎢ + ⎥,
s →0 +
⎣ ω − ε k
+ is ω − ε k
− is ⎦
⎡ 1 ⎤
= lim ⎢ ⎥, (II.98)
s →0 +
⎢⎣ ω − ε k + is ( sgn ( k − k F ) ) ⎥⎦

where sgn(x) = 1 for x > 0 and sgn(x) = −1 for x < 0. For convenience, we may define

1
G (k, z ) = , (II.99)
z − εk

so that EQs. (II.96) -- (II.98) are rewritten as follows:

g R ( k , ω ) = lim G( k , ω + is ) , (II.100)
s →0 +

g A ( k , ω ) = lim G ( k , ω − is ) , (II.101)
s →0+

g ( k , ω ) = lim G ( k , ω + is [sgn ( ω − ε F )]) . (II.102)


s →0+

II.6. Interacting Green functions and Lehmann representation at T = 0

To find the form of the Green function in the exact ground state 0 of an interacting Fermi gas, we
need to express the particle operators in the Heisenberg representation. That is,

ak ( t ) = e i H t ak e −i H t , (II.103)
and
(
g ( k , t ) = −i 0 T ak ( t ) ak† ( 0 ) 0 )
iH t −iH t †
= −i 0 e ak e a 0 ,
k
t > 0;
= i 0 ak† e i H t ak e − i H t 0 , t < 0. (II.104)

Assuming the exact ground state energy of the N-particle system is E0N so that H 0 = E0N 0 , we obtain

g ( k , t ) = −i 0 ak e − i H t ak† 0 e
N
, t > 0;
i E0 t

N
= i 0 ak† e i H t ak 0 e
− i E0 t
, t < 0. (II.105)

If we further denote the excited states of the system as so that represents the (N+1)-particle system
for t > 0 and the (N−1)-particle system for t < 0, we may rewrite EQ. (II.105) into the following form:

Nai-Chang Yeh II-15 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
2 (
i E0 − E
N +1
)t
g ( k , t ) = −i ∑ 0 ak e − i H t = −i ∑
N N

ak† 0 e ak† 0 , (t > 0);


i E0 t
e
2 ( N −1
) ,
− E0N t
= i ∑ 0 ak† e i H t = i∑
N
− i E0 t i E
ak 0 e ak 0 e (t < 0). (II.106)

Noting that the chemical potential μ is given by (for N >> 1)

∂E
μ≡ ≈ E0N +1 − E0N ≈ E0N − E0N −1 , (II.107)
∂N
and
( ) ( ) (
− E N +1 − E0N = − ⎡⎣ E N +1 − E0N +1 + E0N +1 − E0N ⎤⎦ ≈ − ( ε + μ ) , ) (II.108)

(E N −1
) ( ) (
− E0N = E N −1 − E0N −1 + E0N −1 − E0N ≈ ( ε − μ ) , ) (II.109)
we obtain
2 −i (ε + μ ) t
g ( k , t ) = −i ∑ ak† 0 e , (t > 0);
2 i (ε − μ ) t
= i∑ ak 0 e , (t < 0). (II.110)

Thus, the Fourier transform of EQ. (II.110) becomes:


∞ 0 ∞
g ( k , ω ) = ∫ dt e i ω t g ( k , t ) = ∫ dt e iω t g ( k , t ) + ∫ dt e iω t g ( k , t )
−∞ −∞ 0

− i ( ε + μ ) t −α t i (ε − μ ) t +α t
= lim ⎡ −i ∫ dt e i ω t ∑ ⎤
∞ 2 0 2

a 0 e +i ∫ dt e i ω t ∑ ak 0 e
α →0 + ⎢
⎣ ⎥⎦
0 k −∞

d ω ′ ⎡ −i ∫ dt e i ω t ∑
∞ ∞ 2 − i ( ω ′ + μ ) t −α t
ak† 0 δ ( ω ′ − ε ) e
α →0 + ∫
= lim
0 ⎣ 0

i ω ′− μ ) t + α t ⎤
+ i ∫ dt e i ω t ∑ ak 0 δ ( ω ′ − ε ) e (
0 2

−∞ ⎦

⎡∑ 2
ak† 0 δ ( ω ′ − ε ) ∑ ak 0 δ ( ω ′ − ε
2
) ⎤⎥
= lim ∫ dω ′ ⎢ +
α →0 + 0 ⎢

(ω − μ ) − ω ′ + iα (ω − μ ) + ω ′ − iα ⎥

∞ ⎡ ρ + ( k, ω′) ρ − ( k, ω′) ⎤
≡ lim ∫ d ω ⎢
′ + ⎥, (II.111)
⎣ ( ω − μ ) − ω ′ + iα ( ω − μ ) + ω ′ − iα ⎦
α →0 + 0

where ρ ± ( k , ω ′ ) are known as the spectral density functions. The expression of g ( k , ω ) in terms of the
spectral density functions given in EQ. (II.111) is known as the Lehmann representation.

Using EQ. (II.9) and the Lehmann representation in EQ. (II.111), we find that the imaginary part of
g ( k , ω ) becomes

Im [ g ( k , ω )] = −π ρ + ( k , ω − μ ) if ω > μ ;
= π ρ − (k, μ − ω ) if ω < μ . (II.112)

Nai-Chang Yeh II-16 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

Thus, Im [ g ( k , ω )] changes sign at ω = μ because the spectral density functions are positive definite.
Furthermore, the real part of the Green function is related to Im [ g ( k , ω )] via the following expression:

⎧ ⎡ ρ + (k, ω′)
ρ − (k, ω′) ⎤ ⎫
Re [ g ( k , ω )] = P ⎨ ∫ d ω ′ ⎢

⎥⎬ +
⎣ (ω − μ ) − ω ′ (ω − μ ) + ω ′ ⎦ ⎭
0

1 ⎪⎧ ∞ ⎡ − Im [ g ( k , ω ′ + μ )] Im [ g ( k , μ − ω ′ )] ⎤ ⎪⎫
= P ⎨∫ dω′ ⎢ ⎬
(ω − μ ) + ω ′ ⎥⎦ ⎭⎪
+
π ⎩⎪0 ⎣ (ω − μ ) − ω ′
1 ⎧ ∞ Im [ g ( k , ω ′ )] ⎫
1 ⎧ μ Im [ g ( k , ω ′ )] ⎫
=− P ⎨∫ dω′ ⎬ + P ⎨ ∫ dω ′ ⎬
π ⎩ μ (ω − ω ′ ) ⎭ π ⎩ −∞ (ω − ω ′ ) ⎭
1 ⎧ ∞ μ Im [ g ( k , ω ′ )] ⎫
= P ⎨ ⎡ ∫ dω ′ − ∫ dω ′⎤ ⎬. (II.113)
π ⎩ ⎣⎢ μ −∞ ⎦⎥ ( ω ′ − ω ) ⎭

II.7. Interacting Green Functions and Lehmann Representation at T > 0

The above consideration of ground state Green functions at T = 0 can be generalized to finite
temperatures T > 0 by introducing a statistical operator:

ρ m = exp [ − β ( ε m − μ N m )] / Tr {exp [ − β ( H − μ N )]} , (II.114)

where H m = ε m m , N m = N m m , m denotes the eigen-functions of H and N, and β = T−1.

Given the definition of a statistical operator, we can express the Green functions in their finite-
temperature forms. For instance, the quantity g > ( k , t ) :

g > ( k , t ) = −i ak ( t ) ak† ( 0 ) = −i ∑ ρ m m ak ( t ) ak† ( 0 ) m ,


m

= −i ∑ ρ m m e iH t
ak e − i H t ak† m ,
m
− i (ε −ε m ) t
= −i ∑ ρ m e
2
ak† m . (II.115)
m

From EQ. (II.115) we obtain g > ( k , ω ) as

∞ ∞

∫ dt e iω t g > ( k , t ) = ∫ dt e iω t g > ( k , t ) θ ( t )
0 −∞

2 −i (ε −ε ) t −α t
= lim ⎡ −i ∫ dt e i ω t ∑ m ρ m ⎤

ak† m e m
α →0 + ⎢⎣ 0 ⎥⎦
1
= ∑ ρm
2
ak† m
m ω − ( ε − ε m ) + iα
1
= ∑ ρ m m ak
2

m ω − ( ε − ε m ) + iα

Nai-Chang Yeh II-17 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
1
( ⇔ m) = ∑ρ
2
ak m . (II.116)
m ω + ( ε − ε m ) + iα
Similarly,
1
dt e iω t g <( k , t ) = ∫ dt e iω tθ ( −t ) g <( k , t ) = ∑ ρ m
0 ∞ 2
∫−∞ −∞
m
ak m
ω + ( ε − ε m ) − iα
β ⎡⎣ μ ( N m − N ) + ( ε −ε m ) ⎤⎦ 1
= ∑ρ e
2
ak m . (II.117)
m ω + ( ε − ε m ) − iα

If the temperature is not very high, it is reasonable to assume that the matrix elements ak m are
dominated by those with N m − N = 1 . Hence, we may consolidate the expressions in EQs. (II.116) and
(II.117), yielding
⎡ β ⎡ μ + ( ε −ε m ) ⎤⎦ ⎤
1 e ⎣
g (k, ω ) = ∑ ρ
2
ak m ⎢ + ⎥
m
⎣⎢ ω + ( ε − ε m ) + iα ω + ( ε − ε m ) − iα ⎦⎥
⎧⎪ ⎡ e β ⎣⎡ μ +(ε −ε m )⎦⎤ + 1 ⎤ ⎫⎪
= ∑ρ ak m
2
⎨P ⎢
ω + ( ε − ε m ) ⎥⎦
β ⎡ μ +(ε
⎥ + iπ e ⎣ ( −ε m ) ⎦⎤
)
− 1 δ [ω + ( ε − ε m )]⎬ . (II.118)
m
⎩⎪ ⎢⎣ ⎭⎪
Thus, we find that
β ( μ −ω )
g <( k , ω ) = e g >( k , ω ) , (II.119)
so that at T = 0,

g < ( k , ω ) = 0 for ω > μ , g > ( k , ω ) = 0 for ω < μ . (II.120)

Moreover, EQ. (II.118) implies that

1 ⎧ ⎡ β ( ω ′ − μ ) ⎤ Im [ g ( k , ω ′ )] ⎫
Re [ g ( k , ω )] =

π
P⎨ ∫
−∞
d ω ′ coth ⎢
⎣ 2 ⎥ (ω′ − ω ) ⎬ .

(II.121)
⎩ ⎭

Given the properties of g < ( k , ω ) and g > ( k , ω ) , we may define a quantity A ( k , ω ) that can be
shown to represent the generalized density of states in the (k,ω)-space:

A ( k , ω ) ≡ ig ( k , ω ) = i ⎡⎣ g > ( k , ω ) − g < ( k , ω ) ⎤⎦ . (II.122)

Using EQ. (II.122), we find that g < ( k , ω ) and g > ( k , ω ) can be rewritten as:

g > ( k , ω ) = −i A ( k , ω ) [1 ± f ∓ ( ω )] , (II.123)
→ −i A ( k , ω ) θ ( ω − μ ) for fermions at T → 0 ; (II.124)

g <( k , ω ) = ∓i A ( k , ω ) f∓ (ω ) , (II.125)
→ i A ( k, ω )θ ( μ − ω ) for fermions at T →0; (II.126)

Nai-Chang Yeh II-18 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
1
where f ∓ (ω ) ≡ . (II.127)
exp [ β ( ω − μ )] ∓ 1

As stated previously, the situation for bosons at T = 0 is more complicated due to the phenomenon of
Bose condensation, and therefore is not explicitly expressed in EQs. (II.124) and (II.126). We further note
that A ( k , ω ) is real, which is consistent with the fact that A ( k , ω ) is the generalized density of states of the
many-body system under consideration. Furthermore, A ( k , ω ) satisfies the sum rule:


∫ 2π A ( k , ω ) = 1 , (II.128)

which can be easily proven as follows:

dω dω
∫ 2π A ( k , ω ) = i ∫ 2π ∫ dt e ⎡⎣ g ( k , t ) − g ( k , t )⎤⎦ ,
i ωt > <

= i ⎡⎣ g > ( k , 0 ) − g < ( k , 0 ) ⎤⎦ = ak ak† ∓ ak† ak = 1 .

In addition, we find that the function G ( k , ω ) is related to A ( k , ω ) :


dω ′ A ( k , ω ′)
G (k, ω ) = ⌠
⎮ . (II.129)
⌡−∞ 2π ω − ω ′

The function G ( k , ω ) is analytic in the complex ω-plane and has singularities (branch cuts, in general) along
the portions of the real axis where A ( k , ω ) ≠ 0 .

s →0 +
−1
( )
From EQs. (II.100) -- (II.102) and (II.129), also using lim ( x + is ) = P x −1 − iπδ ( x ) , we obtain:

⎧ ∞ dω ′ A ( k , ω ) ⎫
Re ⎡⎣ g R ( k , ω ) ⎤⎦ = Re ⎡⎣ g A( k , ω ) ⎤⎦ = P ⎨⌠
⎮ ⎬, (II.130)
⎩⌡−∞ 2π ω − ω ′ ⎭
1
Im ⎡⎣ g R ( k , ω ) ⎤⎦ = − Im ⎡⎣ g A( k , ω ) ⎤⎦ = − A (k,ω ) . (II.131)
2

Noting that g = g R + g < , we find:

⎧ dω ′ A ( k , ω ) ⎫

Re ⎣⎡ g ( k , ω ) ⎦⎤ = Re ⎣⎡ g R ( k , ω ) ⎦⎤ = Re ⎣⎡ g A( k , ω ) ⎦⎤ = P ⎨⌠
⎮ ⎬, (II.132)
⎩⌡−∞ 2π ω − ω ′ ⎭
1 ⎡ β (ω − μ ) ⎤
Im ⎣⎡ g ( k , ω ) ⎦⎤ = − A ( k , ω ) ⎡⎣1 ± 2 f ∓ ( ω ) ⎤⎦ = Im ⎡⎣ g R ( k , ω ) ⎤⎦ coth ⎢ ⎥ for bosons; (II.133)
2 ⎣ 2 ⎦
⎡ β (ω − μ ) ⎤
= Im ⎡⎣ g R ( k , ω ) ⎤⎦ tanh ⎢ ⎥ for fermions. (II.134)
⎣ 2 ⎦

From EQ. (II.134), it follows that a fermion system in the limit of T → 0 satisfies the relation

Im ⎡⎣ g ( k , ω ) ⎤⎦ = sgn ( ω − μ ) Im ⎡⎣ g R ( k , ω ) ⎤⎦ ,

Nai-Chang Yeh II-19 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
1
= − sgn ( ω − μ ) A ( k , ω ) = lim Im ⎣⎡G ( k , ω + is sgn ( ω − μ ) ) ⎦⎤ . (II.135)
2 s →0 +

In other words, at T = 0, Im ⎡⎣ g ( k , ω ) ⎤⎦ can be determined directly from experimental measurements of the


general density of states A ( k , ω < μ ) .

II.8. Relating Green Functions to Physical Observables

Next, we investigate the relation of Green functions to various important physical properties in
condensed matter systems besides the density of states. For instance, consider the second quantization
formalism for a first-quantization one-particle operator F ( r ) :

F = ∫ d 3 r ψ † ( r ) F ( r )ψ ( r ) . (II.136)

Examples of operators F include the kinetic energy K with K ( r ) = −∇ 2 /(2m) , the total number of particles
N with N ( r ) = 1 , and the density operator n ( r ) = δ ( r − r0 ) . It follows from the definition of g < ( x, x′ ) that
the thermal average of F is given by:

F = ± i ∫ d 3 r F ( r ) g < ( r, t ; r, t ) = ± i lim ∫ d 3 r F ( r ) lim g ( r , t ; r ′, t ′ ) . (II.137)


r ′→r t ′ →t +

More explicitly, using EQ. (II.137) we can obtain the thermal average of the kinetic energy:

⎡ ∇r2 ⎤
K = ± i lim ∫ d 3 r lim ⎢ − g ( r , t ; r ′, t ′ ) ⎥
r ′→ r t ′→t +
⎣ 2m ⎦
∞ ∞
dω k 2
dω k2
= ±i∑ ∫ g < (k, ω ) =∑∫ A ( k , ω ) f∓ (ω ) . (II.138)
k −∞
2π 2m k −∞
2π 2m

Similarly, the thermal average of particle density becomes:



d 3k dω
n (r ) = ± i lim lim g ( r , t ; r′, t ′ ) = ∫
r′→r t ′→t + (2π ) 3 ∫ 2π A ( k , ω ) f (ω ) ,

(II.139)
−∞

and the density in k-space becomes




n (k ) = a a ∫ 2π A ( k , ω ) f (ω ) .

k k = ∓
(II.140)
−∞

We can also obtain the Hamiltonian for an interacting many-body system. Recall the pair interaction
potential given in EQ. (II.60), which is reproduced below:

⎛ ∂ ∇2 ⎞
⎟ψ ( r, t ) = ⎡⎣ ∫ d r1 ψ ( r1 , t )V ( r − r1 )ψ ( r1 , t ) ⎤⎦ψ ( r, t ) ,
3 †
⎜i + (II.60)
⎝ ∂t 2m ⎠

Nai-Chang Yeh II-20 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
and its adjoint:
⎛ ∂ ∇′2 ⎞ †
⎟ψ ( r′, t ′ ) = ψ ( r′, t ′ ) ⎣⎡ ∫ d r2 ψ ( r2 , t ′ ) V ( r′ − r2 )ψ ( r2 , t ′ ) ⎤⎦ .
† 3 †
⎜ −i ′ + (II.141)
⎝ ∂t 2m ⎠
Multiplying EQ. (II.60) from the left by ψ †( r ′, t ′ ) / 4 and EQ. (II.141) from the right by ψ ( r, t ) / 4 , adding
the resulting equations, putting r′ = r , t ′ = t , and integration over r, we obtain

1 ⎡⎛ ∂ ∂ ⎞ ⎤ 1

3
d r ⎢⎜ i − i ⎟ψ ( r, t ′ )ψ ( r, t ) ⎥ =

K + V . (II.142)
4 ⎣⎝ ∂t ∂t ′ ⎠ ⎦ t ′=t 2
From EQs. (II.138) and (II.60), the thermal average of the interaction potential becomes

i ⎡⎛ ∂ ∇r 2 ⎞ ⎤ dω 1 ⎛ k2 ⎞
V =± ∫ d r ⎢⎜ i
3
+ ⎟ g ( x, x′ ) ⎥ = ∑∫ ⎜ ω − ⎟ A ( k, ω ) f∓ (ω ) . (II.143)
2 ⎣⎝ ∂t 2m ⎠ ⎦ r′→r , t ′→t + k 2π 2 ⎝ 2m ⎠

Combining EQs. (II.138) and (II.143), we obtain the Hamiltonian

i ⎡⎛ ∂ ∇ r 2 ⎞ ⎤ dω 1 ⎛ k2 ⎞
H =±
2
∫ d r ⎢⎜⎝ i ∂t 2m ⎟⎠ g ( x, x )⎥
3
− ′ = ∑ ∫ 2π 2 ⎜ ω 2m ⎟ A ( k, ω ) f∓ (ω ) .
+ (II.144)
⎣ ⎦ r′→r , t′→t + k ⎝ ⎠

To obtain all other thermodynamic quantities, it is sufficient to calculate the grand canonical
partition function ZG = Tr{exp[−β (H−μN)]} as function of the volume Ω, the chemical potential μ, and the
temperature T = β −1. The grand canonical partition function ZG is directly related to the pressure P by the
thermodynamic equation

Z G = exp ( β Ω P ) , (II.145)

and the pressure can be expressed in terms of the density through the relation

d 3k dω
d μ ′ [ n ( β , μ ′ )] = ∫ d μ ′∫
μ μ
P(β, μ) = ∫ ∫ 2π A ( k , ω ) f (ω ) , (II.146)
(2π )
−∞ −∞ 3 ∓
−∞

where we have inserted the expression given in EQ. (II.139) for the density, and we note that both A ( k , ω )
and f (ω) depend on the chemical potential μ, and f (ω) depends on the temperature.

However, in general the dependence on μ may not be easily attainable. Hence, it is more convenient
to take an alternative approach to calculate ZG: Using the general thermodynamic relation

∂H ∂P
= −Ω , (II.147)
∂α ∂α T ,μ

where α is a parameter in the Hamiltonian:

H = K +αV , (II.148)

with α = 0 representing the non-interacting system and α = 1 representing the actual interacting system, we
obtain from EQs. (II.147) and (II.148)

Nai-Chang Yeh II-21 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

−β V = [ln ( Z )] . (II.149)
∂α
G

Integrating EQ. (II.149) over α and using EQ. (II.143), we have

1 dω 1 ⎛ k2 ⎞
ln ( Z G ) = β P Ω = β P0 Ω − β ∫ dα ∑ ∫ ⎜ ω − ⎟ Aα ( k , ω ) f ∓ ( ω ) , (II.150)
0
k 2π 2 ⎝ 2m ⎠

where the subscript α in A ( k , ω ) denotes that Aα ( k , ω ) corresponds to the Hamiltonian in EQ. (II.148),
and P0 is the pressure for the non-interacting system.
As seen in EQs. (II.138), (II.139), (II.143), (II.144), (II.146) and (II.150), various thermodynamic
quantities that we have discussed so far all involve an integral of the following type:


I = lim I (σ ) = lim ∫ 2π e
−ωσ
F ( ω ) A( k , ω ) f ∓ ( ω ) , (II.151)
σ →0 − σ →0 −

where F(ω) is a polynomial, and the term exp(−ωσ) is introduced to assist the computation of I in the
complex ω-plane. Noting that A ( k , ω ) = i g ( k , ω ) = i [ G ( k , ω + is )− G ( k , ω − is )] , we can express the
integration over ω in EQ. (II.151) by the sum of two integrands, one along the upper ω-plane and the other
along the lower ω-plane:

dω dω
I (σ ) = i ∫ e−ωσ F (ω ) G ( k , ω ) f ∓ (ω ) − i ∫ e−ωσ F ( ω ) G ( k , ω ) f ∓ ( ω ) , (II.152)
CR
2π CA

where the paths CR and CA refer to the integration over the upper and lower half-planes, respectively, and the
subscripts R and A are consistent with the those used in the definitions of Green functions, denoting
respectively the “retarded” and “advanced” chronological orders. The paths CR and CA are chosen to avoid
the poles of f ∓ ( ω ) , which are imposed by EQs. (II.44) and (II.45) as discussed earlier. More specifically, the
poles zν are slightly different between the cases for bosons and fermions, and are given explicitly below:

iπν
zν = μ + ; ν = 2n for bosons,
β
ν = 2n − 1 for fermions, (II.153)

and n is positive for the path CR and negative for the path CA. Thus, for –β < σ < 0, EQ. (II.152) becomes

⎡ 1 ⎤ ⎡ 1 ⎤
I ( σ ) = I R (σ ) − I A ( σ ) = ⎢ ∓ ∑e − zν σ
F ( zν ) G ( k , zν ) ⎥ − ⎢ ± ∑ e F ( zν ) G ( k , zν ) ⎥
−z σ ν

⎣ β ν >0 ⎦ ⎣ β ν <0 ⎦
1
=∓
β
∑e − zν σ
F ( zν ) G ( k , zν ) ,
ν

1
and therefore I =∓
β
∑ F ( z ) G (k, z ) ,
ν ν (II.154)
ν

which suggests that the thermodynamic quantities of a many-body system can be obtained from the values of
G ( k , ω ) at the special points zν specified in EQ. (II.153). This result is convenient because generally
G ( k , ω ) is easier to calculate than A ( k , ω ) .

Nai-Chang Yeh II-22 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
In addition to the density of states and thermodynamic quantities, another class of important physical
quantities related to the Green functions is the linear response functions. The linear response functions
describe the response of a many-body system to a weak external perturbation, which differ from the
thermodynamic quantities derived from thermal equilibrium conditions. In general the linear response
functions are also manifestations of the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. We shall consider these issues later
in Part IV. We also remark that in the absence of interactions and for a translational invariant system, the
quantity A ( k , ω ) is related to the density of states of the non-interacting system via the following:

k2
A ( k , ω ) / 2π = ρ ( k , ω ) = δ ω − ε ( 0
k ), ε ≡ 0
k
2m
. (II.155)

Hence, we may interpret A ( k , ω ) / 2π as the generalized density of states per unit frequency and per unit
volume in k-space. In addition, from EQ. (II.125) g < ( k , ω ) can be interpreted (apart from a factor of ± i) as
the thermally averaged number of particles per unit volume in the ( k , ω ) -space. Similarly, from EQ.
(II.123) g ( k , ω ) can be interpreted (apart from a factor of ± i) as the thermally averaged number of states
>

(per unit volume in the ( k , ω ) -space) available for the addition of an extra particle to the system.

Having seen the importance of Green functions to the descriptions of various physical properties of
many-body systems at all temperatures, we briefly discuss the equation of state method used to calculate the
Green functions of an interacting many-body system, followed by more elaborate studies of the perturbative
diagrammatic method.

As mentioned earlier, the Green functions for an interacting many-body system obey a hierarchy of
equations, and the first of which in EQ. (II.61) is reproduced below:

⎛ ∂ ∇r2 ⎞
⎟ g ( x, x′ ) = δ ( x − x′ ) ± i ∫ d x1 V ( r − r1 ) g 2( x, x1 ; x′, x1 ) t = t , (II.61)
4 +
⎜i +
⎝ ∂t 2m ⎠ 1

In order to obtain an explicit solution, the hierarchy has to be terminated at some point by employing
approximate relation that connects gn with gn−1, gn−2, etc. The simplest approximation is to express g2 in terms
of g, which is equivalent to the Hartree approximation:

g2( x1 , x2 ; x1′, x2′ ) g ( x1 , x1′ ) g ( x2 , x2′ ) . (II.156)

Equation (II.156) implies that the added two particles propagate independently, one from x1 to x1´ and the
other from x2 to x2´. The Hartree approximation does not satisfy the basic symmetry property that requires
(g2)2 to be invariant under the exchange of x1 ↔ x2 or x1´ ↔ x2´, and is therefore oversimplified.

Substituting EQ. (II.156) into EQ. (II.61) and using EQ. (II.139), we obtain

⎛ ∂ ∇r2 ⎞
⎟ g ( x, x′ ) = δ ( x − x′ ) ± ig ( x, x′ ) ∫ d r1 V ( r − r1 ) g ( x1 , x1 ) ,
3 +
⎜i +
⎝ ∂t 2m ⎠
= δ ( x − x′ ) ± ig ( x, x′ ) ∫ d 3 r1 V ( r − r1 ) n( r1 ) ≡ δ ( x − x′ ) + ig ( x, x′ ) Veff ( r ) , (II.157)

where we have introduced an effective one-body potential Veff ( r ) . Thus, we can rewrite EQ. (II.157) into the
following simple form:

Nai-Chang Yeh II-23 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

⎛ ∂ ∇r2 ⎞
⎜i + − Veff (r ) ⎟ g ( x, x′ ) = δ ( x − x′ ) , (II.158)
⎝ ∂t 2m ⎠

which implies that the added particle (or hole) moves independently in the averaged potential Veff ( r ) created
by all particles in the many-body system. For a translational invariant system, the density n( r1 ) is a
constant n0. As a result, Veff ( r ) is a constant given by n0V0, where V0 = i ∫ d r V ( r ) . Consequently, EQ.
3

(II.158) becomes a simple differential equation, and its Fourier transformation yields:

⎛ k2 ⎞
⎜ ω − − n0V0 ⎟ g (k, ω ) = 1 . (II.159)
⎝ 2m ⎠

In reference to EQ. (II.135), we obtain the Green function solution for fermions at T = 0:

⎡ 1 ⎤
g ( k , ω ) = lim ⎢ ⎥. (II.160)
( ) 00 (
s → 0 + ω − k 2 / 2m − n V + is sgn ω − μ
⎣⎢ ) ⎦⎥

To obtain the Green function for T ≠ 0, we note that g (k , ω ) is not the limit of an analytic function,
so that we cannot arbitrarily continue EQ. (II.160) in the complex ω-plane without further analysis.
However, we can still use the “imaginary time” trick to obtain the Green function for T ≠ 0. The procedure is
as follows. Consider the casual Green function g (r1 , t1 ; r2 , t2 ) . If we substitute t1 by –iσ1 and t2 by –iσ2, the
time ordering by the σ-ordering, and confine σ1 and σ2 within the interval [0, β ], we have:

g ( r1 , −iσ1; r2 , −iσ 2 ) = g >( r1 , −iσ1; r2 , −iσ 2 ) , if σ 1 > σ 2 ;


= g <( r1 , −iσ1; r2 , −iσ 2 ) , if σ 2 > σ 1 . (II.161)

For the systems of our consideration, g ( r1 , −iσ 1 ; r2 , −iσ 2 ) is a function of r = ( r1 − r2 ) and σ = (σ 1 − σ 2 ) .


From EQ. (II.125) we obtain the relation

dω d 3k −iω ( t1 −t2 ) i k ⋅r

g < ( r1 , t1; r2 , t2 ) = ∓i ∫ e A ( k , ω ) f ∓ (ω ) ,
−∞ 2π ∫ (2π )3
e (II.162)

we obtain the following for σ < 0:

dω d 3k −ωσ i k ⋅r

g < ( r1 , −iσ1; r2 , −iσ 2 ) = ∓i ∫ e e A ( k , ω ) f ∓ (ω ) .
−∞ 2π ∫ (2π )3
(II.163)

Equation (II.163) together with EQ. (II.154) gives

d 3k i k ⋅r ⎡ ∓1 ⎤
g ( r, −iσ ) = ∓i ∫ e ⎢ ∑ e − zν σ g ( k , zν ) ⎥ , (II.164)
(2π ) 3
⎣β ν ⎦

⎡i ⎤
and g ( k , −iσ ) = ⎢
⎣β

ν
e − zν σ
g ( k , zν ) ⎥ ,

(II.165)

Nai-Chang Yeh II-24 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
where the poles zν have been given in EQ. (II.153). We may also invert EQ. (II.165) to obtain an explicit
expression for g ( k , zν ) , which yields:

β
g ( k , zν ) = −
i
dσ g ( k , −iσ ) e
2∫ β
zν σ
, (II.166)

Substituting EQ. (II.165) into EQ. (II.158) using the imaginary times, we obtain
⎛ k2 ⎞ 1
⎜ ν
z − − n0V0 ⎟ g ( k , zν ) = 1 → g ( k , zν ) = . (II.167)
⎝ 2m ⎠ zν − ( k / 2m ) − n0V0
2

The solution in EQ. (II.167) gives rise to EQ. (II.160) through analytic continuation.

In the Hartree approximation, we find that the average energy of the system, using EQs. (II.144) and
(II.167), is given by
1
H = ∑ ε k f ∓ ( ε k ) − Ω n02 V0 , (II.168)
k 2

which is equivalent to the free particle energy with an added energy n0V0 per particle, as expected.

An improvement over the Hartree approximation can be made by taking into account the symmetry
or anti-symmetry of g2 under the exchange of x1 ↔ x2 or x1´ ↔ x2´ while still keeping the added particles as
moving independently of each other. This improved approximation is known as the Hartree-Fock
approximation:

g2( x1 , x2 ; x1′, x2′ ) g ( x1 , x1′ ) g ( x2 , x2′ ) ± g ( x1 , x2′ ) g ( x2 , x1′ ) . (II.169)

By following the same procedure outlined above for the Hartree approximation, we obtain within the
framework of the Hartree-Fock approximation the Green function:

1
g (k,ω ) = , (II.170)
ω − εk
where
k2 d 3k ′
εk = + n0V0 ± ∫ V ( k − k′) n ( k′) , (II.171)
2m (2π )3

and V ( k ) = ∫ d 3 r exp ( −i k ⋅ r ) V ( r ) is the Fourier transform of the potential V ( r ) . We note that the quasi-
particle energy εk in the Hartree-Fock approximation depends implicitly on the temperature through its
dependence on the thermal average of the density n ( k ′ ) .

Next, we want to evaluate the Green functions of interacting many-body systems using diagrammatic
analysis of perturbation theory. It is generally convenient to apply Wick’s theorem to evaluate the Green
functions in the perturbation expansion. In the following we revisit Wick’s theorem by introducing the
definitions of chronological ordering, normal ordering, and contractions.

Nai-Chang Yeh II-25 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
II.9. Wick’s theorem
The reason why Wick’s theorem is important in the perturbative diagrammatic analysis of Green
functions is due to the need to perform time ordering of field operators in the interaction picture. Specifically,
while the Green functions are given in terms of field operators in the Heisenberg picture, it is not practical to
calculate the Green functions for realistic physical systems in the Heisenberg picture. The strategy to
evaluate the Green functions of an interacting system is to employ perturbation theory, which is best
performed in the interaction picture. Therefore, it is necessary to reformulate operators in the Heisenberg
picture into equivalent expressions in the interaction picture.

Let’s assume that in the interaction picture the total Hamiltonian H can be expressed by H = H0 +
HI, where H0 denotes the unperturbed Hamiltonian and HI the interaction perturbation. Moreover, we
denote the exact interacting ground state 0 by Ψ 0 and the eigenstate of H0 by Φ 0 . We shall first prove
that the matrix element of a Heisenberg operator OH evaluated in the Heisenberg picture can be converted
into the interaction picture according to the following relation:

Ψ 0 OH ( t ) Ψ 0
ν
1 ∞
⎛ −i ⎞ 1 ∞
∑ ⎜⎝ ⎟⎠ ν ! ∫−∞ dt1 … ∫−∞ dtν

= Φ0
Ψ0 Ψ0 Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, −∞ ) Φ 0 ν =0
− ε ( t1 +…+ tν )
×e T [ H I ( t1 ) H I ( tν ) OI ( t )] Φ 0 . (II.172)

Equation (II.172) can be further extended to converting the matrix element of two Heisenberg operators into
the interaction picture as follows:

Ψ 0 OH ( t ) OH ( t ′ ) Ψ 0
ν
1 ∞
⎛ −i ⎞ 1 ∞
∑ ⎜⎝ ⎟⎠ ν ! ∫−∞ dt1 … ∫−∞ dtν

= Φ0
Ψ0 Ψ0 Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, −∞ ) Φ 0 ν =0
− ε ( t1 +…+ tν )
×e T [ H I ( t1 ) H I ( tν ) OI ( t ) OI ( t ′ )] Φ 0 . (II.173)

It is clear from EQs. (II.172) and (II.173) that the evaluation of Green functions in the interaction picture
requires performing the time ordering of products of field operators where Wick’s theorem becomes helpful.

To prove EQ. (II.172), recall the Gell-Mann and Low theorem in Part I that expresses the exact
ground state of an interacting system in the interaction picture:

Ψ0 U ε ( 0, ±∞ ) Φ 0
= . (II.174)
Φ0 Ψ0 Φ 0 U ε ( 0, ±∞ ) Φ 0

From EQ. (II.174), we obtain

Φ 0 U ε ( 0, ∞ ) U ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0 Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, −∞ ) Φ 0

Ψ0 Ψ0
= = ,
Φ 0 U ε ( 0, ∞ ) Φ 0 Φ 0 U ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0 Φ 0 U ε ( 0, ∞ ) Φ 0 Φ 0 U ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0
2 * *
Φ0 Ψ 0
1 Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, 0 ) Φ 0 Φ 0 U ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0 1
⇒ = . (II.175)
Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, −∞ ) Φ 0
2
Ψ0 Ψ0 Φ0 Ψ 0

Similarly, the numerator on the left side of EQ. (II.172) can be rewritten as:

Nai-Chang Yeh II-26 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
2
Φ0 Ψ0
Ψ 0 OH ( t ) Ψ 0 = Φ 0 U ε ( 0, ∞ ) OH ( t ) U ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0

Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, 0 ) Φ 0 Φ 0 U ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0
2
Φ0 Ψ0
= Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, 0 ) U ε ( 0, t ) OI ( t ) U ε ( t , 0 ) U ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0
Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, 0 ) Φ 0 Φ 0 U ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0
2
Φ0 Ψ 0
= Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, t ) OI ( t ) U ε ( t , −∞ ) Φ 0 . (II.176)
Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, 0 ) Φ 0 Φ 0 U ε ( 0, −∞ ) Φ 0

Combining EQs. (II.175) and (II.176), we have

Ψ 0 OH ( t ) Ψ 0 Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, t ) OI ( t ) U ε ( t , −∞ ) Φ 0
= . (II.177)
Ψ0 Ψ0 Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, −∞ ) Φ 0

Next, we want to express the product of operators in the numerator on the right side of EQ. (II.177)
explicitly. Following the discussion in Part I for the time-evolution U-operators, we obtain

⎛ −i ⎞ 1 ∞
∞ n
− ε ( t +…+ tn )
U ε ( ∞, t ) OI ( t ) U ε ( t , −∞ ) = ∑ ⎜ T [ H I ( t1 ) H I ( tn ) ]

n =0 ⎝

⎠ n!
∫t
dt1 … ∫ dtn e 1
t

⎛ −i ⎞ 1 t
∞ m
− ε ( t +…+ tm )
× OI ( t ) ∑ ⎜ ∫ dt1 … ∫ dtm e 1 T [ H I ( t1 ) H I ( tm )] .
t
⎟ (II.178)
m=0 ⎝ ⎠ m! −∞ −∞

On the other hand, we note that the numerator of the right side of EQ. (II.172) can be rewritten if we have ν
= n + m and if for the ν-th term in the sum we divide the integration variables into n factors with ti > t and m
factors with ti < t. Clearly there are a total of ν!/(n!m!) different ways of such divisions for each ν. Thus, the
product of operators on the right side of EQ. (II.172) becomes:
ν

⎛ −i ⎞ 1 ∞ ∞ ν! ∞ − ε ( t1 + + tn )
∑ ⎜⎝ ⎟⎠ ν ! ∑∑ δν ,m+ n n !m ! ∫t dt1 T [ H I ( t1 ) H I ( tn )]

ν =0 n =0 m =0

t
dtn e

− ε ( t1 +…+ tm )
× OI ( t ) ∫ dt1 … ∫ dtm e T [ H I ( t1 ) H I ( tm )] ,
t t
(II.179)
−∞ −∞

which is essentially identical to EQ. (II.178) after we apply the Kronecker delta function. Thus, we have
proven EQ. (II.172). Similar procedure can be applied to prove EQ. (II.173), except that we need to partition
the integration variables into three distinct groups.

Now we are ready to evaluate Green functions in the interaction picture with the aid of EQ. (II.173).
That is, by identifying the operators with the fermion field operators in the interaction picture so that
OI ( t ) = ψ α ( x ) and OI ( t ′ ) = ψ β† ( x′ ) where α and β refer to the spin indices, we obtain the Green function in
the interaction picture as follows:



ν
−i ⎞ 1 ∞ Φ 0 T ⎡⎣ H I ( t1 ) H I ( tν )ψ α ( x )ψ β† ( x′ ) ⎤⎦ Φ 0
igαβ ( x, x′ ) = ∑ ⎜ ⎟

ν =0 ⎝
∫ dt1 … ∫−∞ dtν
⎠ ν ! −∞ Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, −∞ ) Φ 0
. (II.180)

If we further assume a simple interaction potential given by

U ( x1 , x2 ) = V ( r1 , r2 ) δ ( t1 − t2 ) , (II.181)

Nai-Chang Yeh II-27 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
the numerator of the Green function in EQ. (II.180) is simplified into:

⎛ −i ⎞ 1 ∞ 4
i gαβ ( x, x′ ) = iGαβ ( x, x′ ) + ⎜ ⎟ ∑ ∫−∞ d x1 d x1′ U ( x1 , x1′ )λλ ′, μμ ′
0 4

⎝ ⎠ λλ ′, μμ ′ 2
× Φ 0 T ⎡⎣ψ λ† ( x1 )ψ μ† ( x1′ )ψ μ ′ ( x1′ )ψ λ ′ ( x1 )ψ α ( x )ψ β† ( x′ ) ⎤⎦ Φ 0 . (II.182)

It is clear from EQ. (II.182) that the evaluation of requires finding the expectation values in the non-
interacting ground state of time-ordered products of creation and annihilation operators of the following
form:
Φ 0 T ⎡⎣ψ † ψ ψ α ( x )ψ β† ( x′ ) ⎤⎦ Φ 0 . (II.183)

We’ll rely on Wick’s theorem to provide a general procedure for evaluating matrix elements of the form
given in EQ. (II.183).

Before stating Wick’s theorem in the context of time-ordered operators, we summarize below three
different definitions for products of field operators ( ABCD ) .

〈1〉 Time ordering:


The time ordering of products of field operators is defined as ordering the field operators with the
latest time on the far left and including an additional factor of (−1) for each interchange of fermion operators.
That is,
T ( ABCD ) = ( −1) p T ( CADB ) , (II.184)

where p is the number of permutations of fermion operators needed to rearrange the product given on the left
side of EQ. (II.184) to agree with the order on the right side.

〈2〉 Normal ordering:


The normal ordering of products of field operators is defined as placing all the annihilation operators
to the right of all creation operators and including a factor (−1) for each interchange of fermion operators.
Hence, we have

N ( ABCD ) = ( −1) N ( CABD ),


p
(II.185)

so that the field operators within a normal-ordered product either commute (for bosons) or anti-commute (for
fermions). We remark that the normal-ordering notation N ( ABCD ) in EQ. (II.185) is equivalent to the
notation : ABCD : given in some textbooks of relativistic quantum field theory.

The introduction of normal-ordered products of field operators is motivated by the fact that their
expectation values in the unperturbed ground state vanish identically. This result remains true even if the
product consists of all creation operators, because the expectation value in the unperturbed ground state of its
adjoint product vanishes identically. It is therefore convenient to reduce the time-ordering products into
combinations of normal-ordering products plus extra terms due to commutation or anti-commutation of
bosonic or fermionic operators. For this purpose, it is also convenient to decompose the field operator into a
destruction part ψ ( a ) that annihilates the non-interacting ground state and a creation part ψ ( c ) . Hence,

ψ ( x ) = ψ ( a )( x ) + ψ ( c )( x ) and ψ †( x ) = ψ ( a )†( x ) + ψ ( c )†( x ) , (II.186)

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

where ψ ( a )( x ) Φ 0 = 0 and ψ ( c )†( x ) Φ 0 = 0 . (II.187)

As an explicit example, we may consider the decomposition of the free fermion field of a many-body system:

⎡ i ( k i r −ωk t ) i ( k i r −ωk t ) ⎤
ψ ( x ) = Ω −1/ 2 ⎢ ∑ e ηλ akλ + ∑ e ηλ b−†kλ ⎥ ≡ ψ ( a ) ( x ) + ψ ( c ) ( x ) , (II.188)
⎣ k > kF ,λ k < k F ,λ ⎦

where akλ and b−†kλ are respectively the particle and hole operators for |k| > kF and |k| < kF, ηλ is the spinor
operator, and Ω is the volume of the system.

〈3〉 Contraction:

The contraction of two operators A and B is denoted by A•B• and is defined as follows:

A i B i = T ( AB ) − N ( AB ) . (II.189)

Given the definition in EQ. (II.189), it can be easily verified that all the following contractions of operators
vanish:

ψ ( a ) iψ ( c ) i = ψ ( a ) † iψ ( c ) † i = ψ ( a ) † iψ ( c ) i = ψ ( a ) iψ ( c ) † i = 0 . (II.190)

Therefore, most contractions are zero. In particular, the contraction of two creation parts or two annihilation
parts always vanish. The only non-zero contractions are given by the following:

ψ ( a ) ( x ) ψ ( a ) †( y ) i = iG (0)( x, y ) for t x > t y ,


i

=0 for t x < t y ;
ψ ( c ) ( x ) ψ ( c ) †( y ) i = 0
i
for t x > t y ,
= iG (0)
( x, y ) for t x < t y . (II.191)

We note that the Green function in EQ. (II.191) for free fermions is given by (with spin indices restored)

(0)
iGαβ ( x, y ) = δαβ Ω−1 ∑ k ei k i( x−y ) ⎡⎣θ ( t x − t y ) θ ( k − kF ) − θ ( t y − t x ) θ ( kF − k ) ⎤⎦ . (II.192)

Moreover, the contractions are c numbers in the occupation–number Hilbert space rather than operators. In
the case of a product of operators consisting of more than one pair of contraction, we denote the first pair by
a pair of single dots, the second pair by a pair of double dots, etc.

Having introduced the definitions of time-ordering, normal-ordering and contraction, we are ready to
prove the following basic lemma for Wick’s theorem.

〈4〉 Lemma:

For a normal-ordered product N ( AB XY ) , if Z is an operator labeled with time earlier than the
times of all operators in the normal-ordered product, then the following relation is satisfied:

N ( AB XY ) Z = N AB ( )
XY i Z i + N AB ( X iYZ i + )

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

(
+N AiB )
XYZ i + N ( AB XYZ ) . (II.193)

[Proof] We first note that for the special case of Z being an annihilation operator, we have T (UZ ) = N (UZ )
for any operator U in the normal-ordered product so that all contractions vanish and EQ. (II.193) is proven.
We may also assume that the operator product AB XY is already normal-ordered for simplicity. Otherwise
we can always reorder the operators on both sides of EQ. (II.193) so that the same signature factor occurs in
each term of EQ. (II.193) and therefore cancels identically. To further simplify the problem in the proof, we
may assume next that Z is a creation operator and AB XY are all annihilation operators, because if we can
prove this special case for EQ. (II.193), for situations with creation operators within the normal-ordered
product, we may simply multiply the creation operators to the left side of AB XY , and the resulting
additional contractions with Z are identically zero because the contractions of two creation operators are
always zero and EQ. (II.193) remains valid.

Now we may prove EQ. (II.193) by induction for the case of Z being a creation operator and
AB XY being all annihilation operators. First, we note that EQ. (II.193) apparently holds for two operators
because by definition,

AZ = T ( AZ ) = A i Z i + N ( AZ ) . (II.194)

Next, if we assume that EQ. (II.193) holds for n operators, we want to prove that it is also valid for (n+1)
operators. If we multiply to the left of the product of operators in EQ. (II.193) another annihilation operator
D that has a time later than that of Z, we obtain

DN ( AB XY ) Z = N ( DAB XY ) Z = N DAB ( )
XY i Z i + N DAB ( X iYZ i + )
(
+ N DA i B )
XYZ i + DN ( AB XYZ ) . (II.195)

The last term in EQ. (II.195) can be further analyzed as follows:

DN ( AB XYZ ) = ( −1) DZAB XY = ( −1) T ( DZ ) AB


p p
XY
= ( −1) D i Z i AB XY + ( −1) N ( DZ ) AB
p p
XY
N ( ZD ) AB
p+q
= ( −1) D Z AB XY + ( −1)
p i i
XY
2 2
= ⎡⎣( −1) ⎤⎦ D i AB
p
XYZ i + ⎡⎣( −1)
p+q
⎤⎦ N ( DAB XYZ )

(
= N D i AB )
XYZ i + N ( DAB XYZ ) . (II.196)

By inserting EQ. (II.196) into EQ. (II.195) we therefore prove EQ. (II.193). Now we are ready to state and
prove Wick’s theorem for product of field operators.

〈5〉 Wick’s theorem:


The time-ordered product of operators can be expressed in terms of the normal-ordered product of
these operators plus the normal-ordering of all possible pair contractions of these operators. That is,

T ( ABC XYZ ) = N ( ABC (


XYZ ) + N A i B i C )
XYZ + N A i BC i ( XYZ +) (
+ N A i B ii C iii X iiiY ii Z i )
= N ( ABC XYZ ) + N ( sum over all possible pairs of contractions ) . (II.197)

[Proof] We shall prove this theorem by induction. First, EQ. (II.197) apparently holds for two operators by
definition. That is,

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

( )
T ( AB ) = N ( AB ) + N A i B i = N ( AB ) + A i B i . (II.198)

Next, we assume that EQ. (II.197) holds for n operators and we multiply on the right of EQ. (II.197) by an
operator Ω with a time earlier than all other operators ABC XYZ . Thus, we find that

T ( ABC XYZ ) Ω = T ( ABC XYZ Ω ) = N ( ABC (


XYZ ) Ω + N A i B i C )
XYZ Ω +
= N ( ABC XYZ Ω ) + N ( sum over all possible pairs of contractions ) , (II.199)

where in the second line of EQ. (II.199) we have used the lemma given by EQ. (II.193). Thus, we have
proven Wick’s theorem in EQ. (II.197) by induction.

Wick’s theorem is useful for evaluating ground-state averaged quantities of the form Φ 0 Φ0 ,
where all uncontracted normal-ordered products of operators vanish. Therefore, the Green function given in
EQ. (II.180) consists of all possible fully contracted terms of the operators in the interaction picture.

II.10. Application of Green Functions to Diagrammatic Analysis of Perturbation Theory


Now let’s consider the diagrammatic method for calculating the Green functions. This method is
applicable to the important case where the total Hamiltonian H can be decomposed as the sum of an
unperturbed part (H0) and the perturbation part (HI); the unperturbed part is such that the Green functions
corresponding to H0 can be easily calculated, and the perturbation part can be expressed in the second
quantization form as:

1
d r ∫ d r ′ψ α ( r )ψ β ( r′ ) V ( r − r′ )αα ′, ββ ′ ψ β ( r′ )ψ α ( r ) ,
2∫
† †
HI = 3 3
(II.200)

where we have generalized our consideration for fermion systems by restoring the spin indices α and β to the
field operators, interaction potential, and the Green functions. For simplicity, we have assumed in EQ.
(II.200) that the interaction potential U ( x, x′ )αα ′ , ββ ′ = V ( r − r ′ )αα ′ , ββ ′ δ ( t − t ′ ) only involves instant-time
interaction. The Green function is now defined as

Ψ 0 T ⎡⎣ψ H α ( x )ψ H† β ( y ) ⎤⎦ Ψ 0
igαβ ( x, y ) = , (II.201)
Ψ0 Ψ0

where α and β denote spin indices and all other notations remain the same as before.

While in general it is more convenient to compute Green functions in momentum and frequency
space, as we shall focus on later, it is instructive to consider Green functions in spacetime first to illustrate
the utility of Wick’s theorem. As an example, let us consider the first-order contributions to in EQ. (II.182)
for a pair interaction potential given by U ( x, x′ )λλ ′ , μμ ′ . In this case, we have three pairs of creation and
annihilation operators so that there are 6 fully contracted and non-vanishing products of field operators
between ψ and ψ†. Hence, to the first order EQ. (II.182) becomes:

⎛ −i ⎞ 1
i gαβ ( x, y ) = ⎜ ⎟ ∑ ∫ d x1 d x1′ U ( x1 , x1′ )λλ ′, μμ ′
4 4

⎝ ⎠ 2 λλ ′μμ ′

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

{
× iGαβ0 ( x, y ) ⎡⎣iGμ0′μ ( x1′, x1′ ) iGλ0′λ ( x1 , x1 ) − iGμ0′λ ( x1′, x1 ) iGλ0′μ ( x1 , x1′ ) ⎤⎦
(A) (B)

+ iGαλ0 ( x, x1 ) ⎡⎣iGλ0′μ ( x1 , x1′ ) iGμ0′β ( x1′, y ) − iGλ0′β ( x1 , y ) iGμ0′μ ( x1′, x1′ ) ⎤⎦


(C) (D)

+ iGαμ0 ( x, x1′ ) ⎡⎣iGμ0′λ ( x1′, x1 ) iGλ0′β ( x1 , y ) − iGμ0′β ( x1′, y ) iGλ0′λ ( x1 , x1 ) ⎤⎦ . } (II.202)


(E) (F)

The corresponding Feynman diagrams are illustrated in Fig. II.10.1, where each interaction potential is
explicitly given by a wavy line connecting with two solid lines (i.e. two propagators G0’s). It is clear from
Fig. II.10.1 that graphs C and E are equivalent and similarly D and F are equivalent. Moreover, graphs A and
B are disconnected graphs, and are therefore not contributing to the total Green function in EQ. (II.180)
because they are identically cancelled by contributions from the denominator Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, −∞ ) Φ 0 . This fact
is consistent with our earlier discussion of the generating functional in relativistic quantum field theory,
where we have shown using the path integral formalism that the only relevant Feynman diagrams
contributing to the propagators are connected diagrams. We demonstrate in the following that the same
concept applies to the canonical formalism in the interaction picture.

(A) x (B) x (C) x


α
λ μ λ′ μ x ′ λ
x1 1 x1
λ μ′ λ′
λ′ μ′
x1′ μ
x1 x1′
μ′
y y x β
(D) x (E) α (F) x y
α x1′ μ α
μ′
λ μ λ μ λ
x1 x1 x1′
λ′ μ′ λ′ μ′ λ′
β
x1′ β β x1
y y y

Figure II.10.1 First-order diagrammatic contributions to g αβ ( x, y )

The contribution of a disconnected graph to the Green function factors because it closes on itself.
Therefore, we may express the νth-order term of the numerator in EQ. (II.182) as a product of connected and
disconnected parts:
n+m
∞ ∞
⎛ −i ⎞ 1 ν!
( x, y ) = ∑∑ ⎜
∞ ∞
dtm Φ 0 T ⎡⎣ H I ( t1 ) H I ( tm )ψ α ( x )ψ β† ( y ) ⎤⎦ Φ 0
ν ! n !m ! ∫ ∫
(ν )
i gαβ ⎟ δν , m + n dt1 connected
n =0 m =0 ⎝ ⎠ −∞ −∞

dtν Φ 0 T [ H I ( tm +1 ) H I ( tν )] Φ 0 .
∞ ∞
× ∫ dtm +1 ∫ (II.203)
−∞ −∞

Summing over all νth-order terms, we find that EQ. (II.182) becomes

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

⎛ −i ⎞ 1 ∞
∞ m

i gαβ ( x, y ) = ∑ ⎜

⎟ ∫ dt1 ∫ dtm Φ 0 T ⎡⎣ H I ( t1 ) H I ( tm )ψ α ( x )ψ β† ( y ) ⎤⎦ Φ 0 connected
m =0 ⎝ ⎠ m ! −∞ −∞

⎛ −i ⎞ 1 ∞
∞ n

×∑⎜ ⎟ dtn Φ 0 T [ H I ( t1 ) H I ( tn )] Φ 0 .

n=0 ⎝
∫ dt1
⎠ n ! −∞
∫−∞

⎛ −i ⎞ 1 ∞
∞ m

=∑⎜

⎟ ∫ dt1 ∫ dtm Φ 0 T ⎡⎣ H I ( t1 ) H I ( tm )ψ α ( x )ψ β† ( y ) ⎤⎦ Φ 0 connected
m=0 ⎝ ⎠ m ! −∞ −∞

× Φ 0 U ε ( ∞, −∞ ) Φ 0 , (II.204)

so that EQ. (II.180) reduces to

⎛ −i ⎞ 1 ∞
∞ m

igαβ ( x, y ) = ∑ ⎜ ⎟

∫ dt1 ∫ dtm Φ 0 T ⎡⎣ H I ( t1 ) H I ( tm )ψ α ( x )ψ β† ( y ) ⎤⎦ Φ 0 connected


. (II.205)
m =0 ⎝ ⎠ m ! −∞ −∞

In this context, graphs A and B in Fig. II.10.1 do not contribute to first-order Green function.

It is also instructive to comment on a special case of a solid line closed on itself, which corresponds
to a Green function evaluated at the same time. While the time ordering of field operators is not well defined
in the equal Green function, the single-particle Green function gαβ ( x, x ) arises from a contraction of two
field operators within the interaction Hamiltonian HI, and the field operators appear in the form of
ψ β† ( x )ψ α ( x ) . Therefore, the Green function at equal times must be interpreted as:

0
iGαβ ( x, x ) = tlim
′→t +
Φ 0 T ⎡⎣ψ α ( r , t )ψ β† ( r , t ′ ) ⎤⎦ Φ 0

= − Φ 0 ψ β† ( r )ψ α ( r ) Φ 0
= − ( 2 s + 1) δ αβ n 0( r )
−1
(II.206)

for a system of spin-s fermions, where n0(r) denotes the particle density in the unperturbed ground state,
which need not be the same as the particle density n(r) in the interacting system. Thus, the terms denoted by
graphs D and F represent the lowest-order direct interaction with all the particles that constitute the non-
interacting ground state. On the other hand, the terms C and E represent the lowest-order exchange
interaction.

Based on the above discussions, we summarize the following Feynman rules in spacetime for the
nth-order contribution to the single-particle Green function gαβ ( x, y ) :

1) Draw all topologically distinct connected diagrams with n interaction lines U and (2n+1) direct Green
functions G0.
-- There are 2n-pairs of internal Green functions for n interaction lines and one external pair of Green
function. For the internal Green functions denoted by the set of variables ( x1 , x1′ ) ( xn , xn′ ) , there are n!
different possibilities of choosing the variables for each of these diagrams, and Wick’s theorem is used to
verify the enumeration.

2) Label each vertex with a four-dimensional spacetime point xi.

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
0
3) Each solid line represents a Green function Gαβ ( x, y ) running from y to x.

4) Each wavy line represents an interaction given by

( )
U ( x, y )λλ ′ , μμ ′ = V ( r − r ′ )λλ ′ , μμ ′ δ t x − t y ,

where the association of matrix indices is illustrated in Fig. II.10.2.

5) Integrate all internal variables ( x1 , x1′ ) ( xn , xn′ ) over space and time.
6) Associate a spin matrix product with each continuous fermion line as well as with the potentials at each
vertex.

7) Assign a factor (−1)F to a diagram that contains F closed fermion loops.


-- Every time a fermion line closes on itself, there is an extra sign change because the fields contracted
into a closed loop may be first arranged into ⎡ψ †(1) ψ (1) ⎤ ⎡ψ †( 2 ) ψ ( 2 ) ⎤ ⎡ψ †( N ) ii i ψ ( N ) i ⎤
i ii ii iii

⎣ ⎦⎣ ⎦ ⎣ ⎦
without changing sign and then followed by moving the last field operator over to the far left via an odd
number of interchanges, so that there is a net sign change.

8) Assign a factor ( i / ) (n)


to each nth-order term igαβ ( x, y ) of the Green function.
n

-- The nth-order term contains an explicit numerical factor ( −i / )n . In addition, the (2n+1) contractions
of field operators contribute an additional factor ( i ) , so that the computation of g ( x, y ) involves a net
2 n +1

numerical factor ( −i )( −i / ) ( i ) = ( i / ) to the nth-order term.


n 2 n +1 n

0
9) A Green function with equal time variables must be interpreted as Gαβ r, t ; r, t + . ( )
As an example, we apply the above Feynman rules to express the first-order contribution to G ( x, y ) .
There are two internal variables and two internal Green functions, so that we have

( x, y ) = ⎛⎜ ⎞⎟ ∫ d 4 x1 d 4 x1′ {( −1) Gαλ(0)( x, x1 ) U( x1 , x1′ )λλ ′,μμ ′ Gμ(0)′μ ( x1′, x1′ ) Gλ(0)′β ( x1 , y )
(1) i
g αβ
⎝ ⎠
(0)
+ Gαλ }
( x, x1 ) U ( x1 , x1′ )λλ ′,μμ ′ Gλ(0)′μ ( x1 , x1′ ) Gμ(0)′β ( x1′, y ) . (II.207)

λ μ
x y
λ′ μ′

Figure II.10.2 Illustration of the matrix indices for the interaction potential U ( x, y )λλ ′ , μμ ′ , where λ ,
λ′, μ and μ′ denote the spin indices.

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

g = +

k
k
k´ + k´ k−k´ +
k k

+ + + +

+ + +

+ +

Figure II.10.3 Feynman diagrams for g of zero-order (first line), first-order (second line), and
second-order (third, fourth and fifth lines).

Next, we consider the Feynman diagrams in momentum space. If we assume a uniform and isotropic
system, and also assume that the Hamiltonian is time independent so that

U ( x, x′ )λλ ′ , μμ ′ = V ( r − r ′ )λλ ′ , μμ ′ δ ( t − t ′ ) ,

the exact Green function takes the form

Gαβ ( x, y ) = δαβ Gαβ ( x − y )

and the Feynman rules in momentum space are in fact analogous to those in relativistic quantum field theory,
except that here we replace the relativistic propagators for the directed lines by the non-relativistic many-
body Green function

⎡ 1 ⎤ ⎡θ ( k − kF ) θ ( kF − k ) ⎤
0
Gαβ ( k , ω ) = δαβ αlim ⎢ ⎥ = δαβ αlim ⎢ + ⎥ (for T = 0).
→0+
⎣ ω − ε k + iα sgn ( ω − μ ) ⎦ → 0 + ω − ε + iα
⎣ k
ω − ε k − iα ⎦

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

and each G 0 ( k , ω ) line that either starts from and ending at the same point or is linked by the same
interaction line should be interpreted as being G0 <( k , ω ) where Im ⎡⎣G0 <( k , ω ) ⎤⎦ = 2π iδ ω − ε k0 θ ( k F − k ) . ( )
Also, as for Green function in the spacetime coordinates, we need to multiply a factor of (−1) for each closed
loop in the diagram. In addition, each interaction (wavy) line should be labeled by
iV ( q ) = i ∫ d 3 r V ( r ) exp ( −iq ⋅ r ) , where q ≡ k − k ′ is the momentum change involved. The diagrams
contributing to the Green function up to the second order are illustrated in Fig. II.10.3.

For the consideration of spin-1/2 particles, we distinguish in the following two possibilities for the
interaction potential. The first case is for spin-independent interaction, where the interaction potential has the
form of [1(1) 1(2)] in spin space, which represents the unit spin matrix with respect to both particles 1 and 2.
Therefore, we have
U ( q )λλ ′, μμ ′ = U ( q ) δ λλ ′ δ μμ ′ , (II.208)

and the matrix elements become

U ( q )λλ ′, μμ = 2U ( q ) δ λλ ′ and U ( q )λκ ,κμ ′ = U ( q ) δ λμ ′ . (II.209)

On the other hand, if the interaction is spin dependent of the form σ (1) i σ ( 2 ) , we find

U ( q )λλ ′, μμ ′ = U ( q ) σ (1)λλ ′ i σ ( 2 ) μμ ′ . (II.210)


Furthermore,

σ λκ i σκμ ′ = ⎡⎣( σ ) ⎤⎦ = 3δ λμ ′ ,
2
σ λλ ′ i σ μμ = 0 and (II.211)
λμ ′

because Tr [σ ] = 0 and Tr [1] = 2 . Finally, if the interaction potential V consists of a spin-independent


unperturbed potential V0 and a spin-dependent interaction potential V1, we may express V as follows:

V ( r1 − r2 ) = V0 ( r1 − r2 ) 1(1) 1( 2 ) + V1 ( r1 − r2 ) σ(1) i σ ( 2 ) . (II.212)

According the aforementioned rules, the contributions from the first-order diagrams to the Green
function g (k) appropriate for a spin-independent interaction HI given in EQ. (II.200) become:

d 4k′ d 4k′
−i ∫ G0< ( k ′ ) V ( 0 ) G0( k ) G0( k ) + i ∫ G0( k ) G0( k ) G0<( k ′ ) V ( k − k ′ )
(2π ) 4 (2π ) 4
⎡ d 3k ′ d 3k ′ ⎤
= G02( k ) ⎢V ( 0 ) ∫ θ ( kF − k ′ ) − ∫ V ( k − k ′ ) θ ( kF − k ′ ) ⎥ . (II.213)
⎣ (2π ) 3
(2π ) 3

The aforementioned diagrammatic method provides descriptions for the fermionic causal Green
function g at T = 0 in terms of expansions of G0 and V. For finite temperatures, the corresponding Green
function has to be obtained through the “imaginary time” trick. Upon Fourier transformation to the (k, zν )-
space with zν denoting the poles in the ω-space, we have the following rules for obtaining the nth order
contribution to the function g (k, zν ) given in EQ. (II.166):

1) Draw all topologically distinct connected diagrams with n interaction lines, two external points, and
(2n+1) directed lines.

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

2) Label each line with a four-momentum ( k , zν ) ; conserve momentum and Im ( zν ) at each vertex.

1
3) For each directed line labeled with a four-momentum ( k , zν ) write a factor G 0( k , zν ) = .
zν − ε k
0

4) For each interaction (wavy) line labeled by a four-momentum ( k , zν ) write a factor − V ( k ) .

5) Integrate over all internal independent momenta k through ⎡ (2π ) −3 ∫ d 3 k ⎤ and sum over all internal
⎣ ⎦
independent discrete frequencies through ⎡⎣ β −1
∑ ν
⎤⎦

6) Multiply by (−1)F where F denotes the number of closed fermion loops.

7) Whenever a directed line either closes on itself or is joined by the same interaction line, insert a
convergence factor exp (−zν σ ) with σ → 0−.

As an example, we calculate the contributions of the first-order diagrams shown in Fig. II.10.4.

k, zν
k, zν
k´, zν´ + k´, zν´ k−k´, zν− zν´
k, zν
k, zν

Figure II.10.4 First-order Feynman diagrams for g ( k, zν ).

Following the rules outlined above, we obtain:

⎡ d 3k ′ 1 d 3k ′ 1 ⎤
G02( k , zν ) ⎢ ∓ V ( 0 ) ∫
(2π ) β3 ∑e − zν ′σ
G0( k ′, zν′ ) − ∫
(2π ) 3
V( k − k′)
β
∑e − zν ′σ
G0( k ′, zν′ ) ⎥ . (II.214)
⎣ ν′ ν′ ⎦

(
Using EQ. (II.154), A( k , ω ) = 2πδ ω − ε k0 , and the identities )
i ωn η
e β 2π n
lim ∑ =− β x
, ωn = for bosons; (II.215)
η →0 +
n iωn − x e −1 β
i ωnη
e β π (2 n + 1)
lim ∑ = β x
, ωn = for fermions; (II.216)
η →0 +
n iωn − x e +1 β

EQ. (II.214) becomes:

⎡ d 3k ′ d 3k ′ ⎤
G02( k , zν ) ⎢ V ( 0 ) ∫
(2π ) 3 ( )
f ∓ ε k0′ ± ∫
(2π ) 3 ( )
V ( k − k ′ ) f ∓ ε k0′ ⎥ . (II.217)
⎣ ⎦

Nai-Chang Yeh II-37 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
Here we remark that the identities in EQs. (II.215) and (II.216) are obtained by evaluating the
following contour integrals with the contour specified in Fig. II.10.5:
i ωn η
e β dz eη z
lim
η →0 +
∑ iωn − x
=
2π i ∫C ′ e β z − 1 z − x
for bosons; (II.218)
n even
i ωn η
e β dz eη z
lim
η →0 +
∑ iω −x
=− lim ∫ β z
2π i η → 0 + C ′ e + 1 z − x
for fermions, (II.219)
n odd n

where the integration along contour C can be analytically deformed into that along contour C′ because the
integral along Γ for |z| → ∞ vanishes for positive η.
We emphasize that the results outlined above are only applicable to normal fermion systems or
bosons at relatively high temperatures. These results must be modified for bosons at low temperatures and
for fermion systems that are not normal, such as in the case of superfluids and superconductors. We shall
leave those more complicated cases to Parts IX and XI later.

In general, it is rare that a small number of lowest-order diagrams would be a good approximation
for the Green function g. Therefore in practical calculations one either tries to obtain certain general results
without employing approximations, or, whenever specific results are sought, to find a class of diagrams such
that the contribution from this whole class is both calculable and dominant. However, it is not very common
that such ideal situation occurs.

z-plane
Γ Γ

C C
C′ C′

C′ C′
z=x
z = iωn
Γ Γ

Fig. II.10.5: Contour for evaluation of Matsubara frequency sums on the complex z-plane.

The general strategy in practical calculations is to reorganize the expansion through certain partial
summations in a graphical way. One may begin with a few simple diagrams (called “skeletons”), and then
perform all possible summations of lines and vertices (corresponding to “putting flesh to the skeletons”) to
obtain the Green function g. To facilitate such calculations, we introduce in the following a few definitions
and important relations. First, we define the self-energy Σ as the sum of contributions from all parts of the
diagrams that are connected to the rest by two directed lines, one in and the other out. This definition can be
explicitly expressed by the following relation:

g ( k , zν ) = G0 ( k , zν ) + G0 ( k , zν ) Σ ( k , zν ) G0 ( k , zν ) . (II.220)

Nai-Chang Yeh II-38 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
The definition in EQ. (II.220) can also be expressed graphically, as shown in Fig. II.10.6 (a). We also define
the proper self-energy Σ*, which involves only the self-energy parts that cannot be separated into two pieces
by cutting a single particle line. The proper self-energy is related to the self energy via the relation:

Σ = Σ* + Σ*G0 Σ* + Σ*G0 Σ*G0 Σ* + = Σ* + Σ*G0 Σ = Σ* + ΣG0 Σ* . (II.221)

Combining EQs. (II.220) and (II.221), we obtain:

g = G0 + G0 Σ* g = G0 + g Σ*G0 . (II.222)

In the (k , ω ) − space, EQ. (II.222) can be written as:


G0( k , ω ) 1
g (k, ω ) = = ↔ g −1( k , ω ) = G0−1( k , ω ) − Σ*( k , ω ) . (II.223)
1 − G0( k , ω ) Σ ( k , ω ) ω − ε k − Σ*( k , ω )
* 0

The diagrammatic expression for EQ. (II.223) is illustrated in Fig. II.10.6 (b).

The proper self energy Σ* contains an infinite number of diagrams, which can be expressed in terms
of g and a quantity Γ, known as the vertex part. The vertex part is defined as the sum of the contributions
from all parts that are connected with four (two in and two out) directed G0 lines to the rest, which cannot be
decomposed into disconnected parts. The vertex part Γ is related to the two-particle Green function g2, as
shown in Fig. II.10.7 and also expressed explicitly below:

g2( x1 , x2 ; x1′, x2′ ) = g ( x1 , x1′ ) g ( x2 , x2′ ) ± g ( x1 , x2′ ) g ( x2 , x1′ )


+ dx1dx2 dx1′dx2′ Γ( x1 , x2 ; x1′, x2′ ) g ( x1 , x11 ) g ( x2 , x2 ) g ( x1′, x1′ ) g ( x2′ , x2′ ) .
∫ (II.224)

G0
(a)
= + Σ

g G0 G0

G0
(b)
= + Σ*

g G0 G

Figure II.10.6 (a) Relation between the Green function g (thick line), the unperturbed Green function
G0 (thin line), and the self energy Σ. (b) Relation between the Green function g (thick line), the
unperturbed Green function G0 (thin line), and the proper self energy Σ*.

Nai-Chang Yeh II-39 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory

g g
g2 = ± +

Γ
g g g g g g

Figure II.10.7. Diagrammatic expression for the relation between the two-particle Green function g2,
the Green function g, and the vertex part Γ.

From EQs. (II.222) and (II.223), it can be shown that the proper self energy Σ* can be calculated
from the four diagrams shown in Fig. II.10.8 (a), which result from “fleshing” the four skeleton diagrams in
Fig. II.10.8 (b) – The “fleshing” is done by replacing the G0-lines by g-lines and one of the two interaction
lines by the vertex part Γ. Moreover, we note that the diagrammatic expression given in Fig. II.10.8 (a) is in
fact consistent with EQ. (II.61) given by the equation of motion method. The basic expression for the Green
function in EQ. (II.222) or EQ. (II.223) together with the diagrams in Fig. II.10.8 (a) for the proper self
energy is known as the Dyson’s equation.

(a) Σ* = + + +

(b) + + +

Figure II.10.8 The proper self energy Σ* is consistent with the sum of the four diagrams in (a), which
are obtained by “fleshing” the four skeleton diagrams in (b).

However, the vertex part Γ generally cannot be expressed in terms of a closed form involving g and
Γ because the skeleton diagrams for Γ are infinite in number. A typical approach is to end the infinite
hierarchy of relations by approximately expressing Γ in a closed form involving g and Γ. The simplest of
such approximations is to set Γ = 0, which is equivalent to the Hartree-Fock approximation that we have
discussed earlier. The proper self energy in the Hartree-Fock approximation is given by:

d k′ 1 d k′
3 3
1
Σ*( k , zν ) = ∓ V (0) ∫
(2π ) β
3 ∑e − zv′σ
G0( k ′, zν′ ) − ∫
(2π )
3
V( k − k′)
β
∑′ e − zv′σ
G0( k ′, zν′ )
ν′ ν

d k′ d k′
4 4

= V (0) ∫ 4
A ( k ′, ω ′ ) f ∓ ( ω ′ ) ± ∫ 4
V ( k − k ′ ) A ( k ′, ω ′ ) f ∓ ( ω ′ ) = Σ*( k ) . (II.245)
(2π ) (2π )

Nai-Chang Yeh II-40 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
Inserting EQ. (II.245) into EQ. (II.243), we recover EQs. (II.170) and (II.171) for the Green function and
eigen-energy in the Hartree-Fock approximation, as expected. The diagrammatic representation of the
Hartree-Fock approximation is shown in Fig. II.10.9.

= + +

Figure II.10.9 Feynman diagrams for the Hartree-Fock approximation.

(a) iV iV iV -iΠ iV
= +

(b) -iΠ -iΠ* -iΠ* iV -iΠ*


= + +…

-iΠ* -iΠ* iV -iΠ


= +

(c) -iΠ*
iV iV iV iV
= +

Figure II.10.10 Diagrammatic expressions for the relation between (a) V , V, and Π; (b) V, Π and Π*;
(c)V , V, and Π* for fermions at T = 0. For T ≠ 0, the imaginary time case, iV , iV, iΠ
and iΠ* must be replaced by −V , −V, −Π and −Π*, respectively.

For a rotational invariant system, if we define the momentum transfer due to the interaction as
q = k − k ′ , the diagrammatic expressions in Fig. II.10.10 can be written as follows:

V (q ) = V (q ) + V 2 (q ) Π (q ) , (II.246)
* * * * *
Π (q ) = Π (q ) + Π (q ) V (q ) Π (q ) + = Π (q ) + Π ( q ) V ( q ) Π ( q ) . (II.247)

Hence, we obtain
Π * (q )
Π (q ) = , (II.248)
1 − V (q ) Π * ( q )

and V (q) = V (q) + V (q) Π* (q) V (q) , (II.249)

Nai-Chang Yeh II-41 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part II: Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theory for Many-Body Systems
Field Theory
which leads to
V (q )
V (q ) = . (II.250)
1 − V (q ) Π * (q )

If we define a dielectric function ε c ( k , ω ) by the following relation:

V (q , ω )
V (q , ω ) = , (II.251)
ε c (q , ω )

we can express the dielectric function in terms of the polarization Π and proper polarization Π*:

1 1
= 1 + V (q , ω ) Π (q , ω ) = . (II.252)
ε (q , ω )
c
1 − V ( q , ω ) Π * (q , ω )
The polarization Π defined here is the result of the dielectric response of a many-body system to the inter-
particle interactions, which we shall elaborate in Part III. For comparison, we note that similar polarization
tensor can be introduced in the case of relativistic quantum field theory for quantum fluctuations associated
with photon propagation in vacuum.

Further Readings
For classic references on the application of Green functions to condensed matter physics, you may consider
the following books:

• “Green Functions for Solid State Physicists”, S. Doniach and E. H. Sondheimer, Imperial College Press
(1998).

• “Methods of Quantum Field Theory in Statistical Physics”, A. A. Abrikosov, L. P. Gorkov, and I. E.


Dzyaloshinski, revised English edition.

• “Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems”, A. L. Fetter and J. D. Walecka.

Nai-Chang Yeh II-42 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory

PART III. Hartree-Fock and Random Phase Approximations


The general expression for Green’s functions in EQ. (II.205) in principle enables evaluations of
Green’s functions to all orders for given interaction potential. In practice, however, we need to devise proper
approximations to solve realistic physical problems.

We have described in Part II the diagrammatic representation of the Hartree-Fock approximation in


Fig. II.10.9. In this section, we shall examine the Hartree-Fock approximation in more details, followed by
discussion of the random phase approximation (RPA) for treating long-range Coulomb interaction in
degenerate (i.e. high-density) Fermi gas.

III.1. Self-Consistent Solutions to the Hartree-Fock Approximation

Despite the apparent simplicity of the Hartree-Fock approximation, self-consistent solutions to the
corresponding Dyson’s equation are already highly non-trivial. As a heuristic example for diagrammatic
analysis of many-body physics, we go over the necessary steps in the following to obtain the self-consistent
solutions to a many-body system under the Hartree-Fock approximation. This approximation is also widely
used in the calculations of electronic bandstructures of crystalline materials.

We begin with setting up a more generalized non-perturbed Hamiltonian H0 that includes an external
potential U ext ( r ) and a perturbation HI that incorporates the inter-particle interaction U ( x, x′ )λλ ′ , μμ ′ . For
simplicity, we assume that both U ext ( r ) and U ( x, x′ )λλ ′ , μμ ′ are spin-independent, so that

U ( x, x′ )λλ ′ , μμ ′ = V ( x − x′ ) δ ( t − t ′ ) δ λλ ′δ μμ ′ .
Hence, we have
⎡ ∇2 ⎤
H 0 = ∫ d 3 xψ α† ( x ) ⎢ − + U ext ( x ) ⎥ ψ α ( x ) , (III.1)
⎣ 2m ⎦
1
d x d x′ψ ( x )ψ ( x′ ) V ( x − x′ ) ψ ( x′ ) ψ ( x ) .
2∫
HI = 3 3 †
α

β β α (III.2)

The Green’s function can be obtained via the Dyson’s equation represented in Fig. II.10.6 (b):

g ( x, y ) = G 0( x, y ) + ∫ d 3 x1 d 3 x1′ G 0( x, x1 ) Σ*( x1 , x1′ ) g ( x1′ , y ) , (III.3)

where the Kronecker delta function for spin indices has been factored out. The proper self-energy under the
Hartree-Fock approximation (see Fig. II.10.9) is therefore given by

(
Σ*( x1 , x1′ ) = −i δ ( t1 − t1′ ) ⎡⎣δ ( x1 − x1′ )( 2 s + 1) ∫ d 3 x 2 V ( x1 − x 2 ) g x 2 , t2 ; x 2 , t2+ )
(
− V ( x1 − x1′ ) g x1 , t1 ; x1′ , t ⎤⎦
+
1 ) (III.4)

for spin-s fermions. The Fourier transformed Green’s function for the above time-independent H0 and HI
thus becomes:

g ( x, y; ω ) = G 0( x, y; ω ) + ∫ d 3 x1 d 3 x1′ G 0( x, x1 ; ω ) Σ*( x1 , x1′ ) g ( x1′ , y; ω ) , (III.5)


where

Nai-Chang Yeh III-1 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory

Σ*( x1 , x1′ ) = −i δ ( x1 − x1′ )( 2 s + 1) ∫ d 3 x 2 V ( x1 − x 2 ) ( 2π ) ∫ dω e


i ωη
g ( x2 , x2 ;ω )
−1

+ iV ( x1 − x1′ )( 2π ) ∫ dω e
i ωη
g ( x1 , x1′ , ω )
−1
(III.6)

For a complete set of orthonormal eigenfunctions of H0 given by

⎡ ∇2 ⎤
H 0 ϕ 0j ( x ) = ⎢ − + U ( x ) ⎥ ϕ 0j ( x ) = ε 0j ϕ 0j ( x ) , (III.7)
⎣ 2m ⎦
the unperturbed Green’s function becomes:
* − i ε ( t −t ′)
iG 0 ( xt , x′t ′ ) = ∑ ϕ 0j ( x ) ϕ 0j ( x′ ) e ⎡⎣θ ( t − t ′ ) Φ 0 a j a †j Φ 0 − θ ( t ′ − t ) Φ 0 a †j a j Φ 0 ⎤⎦
0
j

⎡⎣θ ( t − t ′ ) θ ( ε 0j − ε F0 ) − θ ( t ′ − t ) θ ( ε F0 − ε 0j ) ⎤⎦ ,
* − i ε 0j ( t − t ′ )
= ∑ ϕ ( x ) ϕ ( x′ ) e
0
j
0
j
(III.8)
j

where ε F0 is the Fermi energy of the unperturbed system. Therefore, the Fourier transform EQ. (III.8) is

⎡ θ ( ε 0j − ε F0 ) θ ( ε F0 − ε 0j ) ⎤
G ( x, y ; ω ) = ∑ ϕ ( x ) ϕ ( y ) ⎢
0 0 0 *
+ ⎥, (III.9)
⎣⎢ ω − ε j + iη ω − ε j − iη ⎦⎥
j 0 j 0
j

and the particle density in the unperturbed ground state is [from EQ. (II.140) except now restoring the spin
degrees of freedom]

( )
2
n 0( x ) = − i ( 2 s + 1)( 2π ) ∫ dω e
i ωη
G 0 ( x, x, ω ) = ( 2 s + 1) ∑ ϕ 0j ( x ) θ ε F0 − ε 0j ,
−1
(III.10)
j

so that the total number of particles is

N 0 = ∫ d 3 x n 0( x ) = ( 2 s + 1) ∑ θ ε F0 − ε 0j . ( ) (III.11)
j

Equations (III.5), (III.7) and (III.9) form a set of coupled equations for the self-consistent Green’s
function g. Noting that Σ* in EQ. (III.5) is not dependent on ω, we expect that the frequency dependence of g
is similar to that of G 0:

* θ (ε j − ε F ) θ (ε F − ε j ) ⎤

g ( x, y ; ω ) = ∑ ϕ j ( x ) ϕ j ( y ) ⎢ + ⎥, (III.12)
j ⎣⎢ ω − ε j + iη ω − ε j − iη ⎦⎥

where {ϕ ( x )}
j
denotes a complete set of single-particle wave functions with eigen-energies ε j and ε F is
the Fermi energy of the interacting system. Similar to EQs. (III.10) and (III.11), the particle density of the
interacting system is

( )
2
n ( x ) = ( 2 s + 1) ∑ ϕ j ( x ) θ ε F − ε j , (III.13)
j

and the total number of particles is

Nai-Chang Yeh III-2 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory

N = N 0 = ∫ d 3 x n 0( x ) = ( 2 s + 1) ∑ θ ( ε F − ε j ) , (III.14)
j

which is the same as that of the unperturbed system because the interaction Hamiltonian HI conserves the
total number of particles.

Using EQ. (III.12), we can evaluate the proper self-energy in EQ. (III.6) and find:

∑ ϕ ( x ) θ (ε −ε j )
2
Σ ( x1 , x1′ ) = δ ( x1 − x1′ )( 2 s + 1) d x 2 V ( x1 − x 2 )

* 3
j 2 F
j

− V ( x1 − x1′ ) ∑ ϕ j ( x1 ) ϕ j ( x1′ ) θ ( ε F − ε j ) .
*
(III.15)
j

We note that the proper self-energy thus given depends on {ϕ ( x )}


j
rather than {ϕ ( x )} . Therefore,
0
j

combining EQs. (III.5) and (III.15) yields a non-linear integral equation for {ϕ ( x )} if we assume that
j

{ϕ ( x )} is known. Our objective is to find the solutions to {ϕ ( x )} and {ε } .


0
j j j

For simplicity, we define the following differential operator

⎡ ∇12 ⎤
L1 = ω − ⎢ − + U ( x1 ) ⎥ = ω − H 0 , (III.16)
⎣ 2m ⎦
so that
L1G 0 ( x1 , x1′ ; ω ) = δ ( x1 − x1′ )
and
L1 g ( x1 , x1′ ; ω ) = δ ( x1 − x1′ ) + ∫ d 3 x 2 Σ*( x1 , x 2 ) g ( x 2 , x1′ ; ω ) . (III.17)

Inserting EQs. (III.12) and (III.16) into EQ. (III.17), we find

⎡ ∇12 ⎤ ⎡θ (ε j − ε F ) θ (ε F − ε j ) ⎤
⎢ω + − U ( x )
1 ⎥ ∑ ϕ ( x1 ) ϕ ( x1
′ )*
⎢ + ⎥
2m ⎣⎢ ω − ε j + iη ω − ε j − iη ⎦⎥
j j
⎣ ⎦ j
⎡θ (ε j − ε F ) θ (ε F − ε j ) ⎤
− ∫ d 3 x 2 Σ*( x1 , x 2 ) ∑ ϕ j ( x 2 ) ϕ j ( x1′ ) ⎢ ⎥ = δ ( x1 − x1′ ) ,
*
+ (III.18)
j
⎣⎢ ω − ε j + iη ω − ε j − iη ⎦⎥

Multiplying EQ. (III.18) by ϕ ( x1′ ) , integrating over x1′ , using the orthogonality of {ϕ j ( x1 )} , and taking the
η → 0 limit, we obtain the following Schrödinger-like equation for ϕ j ( x1 ) :

⎡ ∇12 ⎤
⎢ − 2m + U ( x1 ) ⎥ ϕ j ( x1 ) + ∫ d x 2 Σ ( x1 , x 2 ) ϕ j ( x 2 ) = ε jϕ j ( x1 ) .
3 *
(III.19)
⎣ ⎦

The physical significance of the proper self-energy Σ* becomes evident from EQ. (III.19), which is
effectively a static non-local potential. Given that Σ* is hermitian and independent of the index j, the
orthogonality of {ϕ j ( x1 )} remains. Moreover, from EQ. (III.15) we note that Σ* contains two terms, a direct
term proportional to the local particle density, and an exchange term involving non-local interaction of
particles.

Nai-Chang Yeh III-3 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory
Equations (III.15) and (III.19) are known as the Hartree-Fock equations used for finding self-
{
} { }
consistent solutions to ϕ j ( x ) and ε j for a given potential U ( x ) . The general approach is to first insert a
set of known wavefunctions {ϕ ( x )} into EQ. (III.15) to obtain the proper self-energy Σ , which is then used
0
j
*

in EQ. (III.19) to solve for {ϕ ( x )} . The newly obtained {ϕ ( x )} are then applied to EQ. (III.15) to compute
j j
*
Σ , the resulting proper self-energy inserted back to EQ. (III.19), and so on, until self-consistent solutions are
{ } { }
found for both ϕ j ( x ) and ε j . Evidently it is a complicated computation procedure for arbitrary potential
U ( x ) . Therefore, the Hartree-Fock solutions to the eigenfunctions, eigen-energies and bandstructures of
realistic materials are generally carried out with large computers.

Finally, recall that the ground state energy can be evaluated from Green’s functions, we obtain the
corresponding ground state energy for a given potential U ( x ) using Eqs. (II.144) and (III.19):

i dω ⎡ ∇12 ⎤
E0 = − ( 2s + 1) ∫ d 3 x1 xlim
′ →x ∫
e i ωη ⎢ω − + U ( x1 ) ⎥ g ( x1 , x1′ ; ω )
2 1 1 ( 2π ) ⎣ 2m ⎦
dω ⎧1 ⎡1 1 3 ⎤
= −i ( 2 s + 1) ∫ d 3 x1 ∑ ϕ j ( x1 )
*
⎨ ω ϕ j ( x1 ) + ⎢ ε jϕ j ( x1 ) − ∫ d x 2 Σ ( x1 , x 2 ) ϕ j ( x 2 ) ⎥
i ωη
∫ ( 2π ) e
*

j ⎩2 ⎣2 2 ⎦
⎡ θ ( ε j − ε F ) θ ( ε F − ε j ) ⎤ ⎫⎪
×⎢ + ⎥⎬
⎣⎢ ω − ε j + iη ω − ε j − iη ⎦⎥ ⎪⎭
1
(
= ( 2 s + 1) ∑ ε jθ ε F − ε j − ) 2
( 2s + 1) ∫ d 3 x1 d 3 x 2 ∑ ϕ j ( x1 ) Σ*( x1 , x 2 ) ϕ j ( x 2 ) θ ( ε F − ε j ) .
*

j j

1
(
= ( 2 s + 1) ∑ ε jθ ε F − ε j − ) 2
( 2s + 1) ∑ θ ( ε F − ε j ) θ ( ε F − ε j ′ )∫ d 3 x1 d 3 x 2 V ( x1 − x 2 )
j j j′

× ⎡⎢( 2 s + 1) ϕ j ( x1 ) ϕ j ′( x 2 ) − ϕ j ( x1 ) ϕ j ′( x1 ) ϕ j ′( x 2 ) ϕ j ( x 2 ) ⎤⎥
2 2 * *
(III.20)
⎣ ⎦

Equation (III.20) is the usual Hartree-Fock result, where the first term is the simple sum of the energies of all
occupied states. The second term involving the proper self-energy includes both the direct and exchange
interactions. In general for short-range potentials, the direct and exchange interactions are comparable in
magnitude, whereas for long-range potentials, the exchange interaction is much smaller than the direct
interaction. In the special case of a uniform system so that the potential U ( x ) vanishes, plane-wave solutions
satisfy the self-consistent equations, and the corresponding self-consistent single particle energy becomes:

ε k = ε k0 + Σ*( k ) , (III.21)

where the proper self-energy is


− ik i ( x − x′)
Σ *( k ) = ∫ d 3 ( x − x ′ ) e Σ *( x − x ′ )
= nV ( 0 ) − ( 2π ) ∫ d k ′V ( k − k ′ ) θ ( k F − k ′ ) ,
−3 3
(III.22)

and the ground-state energy reduces to

Nai-Chang Yeh III-4 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory

⎡ 1 ⎤
E0 = ( 2 s + 1) V ( 2π ) ∫ d k ⎢⎣ε − Σ*( k ) ⎥ θ ( k F − k )
−3 3

2 ⎦
k

⎡ 1 ⎤
= ( 2 s + 1) V ( 2π ) ∫ d k ⎢⎣ε k + 2 Σ ( k )⎥⎦ θ ( kF − k ) .
−3 3 0 *
(III.23)

Therefore, in a uniform system the proper self-energy provides a simple correction to the ground-state energy
of an interacting system. However, it should be kept in mind that the simple correction given in EQ. (III.23)
is no longer valid for non-uniform systems.

III.2. The Random Phase Approximation (RPA) for Degenerate Fermi Gas

Here we want to consider the diagrammatic representation of the random phase approximation that
describes the dielectric response of high-density (or, degenerate) electrons. The primary reason for
considering degenerate electrons (which is a valid approximation for good conductors) is that the potential
energy of such a system can be assumed to be nearly uniform, which greatly simplifies the diagrammatic
analysis despite the apparent difficulties in dealing with the long-range Coulomb interaction among
electrons. Specifically, we consider an idealized approximation for the electronic response in a good metal,
known as the “jellium model”, which assumes a high density (n) of electrons moving in a uniform
background of positive charge that ensures overall charge neutrality. The 1/r2 nature of the Coulomb
interaction gives rise to an average potential energy per particle that is proportional to n1/3; whereas the
average kinetic energy per particle is proportional to kF2/(2m) ∝ n2/3 as the result of Pauli principle, with kF
being the momentum at the Fermi level. Thus, in contrast to ordinary gases, the kinetic energy dominates
over the potential energy in the high-density electron system, and therefore the system behaves like a gas,
known as the Fermi gas. On the other hand, in the low-density limit, the potential energy dominates, and the
system becomes a solid, known as the Wigner crystal. For intermediate density, we have the Fermi liquid.

We may quantify the above descriptions by introducing a dimensionless quantity rs ≡ r0/aB, where r0
is defined as (4πr03/3)−1 = n = N/Ω, Ω is the volume of the system, and aB = 2 /(me2 ) is the Bohr radius. If
we define the field operators ψ = ∑ k akψ k and ψ † = ∑ k ak†ψ k* where ψ k denotes the eigen-state, and
introduce dimensionless quantities Ω´ ≡ Ω/r03, k´ ≡ kr0, p´ ≡ pr0, and q´ ≡ qr0, the Hamiltonian H of the
electron system becomes

e2 ⎡ 1 4π † ⎤
2 ⎢ ∑
k ′2 ak†′ ak ′ + s ∑
r
H = ak ′+ q′ ap†′−q′ ap′ ak ′ ⎥ , (III.24)
aB rs ⎣ 2 k ′ 2Ω′ k ′,p′,q′≠ 0 q′ 2

We note that only Coulomb interactions with q′ ≠ 0 are relevant. In the rs → 0 limit, the potential energy
becomes negligible, and therefore we can limit contributions from the potential energy only up to second-
order terms. Since diagrams with q′ = 0 do not contribute to the inter-particle interaction (because of charge
neutrality for the entire system), the remaining diagrams (see Fig. II.10.3) up to second order in Coulomb
interaction that contribute to the proper self-energy are given in Fig. III.2.1. (You may compare Fig. III.2.1
with Fig. II.10.8 to relate the higher-order terms involving the vertex contributions in the latter to the second
order terms in the former.)

The diagrammatic contributions to Σ1* , Σ*2a and Σ*2b are finite, whereas the diagram Σ*2r is in fact
troublesome and requires more careful analysis. Specifically, the diagram Σ*2r involves a polarization loop.

Nai-Chang Yeh III-5 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory
The polarization loop is the dominant response of a degenerate electron gas to Coulomb interaction and can
be associated with the density correlation function, as we shall demonstrate below.

+ + +

Σ1* Σ*2a Σ*2b Σ*2r

Figure III.2.1 Diagrams relevant to the proper self-energy of degenerate Fermi gas up to second-order.

For simplicity we restrict our consideration to a spatially homogeneous system of particles with a
spin-independent interaction potential:

U 0( x, x′ )λλ ′ , μμ ′ = V ( x − x′ ) δ ( t − t ′ ) δ λλ ′ δ μμ ′ . (III.25)

The interaction energy evaluated relative to the exact ground state becomes

1
d 3 x d 3 x′ V ( x − x′ ) ψ α† ( x )ψ β† ( x′ )ψ β ( x′ )ψ α ( x )
2∫
V =

1
d x d x′ V ( x − x′ ) ⎡⎣ n( x ) n( x′ ) − δ ( x − x′ ) n( x ) ⎤⎦ ,
2∫
3 3
= (III.26)

where n( x ) ≡ ψ α† ( x )ψ α ( x ) is the particle density operator. If we introduce the density fluctuation operator:

n( x ) ≡ n( x ) − n ( x ) , (III.27)

EQ. (III.27) can be rewritten into the following:

1
d x d x′ V ( x − x′ ) ⎡⎣ n( x ) n( x′ ) + n( x ) n( x′ ) − δ ( x − x′ ) n( x ) ⎤⎦ ,
2∫
3 3
V = (III.28)

where we have used the identity n( x ) = 0 . Although EQ. (III.26) is generally complicated for an arbitrary
interacting system, it can be greatly simplified for a uniform system because the second and third terms in
EQ. (III.28) become trivial. In this special case, n( x ) = n0 = ( N / Ω ) is a constant, so we can concentrate
on the correlation function for the density fluctuation operator n( x ) n( x′ ) :

Ψ 0 T [ n( x ) n ( x ′ ) ] Ψ 0
i Π ( x , x′ ) ≡ = i Π ( x′, x ) . (III.29)
Ψ0 Ψ0

Similarly, we may define the density fluctuation operator for the non-interacting system as follows:

i Π 0( x, x′ ) ≡ Φ 0 T ⎡⎣ψ α† ( x )ψ β† ( x′ )ψ β ( x′ )ψ α ( x ) ⎤⎦ Φ 0

Nai-Chang Yeh III-6 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory

− Φ 0 ψ α† ( x )ψ α ( x ) Φ 0 Φ 0 ψ β† ( x′ )ψ β ( x′ ) Φ 0 = i Π 0( x′, x ) ,
0
= iGαα ( 0
x, x + iGββ) (
x′, x′+ − iGαβ
0
)
( x, x′ ) iGβα0 ( x′, x ) − n( x ) n( x′ ) , (III.30)

where we have employed Wick’s theorem in the last line of EQ. (III.30). For a uniform fermion system of
spin s, the first and the third terms in the last line of EQ. (III.30) exactly cancel, so we obtain

i Π 0( x, x′ ) = ( 2 s + 1) G 0( x, x′ ) G 0( x′, x ) . (III.31)

The physical meaning of Π0 is the lowest-order contribution to the density correlation function of the
interacting system, Π, which is also known as the polarization propagator. The diagrammatic representations
for Π0 in the coordinate space and in momentum space are respectively shown in Figs. III.2.2 (a) and III.2.2
(b). For a degenerate electron gas, the lowest-order polarization insertion Π0 is analogous to the creation and
subsequent annihilation of an electron-hole pair, which is consistent with the notion of density fluctuations in
an otherwise uniform system.

(a) x (b) q

k k+q

x′ q

Figure III.2.2 Lowest-order contribution Π0 to the density correlation function (a) in coordinate space,
and (b) in momentum space.

Therefore, following the convention in EQs. (II.246) and (II.247), we have the effective interaction:

V ( x, x′ ) = V ( x, x′ ) + ∫ d 4 x1 d 4 x1′ V ( x, x1 ) Π 0 ( x1 , x1′ ) V ( x1′, x′ ) + … , (III.32)

and the corresponding Feynman diagrams in coordinate space are shown in Fig. III.2.3.

x1′ x′
V V
= + + ...
x x′ x x′

x x1
0
(V) (Π ) (V)

Figure III.2.3 Diagrammatic expansion of the effective interaction in coordinate space.

Having introduced the polarization propagator, we may rewrite the expectation value for the
interaction potential in a uniform system into:

Nai-Chang Yeh III-7 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory
1
d x d x′ V ( x − x′ ) ⎡⎣i Π ( x, t ; x′, t ′ ) + n − δ ( x − x′ ) n ⎤⎦
2∫
3 3 0 2
V =

1
d x d x′ V ( x − x′ ) ⎡⎣i Π ( x, t ; x′, t ′ ) − i Π ( x, t ; x′, t ′ ) ⎤⎦
2∫
3 3 0
+

1
d 3 x d 3 x′ V ( x − x′ ) ⎡⎣i Π ( x, t ; x′, t ′ ) − i Π 0( x, t ; x′, t ′ ) ⎤⎦ .
2∫
= Φ0 V Φ0 + (III.33)

Hence, the ground-state energy of the interacting system can be evaluated as follows:

1 1 dλ
2∫ ∫ d x d x′ λV ( x − x′ ) ⎡⎣i Π ( x, t; x′, t ′ ) − i Π ( x, t; x′, t ′ )⎤⎦
λ
E = Φ0 H Φ0 + 3 3 0
0
λ
= Φ 0 H Φ 0 + Ecorr , (III.34)

where Πλ denotes the renormalized polarization associated with an interaction strength λ, and the correlation
energy is given by

1 1 dλ
2∫ ∫ d x d x′ λV ( x − x′ ) ⎡⎣i Π ( x, t; x′, t ′ ) − i Π ( x, t; x′, t ′ )⎤⎦
3 3 λ 0
Ecorr =
0
λ
1 1 dλ
Ω ( 2π ) ∫ ∫d q λV ( q ) ⎡⎣i Π λ ( q, ω ) − i Π 0( q, ω ) ⎤⎦ ,
−4 4
= (III.35)
2 0
λ

and we have used the identity


i q i ( x − x′ ) − i ω ( t − t ′ )
Π λ ( x, x′ ) = Π λ ( x − x′, t − t ′ ) = ( 2π ) ∫d Π λ ( q, ω ) .
−4 4
qe e (III.36)

We also note that the expression in EQ. (III.34) has been obtained through a “trick” by Pauli, which asserts
that the exact ground state energy (E) of an interacting system is related to the ground state energy (E0) of the
unperturbed non-interacting system by the following relation

1 dλ
E − E0 = ∫ Ψ 0( λ ) λ H I Ψ 0( λ ) , (III.37)
0
λ

where we have defined H ( λ ) ≡ H 0 + λH I so that H (1) ≡ H 0 + H I = H and H ( 0 ) = H 0 . In addition,


H ( λ ) Ψ 0( λ ) = E ( λ ) Ψ 0( λ ) , E ( 0 ) = E0 , E (1) = E , and Ψ 0 ( λ ) Ψ 0( λ ) = 1 . Therefore, we have
E ( λ ) = Ψ 0 ( λ ) H ( λ ) Ψ 0( λ ) and

d d Ψ 0( λ ) d Ψ 0( λ ) dH (λ )
E( λ ) = H ( λ ) Ψ 0( λ ) + Ψ 0( λ ) H ( λ ) + Ψ 0( λ ) Ψ 0( λ )
dλ dλ dλ dλ
d
= E( λ ) Ψ 0( λ ) Ψ 0( λ ) + Ψ 0( λ ) H I Ψ 0( λ ) = Ψ 0( λ ) H I Ψ 0( λ ) (III.38)

for 0 ≤ λ ≤ 1 , which leads to the solution for ( E − E0 ) through integration over the coupling constant λ.

Next, if we further incorporate Dyson’s equation that allows the following conversion through the
introduction of a proper polarization propagator Π*,

Nai-Chang Yeh III-8 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory

∫d
4
x1 V ( x, x1 ) Π ( x1 , x′ ) = ∫ d 4 x1 V ( x, x1 ) Π * ( x1 , x′ ) , (III.39)

the correlation energy in EQ. (III.35) becomes:

i 1 dλ
Ω ( 2π ) ∫ ∫d q ⎡⎣V λ ( q ) Π *λ ( q ) − λV ( q ) Π 0( q ) ⎤⎦ ,
−4 4
Ecorr = (III.40)
2 0
λ

where V λ denotes the effective interaction under an interaction strength λ. Finally, using EQs. (II.251) and
(II.252), we find

V ( q ) Π *( q ) 1 − ε c( q ) 1
V ( q ) Π *( q ) = = = −1 . (III.41)
1 − V (q ) Π (q ) *
ε (q)
c
ε (q)
c

where ε c ( q ) is the dielectric constant, which can be determined empirically. Hence, EQ. (III.40)

Ecorr =
i
2
Ω ( 2π )
−4

0
1 dλ
λ ∫d
4
{ −1
q ⎡⎣ε c ( q ) ⎤⎦ − 1 − λV ( q ) Π 0( q ) . } (III.42)

To proceed further, we expand the proper polarization propagator Π* in a perturbation series so that
Π * = Π *( 0 ) + Π *(1) + … where Π *( 0 ) = Π 0 . Thus, EQ. (II.250) can be rewritten into the following:

V ( q ) Π *( q )
V (q) Π (q ) =
*
= V Π* + V Π*V Π* + …
1 − V (q) Π (q ) *

= V ⎡⎣ Π *( 0) + Π *(1) ⎤⎦ + V Π *( 0)V Π *( 0 ) + …
= V Π 0 + V Π *(1) + V Π 0V Π 0 + … . (III.43)

The first-order proper polarization Π *(1) contains first-order interaction potential V, and the contributions are
shown in Fig. III.2.4 (a) – (e).

(a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

Figure III.2.4 All first-order diagrammatic contributions to the proper polarization propagator.

In reality, the diagrams in (a) and (e) do not contribute to the correlation energy because for a neutral
system we have V(0) = 0. Consequently, if we keep the leading terms to V 2, the correlation energy becomes

Ecorr = E2r + E2b + E2c + E2d + … (III.44)

Nai-Chang Yeh III-9 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory
where the superscript “r” refers to ring diagrams, and

i 1 dλ 2
Ω ( 2π ) ∫ ∫d q ⎡⎣ λV ( q ) Π 0( q ) ⎤⎦ ,
−4 4
E2r = (III.45)
2 0
λ
i 1 dλ
Ω ( 2π ) ∫ ∫d q ⎡⎣ λV ( q ) Π *(1)b ,c ,d ( q ) ⎤⎦ .
−4
E2b ,c , d = 4
(III.46)
2 0
λ

Here the subscript “2” refers to second-order in V. It turns out that the contributions in EQ. (III.46) are finite,
which you may try to verify. On the other hand, the contribution in EQ. (III.45) diverges logarithmically
because E2r ∼ [V ( q )] ∝ q −4 . In fact, all terms of the form Enr in the perturbation expansion with n ≥ 2
2

diverge. Nonetheless, if we keep in EQ. (III.43) all the terms of the form Enr with n ≥ 2 such that

V Π0
*
( 0
V Π = V Π +V Π VΠ +… +V Π 0 0
) *
(1) +… =
1−V Π 0
+ V Π *(1) + …

we have
⎛ ∞

Ecorr = Er + E2b + E2c + E2d + … = ⎜

∑En=2
r
n ⎟ + E2 + E2 + E2 + … ,

b c d
(III.47)

where

dλ ∞

∑ ∑ ⎡⎣λV ( q ) Π ( q )⎤⎦
i 1
Ω ( 2π ) ∫ ∫d q
−4 4 0 n
Er = Enr =
n=2 2 0
λ n=2
2
i ⎡⎣ λV ( q ) Π 0( q ) ⎤⎦
1 dλ
= Ω ( 2π ) ∫
λ ∫
−44
d q
2 0
1 − λV ( q ) Π 0( q )
i −4 1 d λ
≡ Ω ( 2π ) ∫ ∫ d 4 q λV ( q ) Π 0( q ) Vrλ ( q ) Π 0( q ) , (III.48)
2 0
λ
and
V (q) V (q)
Vr ( q ) ≡ ≡ . (III.49)
1 − V (q ) Π (q ) 0
ε r (q )

The “ring approximation” for the interaction potential given in EQ. (III.49) consists of an infinite series of
ring (i.e. polarization propagator) diagrams, with each ring approximated by its lowest-order term Π0, as
shown in Fig. III.2.5. The diagrammatic expressions for the correlation energy in EQ. (III.47) are illustrated
in Fig. III.2.6. These results based on summing over the ring diagrams are known as the random phase
approximation.

= + + + ...

Figure III.2.5 Ring approximation for effective interaction Vr = V + V Π 0V + V Π 0V Π 0V + … .

Nai-Chang Yeh III-10 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory
Next, we must evaluate the lowest-order polarization Π0 explicitly because many important physical
quantities in the random phase approximation are given in terms of Π0. Since it is generally more convenient
to evaluate Π0 in momentum space, we Fourier transform EQ. (III.31), which yields

Π 0( q ) = Π 0( q, q0 ) = −i ( 2 s + 1)( 2π ) ∫d k G 0( k ) G 0( k + q )
−4 4

( 2s + 1) 3 ⎡ θ ( k − kF ) θ ( kF − k ) ⎤ ⎡ θ ( k + q − kF ) θ ( kF − k + q ) ⎤
4 ∫
= −i d k ∫ dω ⎢ + ⎥ ⎢ + ⎥
( 2π ) ⎣ ω − ωk + iη ω − ωk − iη ⎦ ⎣ ( ω + q0 ) − ωk +q + iη ( ω + q0 ) − ωk +q − iη ⎦
2 ⎡θ ( k + q − kF )θ ( kF − k ) θ ( kF − k + q )θ ( k − kF ) ⎤
( 2π ) ∫ ⎣
3
= d k⎢ − ⎥. (III.50)
q0 + ωk − ωk + q + iη q0 + ωk − ωk + q − iη
3

In the last line of EQ. (III.50), we have assumed spin-1/2 particles and note that the frequency integral
reduces four terms in EQ. (III.50) down to two, because those with poles on the same side of the complex
frequency plane do not contribute to the integration. For non-interacting systems, the eigen-energies are
(
given by ωk = ε k0 = k 2 ( 2m ) , so that ωqk ≡ ωk + q − ωk = k i q + q 2 / 2 m . We may further simplify EQ. )
(III.50) with the change of variables k ′ → − ( k + q ) in the second term, so that

2 ⎡ 1 1 ⎤
Π 0( q, q0 ) = d k θ ( k + q − k )θ ( k − k )⎢
( 2π ) ∫
3
− ⎥. (III.51)
⎣ q0 + ωk − ωk +q + iη q0 + ωk + q − ωk − iη ⎦
3 F F

In the limit of q0 → ∞ , EQ. (III.51) yields Π 0( q, q0 ) ∼ O q0−2 ( ) so that the polarization propagator is an
even function of large q0. By employing the following relation for the step function

θ ( x) = 1−θ (−x) , (III.52)


we find

2 ⎡ 1 1 ⎤
{
Re Π 0( q, q0 ) = } P ∫ d 3 k ⎡⎣1 − θ ( k F − k + q ) ⎤⎦ θ ( k F − k ) ⎢ − ⎥
( 2π ) ⎣ q0 − ωqk q0 + ωqk ⎦
3

2 ⎡ 1 1 ⎤
= P ∫ d 3k θ ( kF − k ) ⎢ − ⎥
( 2π ) ⎣ q0 − ωqk q0 + ωqk ⎦
3

⎛ mq0 ⎞ 2mk F ⎡ 1 1 ⎤
⎜ν ≡ 2 ⇒ ⎟ = P ∫ d 3 k θ (1 − k ) ⎢ − ⎥, (III.53)
⎠ ( 2π ) ⎣⎢ν − qk cos ϑ − ( q / 2 ) ν + qk cos ϑ + ( q / 2 ) ⎦⎥
3 2 2
⎝ kF

where in the last line of EQ. (III.53) we measure all wave vectors in units of kF. We also note that the
following term in the first line of EQ. (III.53) vanishes by exchanging k+q and k so that:

⎡ 1 1 ⎤
P ∫ d 3k θ ( kF − k + q )θ ( kF − k ) ⎢ − ⎥
⎣ q0 − ωqk q0 + ωqk ⎦
⎡ 1 1 ⎤
= P ∫ d 3k θ ( kF − k )θ ( kF − k + q ) ⎢ − ⎥
⎣ q0 + ωqk q0 − ωqk ⎦

Nai-Chang Yeh III-11 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory

⎡ 1 1 ⎤
⇔ P ∫ d 3k θ ( kF − k + q )θ ( kF − k ) ⎢ − ⎥=0
⎣ q0 − ωqk q0 + ωqk ⎦

Integrating over the momentum space yields

⎧ ⎛ν q ⎞ ⎛ν q ⎞ ⎫
⎪ 2 1+ ⎜ − ⎟ 2 1+ ⎜ + ⎟ ⎪
2mk F ⎪ 1 ⎡ ⎛ν q ⎞ ⎤ ⎝ q 2 ⎠ − 1 ⎡1 − ⎛ ν + q ⎞ ⎤ ln ⎝q 2⎠ ⎪
Re {Π 0( q,ν )} = 2 ⎨ −1 + ⎢1 − ⎜ − ⎟ ⎥ ln ⎢ ⎜ ⎟ ⎥ ⎬
4π ⎪ 2q ⎣⎢ ⎝ q 2 ⎠ ⎦⎥ ⎛ ν q ⎞ 2q ⎢⎣ ⎝ q 2 ⎠ ⎦⎥ ⎛ν q ⎞ ⎪
1− ⎜ − ⎟ 1− ⎜ + ⎟
⎪⎩ ⎝q 2⎠ ⎝ q 2 ⎠ ⎪⎭
(III.54)

Ecorr = + + +

Er E2b E2c E2d

Er = + + + ...

Figure III.2.6 Leading diagrammatic contributions to the correlation energy Ecorr.

In addition, from EQ. (III.51) we obtain the imaginary part of Π 0( q, q0 ) :

1
Im {Π 0( q, q0 )} = − ∫ d k θ ( k + q − k )θ ( k
3
− k ) ⎡⎣δ ( q0 − ωqk ) + δ ( q0 + ωqk ) ⎤⎦ . (III.55)
4π 2 F F

The physical significance of EQ. (III.55) is associated with the energy absorption required to move a particle
from under the Fermi sea ( k < k F ) to outside the Fermi sea ( k + q > k F ) via conservation of energy, and
the imaginary part of the polarization is directly proportional to the absorption probability for transferring the
four momentum (q, q0) to a free Fermi gas.

Nai-Chang Yeh III-12 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory
To evaluate EQ. (III.55), we only have to consider the positive value of q0 because the polarization is
an even function of q0. If we measure all wave vectors in units of kF, EQ. (III.55) reduces to

⎛ 1 ⎞
Im {Π 0( q,ν > 0 )} = −
mk F
∫ d k ⎡⎣θ ( k + q − 1) θ (1 − k )⎤⎦ δ ⎜⎝ν − k iq − 2 q
3 2
⎟. (III.56)
4π 2

The integration in EQ. (III.56) may be evaluated by considering two unit Fermi spheres with their centers
separated by |q|. We define the upper Fermi sphere as one determined by k < 1 and and lower Fermi sphere
as one associated with momentum transfer |q|. The non-trivial integration over k must ensure that k + q > 1
and that the integration area involves the intersection between the Fermi sphere k < 1 and a plane defined by
( ) (
the energy conservation condition ν = k i q + q 2 / 2 ≡ kq cos ϑ + q 2 / 2 . Hence, there are three distinct )
possibilities of q and ν for evaluating the integration in EQ. (III.56), as specified below.

1 1
1) q > 2, q2 + q ≥ ν ≥ q2 − q :
2 2

In this case, the two Fermi spheres do not intersect, and the integration becomes (taking z = cos ϑ )

1 ⎛ν ⎞
Im {Π 0( q,ν )} = −
mk F 1 1 q
2π ∫ν k 2 dk ∫−1 dz qk δ ⎜⎝ qk − 2k − z ⎟⎠
4π 2 q

q 2

mk F ⎡ ⎛ ν q ⎞ ⎤
2

=− 1
⎢ ⎜− − ⎟ ⎥. (III.57)
4π q ⎣⎢ ⎝ q 2 ⎠ ⎦⎥

1 1
2) q < 2, q2 + q ≥ ν ≥ q2 − q :
2 2
Here the two Fermi spheres intersect so that the intersection regime of the two Fermi spheres is forbidden.
However, the intersection area between the upper Fermi sphere with k < 1 and the plane is not affected as
long as ν ≥ ( q 2 / 2) − q . Consequently, the integration yields the same result as in case 1):

mk F ⎡ ⎛ ν q ⎞ ⎤
2

Im {Π ( q,ν )}
0
=− ⎢1 − ⎜ − ⎟ ⎥ . (III.58)
4π q ⎣⎢ ⎝ q 2 ⎠ ⎦⎥

1
3) q < 2, 0 ≤ ν ≤ q − q2 :
2
In this case, the two Fermi spheres intersect, and the intersecting plane passes through the forbidden
Fermi sphere at the bottom, so the allowed region of intersection becomes an annulus. The area of the
annulus has a minimum value of k allowed by the conservation of energy:

⎛q ν ⎞ ⎡ ⎛q ν ⎞ ⎤
2 2

k 2
min
= ⎜ − ⎟ + ⎢1 − ⎜ + ⎟ ⎥ = 1 − 2ν
⎝ 2 q ⎠ ⎢⎣ ⎝ 2 q ⎠ ⎥⎦

while the maximum value of k remains 1. Thus, the integration becomes

Nai-Chang Yeh III-13 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory

⎛ν ⎞
Im {Π 0( q,ν )} = −
mk F 1 k dk 1 q
2π ∫ 1/ 2 ∫−1 dz δ ⎜⎝ qk − 2k − z ⎟⎠ .
4π 2 (1− 2ν ) q
mk F mk ν
=− ⎡1 − (1 − 2ν ) ⎦⎤ = − F .
⎣ (III.59)
4π q 2π q

Given EQs. (III.54) and (III.57) – (III.59) for Π 0( q, q0 ) , we can obtain estimates for the correlation
energy, dielectric constant, and other useful physical properties under the random phase approximation
(RPA). For instance, it can be shown from EQs. (III.49) and (III.51) that the dielectric constant under the
RPA is given by

1 1
=
ε r ( q, q0 ) 1 − V ( q ) Π 0( q, q0 )
2
4π e 2 ⎧ 1 1 ⎫
= 1− ∑ Φn ∑c †
k −q k
c Φ0 ⎨ + ⎬, (III.60)
⎩ q0 + ωn 0 + iη − q0 + ωn 0 − iη ⎭
2
q n k

where Φ 0 and Φ n refer to the unperturbed ground and excited states, and ωn0 denotes the energy
difference between the states Φ 0 and Φ n . The sum over the expectation values of density fluctuations
associated with all excitations as given in EQ. (III.60) lends the notation of “random phase” and hence the
random phase approximation. Later in one of the problem sets you’ll be asked to consider various interesting
limits of the random phase approximation.

Finally, we summarize in the following a few limiting forms of the zero-order polarization propagator,
which are often useful for various applications:

1) Fixing the momentum |q| ≡ q and taking ν → 0:

{
Im Π 0( q, 0 ) = 0 , }
⎡ 1 ⎤
1− q ⎥
mk F ⎢ ⎞ 1⎛ 1
Re {Π ( q, 0 )} =
0
2 ⎢
−1 + ⎜ 1 − q ⎟ ln 2 2
⎥. (III.61)
2π ⎢ q⎝ 4 ⎠ 1
1+ q ⎥
⎣ 2 ⎦

2) Fixing the energy transfer ν and taking the momentum transfer q → 0:

{
Im Π 0( 0,ν ) = 0 , }
{ }
mk F
Re Π 0( q,ν ) ≈ 2
q2 for q → 0. (III.62)
3ν π
2

3) Fixing the ratio of energy transfer to momentum transfer ν /q ≡ x, and taking q → 0:

{
Im Π 0 ( q, qx ) = − } mk F x

for q → 0, 0 ≤ x ≤ 1 ,

=0 for q → 0, x > 1
⎛ 1+ x ⎞
{
Re Π 0( q,ν ) } mk
≈ − F2

⎜ 2 − x ln ⎟
1− x ⎠
for q → 0. (III.63)

Nai-Chang Yeh III-14 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part III: Hartree-Fock & Random Phase Approximations
Field Theory

Further Readings:

1. Fetter and Walecka, “Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems”, Sections 7 – 10, 13 – 15, 44 – 47.
2. Abrikosov, Gorkov, and Dzyaloshinski, “Methods of Quantum Field Theory in Statistical Physics”,
Chapters 2 and 3.
3. Doniach and Sondheimer, “Green’s Functions for Solid State Physicists”, Chapters 3, 5 and 6.

Nai-Chang Yeh III-15 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part IV: Linear Response Theory & Kubo Formalism
Field Theory

PART IV. Linear Response Theory & Kubo Formalism


Thus far we have focused on descriptions for a many-body system with internal interactions. In Part IV
we want to investigate how a many-body system responds to external perturbation, which is very important
for associating the physical properties of a many-body system with empirically measurable quantities. We
shall restrict to the limit of small perturbation, so that it is valid to assume linear response to external fields.
In this section we first develop a general theory for linear response, and then apply the linear response
formalism, known as the Kubo formula related to correlation functions, to empirically detectable physical
quantities of electrical conductivity, dielectric constant, and magnetic susceptibility. In addition, we consider
the general formalism for fluctuation-dissipation theorem in the context of linear response and correlation
functions.

IV.1. Theory of Linear Response to an External Perturbation

Consider an interacting many-body system with a time-independent Hamiltonian H0 at t ≤ t0 . As


discussed in Part I, the exact state vector in the Schrödinger picture satisfies the Schrödinger equation

∂ Ψ S(t )
i = H 0 Ψ S(t ) , ( IV.1)
∂t
so that
−i H 0 t
ΨS(t ) = e Ψ S( 0) for t ≤ t0 . (IV.2)

Next, if we turn on a time-dependent external Hamiltonian Hex (t) at t = t0, the new state vector Ψ S ( t ) for
the modified Schrödinger equation

∂ Ψ S(t )
i = ⎡⎣H 0 + H ex
( t ) ⎤⎦ Ψ S(t ) (IV.3)
∂t
becomes
ΨS(t ) = e
−i H 0 t
A (t ) Ψ S(0) , (IV.4)

where the operator A(t) satisfies

∂A ( t )
i =e
iH 0 t
H ex
( t ) e−i H 0t
A ( t ) ≡ H Iex ( t ) A ( t ) for t > t0 , (IV.5)
∂t
A(t ) = 1 for t ≤ t0 , (IV.6)

where H Iex ( t ) denotes the external Hamiltonian operator in the interaction picture. For convenience,
however, in the following we redefine H Iex ( t ) by H ( t ) with the understanding that it is in the interaction
ex

picture. We further note that our following consideration does not require H ex ( t ) commute with H0.

Noting that H ex
( t ≤ t0 ) = 0 and assuming small perturbation at t > t0 , we obtain the solution to A(t)
in EQs. (IV.3) and (IV.4) iteratively to the first order of H ex
(t ) :

A ( t ) = 1 − i ∫ dt ′ H (t′) + … .
t ex
(IV.7)
t0

Nai-Chang Yeh IV-1 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part IV: Linear Response Theory & Kubo Formalism
Field Theory
From EQs. (IV.4) and (IV.7), the perturbed state vector is given by

ΨS(t ) = e
−i H 0 t
Ψ S( 0) − i e
−i H 0 t
( t′) Ψ S(0) + … .
t
∫t
ex
dt ′ H (IV.8)
0

Consequently, in the presence of H ex


( t ) the matrix elements of operators in Schrödinger picture become
O (t ) ex
= Ψ ′S ( t ) OS ( t ) Ψ S ( t )

= Ψ ′S ( 0 ) ⎡1 + i ∫
ex
( t ′ ) ⎤⎦ e i H 0 t OS ( t ) e −i H 0 t ⎡⎣1 − i ∫t dt ′ H ex ( t ′ ) ⎤⎦ Ψ S ( 0 ) + …
t t
dt ′ H
⎣ t0 0

= Ψ ′H ( 0 ) OH ( t ) Ψ H ( 0 ) + i Ψ ′H ( 0 ) ∫ ( t ′ ) ,OH ( t ) ⎤⎦ Ψ H ( 0) + … ,
t
dt ′ ⎡⎣H ex
(IV.9)
t0

where we have only retained terms up to first-order in H ex


( t ) ). If we evaluate the matrix elements of the
operators in the exact ground state in the presence of H ex
( t ) , so that Ψ H ( 0 ) = Ψ ′H ( 0 ) = Ψ 0 , we arrive
at the linear response of the ground-state expectation value of an operator to an external perturbation:

δ O (t ) ≡ O (t ) ex
− O (t )

( t ′ ) ,OH ( t ) ⎤⎦
t
∫t dt ′ ⎡⎣H ex
= i Ψ0 Ψ0 . (IV.10)
0

As an explicit example, let us consider the linear response of a system with charge e per particle to
an external scalar potential ϕ ex ( x, t ) , which is turned on at t = t0. If the exact particle density operator in the
unperturbed system is denoted by n ( x, t ) , the external perturbation Hamiltonian becomes:

H ex
( t ) = ∫ d 3 x n ( x, t ) e ϕ ex ( x, t ) , (IV.11)

and the corresponding linear response of the system, following EQs. (IV.10) and (IV.11), is given by

δ n ( x, t ) = i ∫ dt ′∫ d 3 x′ eϕ ex ( x′, t ′ ) Ψ 0 ⎡⎣ n ( x′, t ′ ) , n ( x, t ) ⎤⎦ Ψ 0
t

t 0

= i ∫ dt ′∫ d 3 x′ eϕ ex ( x′, t ′ ) Ψ 0 ⎡⎣ n ( x′, t ′ ) , n ( x, t ) ⎤⎦ Ψ 0 ,
t
(IV.12)
t0

where in the second line we have used the definition in EQ. (III.27) for the density fluctuation function.
Next, we define the retarded density correlation function in analogy with that for the retarded Green’s
function so that
Ψ 0 [ n ( x ) , n ( x′ ) ] Ψ 0
iGnR ( x, x′ ) = θ ( t − t ′ ) , (IV.13)
Ψ0 Ψ0

and EQ. (IV.12) is rewritten into



δ n( x, t ) = ∫ dt ′∫ d 3 x′ GnR ( x, t ; x′, t ′ ) eϕ ex ( x′, t ′ ) , (IV.14)
−∞

which enforces the causal behavior of the linear response through the retarded density correlation function.
Here we remark that the association of linear response with the retarded Green function may be understood
in terms of causality.

Nai-Chang Yeh IV-2 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part IV: Linear Response Theory & Kubo Formalism
Field Theory
The expression given in EQ. (IV.14) can be generalized to the linear response of a many-body
system to an external perturbation through a retarded correlation function GR. In particular, if the system
under consideration is spatially homogeneous, we have G R ( x, x′ ) = G R ( x − x′ ) and the following Fourier
transformed functions

δ n( k , ω ) = ∫ dt e iω t ∫ d 3 x e −i k i x δ n( x, t ) , (IV.15)
−∞

ϕ ex ( k , ω ) = ∫ dt eiωt ∫ d 3 x e −ik i x ϕ ex ( x, t ) , (IV.16)
−∞

G
R
( k , ω ) = ∫−∞ dt eiωt ∫ d 3x e−ik i x G R( x, t ) . (IV.17)

Hence, the Fourier transformed equivalence to the linear response function of EQ. (IV.14)

δ n( k , ω ) = GnR ( k , ω ) eϕ ex ( k , ω ) . (IV.18)

From the relation given in EQ. (IV.18) we may identify the retarded correlation function GR as a generalized
susceptibility representing the linear response of a many-body system to an external perturbation.

IV.2. Kubo Formula for Dielectric Response, Conductivity and Magnetic Susceptibility
Having defined the general theory of linear response to external perturbation, we are ready to consider
several explicit examples.

1. The dielectric response of a degenerate electron gas


Following the discussion that leads to EQ. (IV.18), if we assume that the external perturbation potential is
due to the presence of an external charge density nex(x,t), we have

H ex
( x, t ) = ∫ d 3 x′ n ( x, t ) V ( x − x′ ) nex ( x′, t ) , (IV.19)

where V ( x − x′ ) denotes the Coulomb potential. From EQs. (IV.18) and (IV.19), we obtain the induced
charge density in response to the external charge density:
nex ( q, ω )
δ n( q, ω ) = GnR ( q, ω ) V ( q ) nex ( q, ω ) ≡ − nex ( q, ω ) , (IV.20)
ε ( q, ω )
which leads to a dielectric constant

1 4π e 2
= 1 + GnR ( q, ω ) V ( q ) = 1 + GnR ( q, ω ) , (IV.21)
ε ( q, ω ) q
2

where GnR is defined according to EQ. (IV.13) and is therefore related to the polarization propagator. Thus, if
the external charge density is specified, we may use the corresponding Π0(q,ω) in Part II.8 to derive related
physical quantities such as the dielectric constant, the induced charge density, the total induced charge, etc.
Equation (II.559) represents the linear response of a degenerate electron gas to external charge density,
which is given in terms of the density correlation function and is also known as a generalized Kubo formula
for dielectric response.

Nai-Chang Yeh IV-3 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part IV: Linear Response Theory & Kubo Formalism
Field Theory
Next, we consider the linear response of a degenerate electron gas to an impulsive external perturbation of
the following form:

ϕ ex ( x, t ) = ei q i xϕ0 δ ( t ) ⇒ ϕ ex ( k , ω ) = ( 2π ) ϕ0 δ ( k − q ) .
3
(IV.22)

The corresponding induced density perturbation becomes

d 3k dω
δ n( x, t ) = − e ∫ e −iωt Π R ( k , ω ) ϕ ex ( k , ω )
( 2π ) ∫ ( 2π )
ik ix
3
e

= − eϕ0 ei q i x ∫

( 2π )
e −iωt Π R ( q, ω ) = − eϕ0 ei q i x ∫

( 2π )
e−iωt ⎡⎣V ( q ) ⎤⎦
−1
{⎡⎣ε (q, ω )⎤⎦ − 1}
R −1
(IV.23)

and the poles of the integrand in EQ. (IV.23) represent the frequency and lifetime of the collective modes of
the degenerate electron gas.

If we restrict to the ring diagrams, we find the dielectric constant is given by

ε rR ( q, ω ) = 1 − V ( q ) Π 0 R ( q, ω ) , (IV.24)

and the linear response function associated with the retarded density correlation function is

{ }
Π 0 R ( q, ω ) = Re Π 0( q, ω ) + i sgn ( ω ) Im Π 0( q, ω ) { }
d 3k ⎧
⎪ [1 − θ ( k F − k + q )]θ ( k F − k ) θ ( k F − k + q ) [1 − θ ( k F − k )] ⎫⎪
= 2∫ 3 ⎨
− ⎬
( 2π ) ⎩⎪ ω + ωk − ωk +q + iη ω + ωk − ωk +q + iη ⎭⎪
⎪θ ( k F − k + q ) − θ ( k F − k ) ⎫⎪
d 3k ⎧
= −2 ∫ ⎨ ⎬. (IV.25)
( 2π ) ⎩⎪
3
ω + ωk − ωk +q + iη ⎭⎪

Suppose that the poles of the integrand in EQ. (IV.23) are denoted by ω = Ω p − iγ p , we have

(
V ( q ) Π 0 R q, Ω p − iγ p = 1 . ) (IV.26)

In general, EQ. (IV.26) can only been solved numerically. However, in the special case of small
damping so that γ p Ω p , the real and imaginary parts of EQ. (IV.26) can be separated so that we obtain the
following conditions (see Problem Set 3) the following conditions are satisfied:

{ }
V ( q ) Re Π 0 R ( q, Ω p ) = V ( q ) Re Π 0( q, Ω p ) = 1 , { } (IV.27)
−1
⎡ ∂ Re Π 0 R ( q, ω ) ⎤
γ q = Im {Π ( q, Ω p )}
0R ⎢ { } ⎥
⎢ ∂ω ⎥
⎣ Ωp ⎦

−1
⎡ ∂ Re Π 0( q, ω )
= sgn ( Ω p ) Im {Π 0( q, Ω p )} ⎢
{ } ⎤⎥ . (IV.28)
⎢ ∂ω ⎥
⎣ Ωp ⎦

Nai-Chang Yeh IV-4 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part IV: Linear Response Theory & Kubo Formalism
Field Theory
In the small q limit, it can be shown that a specific collective mode known as the plasma oscillations exists
by finding the solution Ωp to EQ. (IV.27), and Ωp satisfies

1/ 2
⎛ 4π ne 2 ⎞ ⎡ 9 ⎛ q 2ε F ⎞ ⎤ ⎡ 9 ⎛ q 2ε F ⎞ ⎤
Ωq = ± ⎜ ⎟ 1 +
⎢ 10 ⎜ 6π ne 2 ⎟ + ⎥ ≡ ±ω p ⎢
1+ ⎜ 2 ⎟
+ ⎥, (IV.29)
⎝ m ⎠ ⎣ ⎝ ⎠ ⎦ ⎣ 10 ⎝ 6π ne ⎠ ⎦

which you’ll examine in Problem Set 3.

In EQ. (IV.20), we note that the total charge density is given by ntot = (nex/ε). Furthermore, we may
relate the dielectric screening response to the longitudinal conductivity σ ≡ δ J / E = ( J tot − J ex ) / E ,
where E denotes the electric field, δ J is the induced current in response to an external current Jex, and the
total current is related to the total charge density via the continuity equation

∂ntot ( x) q ⋅ δ J ( q, ω ) qσ E ( q, ω )
e + ∇ ⋅ J tot ( x ) = 0 ⇒ δ n ( q, ω ) = = . (IV.30)
∂t ωe ωe
Recall the Maxwell’s equation:

δ n( x) 1 − ε ( q, ω )
∇ ⋅ E = 4π entot ( x) = 4π e ⇒ δ n ( q, ω ) = iq E ( q, ω ) , (IV.31)
1− ε 4π e

so that EQs. (IV.30) and (IV.31) lead to a simple relation between the dielectric constant and the longitudinal
conductivity:

4πσ
ε ( q, ω ) = 1 + i . (IV.32)
ω

2. The Kubo formula for transverse electrical conductivity

Historically the theory for electrical conduction prior to the development of many-body physics was based
on the semi-classical one-particle approach that assumes random scattering of single-electron wavefunctions
governed by the Boltzmann equation. With the introduction of Green’s function techniques and the
aforementioned linear response theory, we can derive the electrical conductivity of a system directly from the
current-current correlation function with only one simple assumption that the induced current is linear in the
applied voltage, as first discussed by Kubo.

To derive the Kubo formula for electrical conductivity, we consider a perturbation field Hex associated
with an applied vector potential A( x, t ) so that H = H0 + Hex and

H ex = − d x ⎡⎣ A( x ) i J ( x ) ⎤⎦ ,

3
(IV.33)

where J(x) is the total current density operator (including the external and induced current densities):

1
J( x ) =
2m
∑ {[p i
− neA( x )] δ ( x − xi ) + δ ( x − xi ) [p i − neA( x )]}
i

Nai-Chang Yeh IV-5 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part IV: Linear Response Theory & Kubo Formalism
Field Theory

e2
⎡ψ †( x ) ∇ψ ( x ) − ( ∇ψ †( x ) )ψ ( x ) ⎤⎦ − A( x )ψ †( x )ψ ( x ) .
e
=− (IV.34)
2im ⎣ m

We also have H ex ( t ) = e 0 H ex e 0 and J ( x, t ) = e 0 J ( x ) e 0 in the interaction picture. To


iH t −i H t iH t −i H t

compute the average of the current density operator in the presence of a specific external field, we use the
density matrix ρ ( x, t ) such that

J ( x, t ) = Tr { ρ ( x ) J ( x )} = Tr {ρ ( x, t ) J ( x, t )} , (IV.35)
where
∂ρ
ρ ( x, t ) ≡ ei H 0 t ρ ( x ) e − i H 0 t and i = [H 0 + H ex , ρ ] . (IV.36)
∂t

From EQ. (IV.36), we find


∂ρ ( x, t )
i = [H ex ( t ) , ρ ( x, t )] , (IV.37)
∂t
so that
ρ ( x, t ) = ρ 0 − i ∫ dt ′ [H ex ( t ′ ) , ρ ( x, t ′ )]
t

−∞

≈ ρ 0 − i ∫ dt ′ [H ex ( t ′ ) , ρ 0 ] ,
t
(IV.38)
−∞

where ρ0 is the equilibrium density matrix, which is only a function of H0, and we have assumed linear
response in arriving at the second line of EQ. (IV.38).

Inserting EQ. (IV.38) into EQ. (IV.35), we obtain

J ( x, t ) ≈ Tr {ρ 0 J ( x, t )} − i ∫ dt ′ Tr {[H ex ( t ′ ) , ρ 0 ]J ( x, t ′ )}
t

−∞
2
ne
A( x, t ) − i ∫ dt ′ Tr {[ J ( x, t ′ ) , H ex ( t ′ )] ρ 0 }
t
=−
m −∞

ne2
A( x, t ) − i ∫ dt ′ [ J ( x, t ′ ) , H ex ( t ′ )] 0 ,
t
≡− (IV.39)
m −∞

where we have used the following relations to arrive at the second line of EQ. (IV.39):

{
Tr ρ 0ψ †ψ ≡ n , } (IV.40)
Tr { ABC} = Tr { BCA} = Tr {CAB} , (IV.41)

and n is the number of electrons per unit volume. Finally, inserting the interaction picture of EQ. (IV.31) into
EQ. (IV.39), we obtain:

ne2 ∞
J α ( x, t ) = − Aα ( x, t ) − i ∫ dt ′∫ d 3 x′ θ ( t − t ′ ) ⎡⎣ J α ( x, t ) , J β ( x′, t ′ ) ⎤⎦ Aβ ( x′, t ′ ) ,
−∞ 0
m
∞ ⎧ ne 2

= − ∫ dt ′∫ d 3 x′ ⎨ δ αβ δ ( x − x′ ) δ ( t − t ′ ) + iθ ( t − t ′ ) ⎡⎣ Jα ( x, t ) , J β ( x′, t ′ ) ⎤⎦ ⎬ Aβ ( x′, t ′ )
−∞ 0
⎩m ⎭

Nai-Chang Yeh IV-6 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part IV: Linear Response Theory & Kubo Formalism
Field Theory

≡ ∫ dt ′∫ d 3 x′ Rαβ ( x − x′, t − t ′ ) Aβ ( x′, t ′ ) , (IV.42)
−∞

which is the Kubo formula for transverse electrical conductivity in coordinate space, where α and β refer to
different Cartesian suffixes, the response function Rαβ is proportional to the conductivity, and we have
assumed transverse perturbation so that q i A( q ) = 0 and there is no need to worry about the internal fields
arising from induced charge density as in the previous case for dielectric response.

We may further Fourier transform EQ. (IV.42) and recall the relation between the electric field and
the vector potential and the definition of electrical conductivity σ αβ ( q, ω ) :

∂A ( x, t )
E ( x, t ) = − ⇒ E ( q, ω ) = iω A ( q, ω ) , (IV.43)
∂t
Jα ( q, ω ) = σ αβ ( q, ω ) Eβ ( q, ω ) , (IV.44)

so that EQ. (IV.42) becomes

ne2 1 0
J α ( q, ω ) = − Eα ( q, ω ) + ∫ dt ′ e −iωt ′ ⎡⎣ J α ( q, 0 ) , J β ( −q, t ′ ) ⎤⎦ Eβ ( q, ω ) , (IV.45)
iω m ω −∞ 0

and the final Kubo formula for electrical conductivity is therefore given by

ne2 1 0
σ αβ ( q, ω ) = − δαβ + ∫ dt ′ e −iωt′ ⎡⎣ Jα ( q, 0 ) , J β ( −q, t ′ ) ⎤⎦ . (IV.46)
iω m ω −∞ 0

It is worth commenting on why we do not address the magnetic field contribution ( H = ∇ × A )


associated with the vector potential A(x,t) in the above derivation of conductivity. In most conductors (or
even superconductors) we are concerned with the conductivity response from DC up to microwave
frequencies. Consequently, for non-magnetic conductors as well as superconductors, the empirically relevant
wavelengths are on the order of millimeters or longer, which are comparable to typical sample sizes in our
measurements so that the magnetic field contribution becomes negligibly small.

3. The Kubo formula for magnetic susceptibility tensor

The magnetic susceptibility of a many-body system can be obtained by considering the linear response of
spins to an applied magnetic field H(x,t). The external perturbation Hamiltonian may be written as:

H ex = − ∫ d 3 x H( x, t ) i m( x ) , (IV.47)

where m(x) is the magnetic moment density operator defined as

m ( x ) = ∑ δ ( x − x i ) σ ( xi ) , (IV.48)
i

and σ(xi) denotes the spin operator at the position xi, with the components of the vector σ(xi) represented by
the Pauli matrices.

Nai-Chang Yeh IV-7 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part IV: Linear Response Theory & Kubo Formalism
Field Theory

The expectation value of the induced magnetic moment m ( x, t ) H


under a finite magnetic field H
can be obtained via the linear response theory outlined previously, which yields:

mα ( x, t ) H
= mα ( x, t ) 0 + ∑ ∫ dt ′ ∫ d 3 x′ χαβ ( x − x′, t − t ′ ) H β ( x′, t ′ ) , (IV.49)
β

where the susceptibility tensor is given by the retarded correlation function of the magnetic moment operator:

χαβ ( x − x′, t − t ′ ) = iθ ( t − t ′ ) ⎡⎣σ α ( x, t ) , σ β ( x′, t ′ ) ⎤⎦ . (IV.50)

If we further define
1
σ± ≡
2
(σ x
± iσ y ) , (IV.51)

then we have the transverse and longitudinal susceptibility χ−+ and χzz given by:

χ −+ ( x − x′, t − t ′ ) = iθ ( t − t ′ ) ⎡⎣σ −( x, t ) , σ + ( x′, t ′ ) ⎤⎦ = ∑ p ,q e


i q i ( x − x′ )
χ −+ ( p, q; t − t ′ ) , (IV.52)

χ zz ( x − x′, t − t ′ ) = iθ ( t − t ′ ) [σ z ( x, t ) , σ z ( x′, t ′ )] = ∑ p ,q e
i q i ( x − x′ )
χ zz ( p, q; t − t ′ ) . (IV.53)

For isotropic or cubic media in the paramagnetic state (i.e., T > TCurie), χαβ is diagonal and isotropic from
symmetry consideration, and therefore

χαβ = 2 χ −+δ αβ , (IV.54)

implying that χ−+ determines the magnetic susceptibility completely. On the other hand, for T < TCurie
χzz differs from χ−+ and must be calculated separately. In Problem Set 4 you are asked to consider the
transverse magnetic susceptibility in the generalized Hartree-Fock approximation.

IV.3. Fluctuation-Dissipation Theorem

In addition to the derivation of linear response functions, the aforementioned linear response theory
can be applied to the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. Consider a liquid or a gas under thermal equilibrium in
which the random impacts of molecules produce irregular driving forces. If the Brownian motion of particles
is driven by an applied force, the same molecular impacts produce frictional resistive forces that can be
described by certain macroscopic quantities. Since the random and systematic parts of the microscopic forces
have the same physical origin, we expect a mathematical relation between them. In its general form, this
relation is known as the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. [Ref.: R. Kubo, J. Phys. Soc. (Japan) 12, 570
(1957)] In quantum mechanical terms, the fluctuations of a system in thermal equilibrium may be described
by time correlation functions of the type 〈A(t)B(0)〉, where A and B are operators, or by the Fourier
transforms of these correlation functions that characterize the fluctuation spectrum. As we have discussed
previously, the linear response to a driving force, such as the electrical conductivity to an applied electric
field and the magnetic susceptibility to an applied magnetic field, is generally given by a function of the type
of the retarded Green’s function if we replace A and B by the field operators:

G R ( t ) = −i θ ( t ) ⎡⎣ A ( t ) , B ( 0 ) ⎤⎦ . (IV.55)

Nai-Chang Yeh IV-8 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part IV: Linear Response Theory & Kubo Formalism
Field Theory
For a system with a Hamiltonian H and a complete set of eigen-states {|n〉} such that H |n〉 = εn |n〉, the
thermal average 〈A(t)B(0)〉 is given by

{ }
A(t ) B (0) = Z −1Tr e − β H eiH t Ae − iH t B = Z −1 ∑ n e − β H eiH t Ae − iH t B n ,
n
(IV.56)

where Z is the partition function.

If the Fourier transform of 〈A(t)B(0)〉 is denoted by J1(ω), which is also known as the spectral density
function associated with the time correlation function 〈A(t)B(0)〉, it can be shown (see Problem Set 4) that the
Fourier transform of the equivalent retarded Green’s function at T = β −1 has the following form:

dω ′ J1(ω ′ )
( ) (η = 0 ) .

G R (ω ) = ∫ 1 − e − βω ′ , +
(IV.57)
−∞ 2π ω − ω ′ + iη

We note that for A and B being hermitian conjugates at different times, J1(ω) is real so that EQ. (IV.57) gives

2
Im ⎡⎣G R (ω ) ⎤⎦ = −
1
2
(1 − e− βω ) J (ω ) ,
1 ⇒ J1(ω ≠ 0 ) = −
1 − e − βω
Im ⎡⎣G R (ω ) ⎤⎦ , (IV.58)

which is a form of the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. In other words, the spectral response of the system
(i.e. fluctuations) to an external perturbation at t > 0 gives rise to dissipation that is manifested by the
imaginary part of the retarded Green’s function.

IV.4. Remarks on Interacting Electrons


Before closing our discussion on the Green function techniques, it is worth noting that in Part III and
Part IV we have primarily focused on many-body interaction in high-density electron gas where the ring
diagrams associated with the long-range Coulomb interaction are important. In the limit of a dilute Fermi
gas, on the other hand, a different type of diagrams known as the ladder diagrams that are associated with
short-range repulsive potentials are prominent. (An example of the ladder diagram contribution to the proper
self-energy can be found in two of the diagrams on the right of Fig. II.10.8). While the potentials may be
strong, the scattering amplitude can be small for the short-range “hard-core” interactions. This type of
interaction forms the basis for studying nuclear matter and 3He. Moreover, the ladder diagrams are
reasonable approximations to studying impurity scattering in an electron gas if we assume that electron-hole
pairs associated with the polarization propagators are simultaneously scattered by impurities without
interacting directly with each other. For comprehensive discussions on the ladder diagrams and impurity
scattering, see, for example, the books by Fetter & Walecka and Doniach & Sondheimer. In Fig. IV.4.1 we
illustrate an example of ladder diagrams that contain repeated interactions of electron and hole lines
contribute to the transverse magnetic susceptibility χ −+ ( p, q ) .

spin spin
= + + +…
down up

Fig. IV.4.1 Ladder diagrams contributing to the transverse magnetic susceptibility χ −+ ( p, q ) .

Nai-Chang Yeh IV-9 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part IV: Linear Response Theory & Kubo Formalism
Field Theory

Having studied interacting electrons, we want to understand how electrons in a solid interact with the
background ions characterized by their quantized modes, the phonons. Diagrammatically, we can consider
the electron-phonon interaction as a vertex contribution to electrons. This interaction can lead to scattering of
electrons, which gives rise to electrical resistivity. On the other hand, under special circumstances, the
electron-phonon interaction can also lead to an effective attractive potential for electrons, thus giving rise to
Cooper pairing and conventional superconductivity.

Further Readings:

1. Fetter and Walecka, “Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems”, Sections 31 – 34, 44 – 47.
2. Abrikosov, Gorkov, and Dzyaloshinski, “Methods of Quantum Field Theory in Statistical Physics”,
Chapters 2 and 3.
3. Doniach and Sondheimer, “Green’s Functions for Solid State Physicists”, Chapters 3, 5 and 6.

Nai-Chang Yeh IV-10 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory

PART V. Electron-Phonon Interaction


In Part V we first review the concept of non-interaction phonons, and then introduce the diagrammatic
representations for phonons, followed by descriptions of their vertex contributions to the electron-phonon
interaction. Finally, the formalism for finite-temperature contributions is given in the end of this section.

V.1. The Non-Interacting Phonon System


To understand how electron-phonon interaction comes about, we first consider the occurrence of
phonon modes in solids. Generally speaking, there are longitudinal and transverse modes of phonons; only
the longitudinal modes provides the changes in density that leads to the Coulomb interaction between
electrons and the ionic background, and are therefore the only relevant modes in our consideration. For this
reason, in our discussion of electron-phonon interaction, we may simplify the model by approximating the
ionic background by a homogeneous and isotropic elastic medium, and assuming that the background has no
shear strength so that it is entirely determined by the adiabatic bulk modulus:

⎛ ∂P ⎞
B ≡ −Ω ⎜ ⎟ , (V.1)
⎝ ∂Ω ⎠ S
where P and Ω denote the pressure and volume, respectively, and the subscript S refers to constant entropy.
In this sense, the ionic background is treated as if it were a uniform fluid.

Based on the aforementioned simplifications, we are ready to provide a complete description of the
longitudinal phonons. We first introduce the displacement vector d(x) of the medium that characterizes the
displacement of each point from its equilibrium position. The change in volume under deformation to lowest
order can be expressed in terms of the displacement vector as follows:

⎛ ∂d x ∂d y ∂d z ⎞
d Ω′ = dx′dy ′dz ′ = dx dy dz ⎜ 1 +
∂x
+
∂y
+
∂z
+ ⎟ ≈ d Ω (1 + ∇ i d ) . (V.2)
⎝ ⎠
Therefore, the change in density becomes

δρ δ n
= = −∇ i d , (V.3)
ρ 0 n0

where ρ 0 (n0) denotes the equilibrium mass density (particle density). Moreover, in an elastic medium free of
shear strength and vorticity, the displacement field satisfies the general condition

∫ any path
d i dl = 0 ⇔ ∇ ×d = 0. (V.4)

The Lagrangian of the elastic medium becomes

1 ⎡ ⎛ ∂d i ⎞⎛ ∂d i ⎞ ⎛ ∂d i ⎞⎛ ∂d i ⎞ ⎤
L= ∫d x ⎢ ρ0 ⎜
3
⎟⎜ ⎟ − B⎜ ⎟⎜ ⎟⎥ . (V.5)
2 ⎣⎢ ⎝ ∂t ⎠⎝ ∂t ⎠ ⎝ ∂x j ⎠⎝ ∂x j ⎠ ⎦⎥

From the Euler-Lagrangian equations and EQ. (V.5) we obtain the equation of motion

Nai-Chang Yeh V-1 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory

1 ∂ 2d
− ∇ 2d = 0 , (V.6)
u02 ∂t 2

which is a wave equation and u0 is the sound velocity given by u0 ≡ (B/ρ0)1/2. Also, the corresponding
Hamiltonian is

1 ∂d
x ⎡ ρ 0−1 π 2 + B ( ∇ i d ) ⎤ ,
2
where π ( x, t ) = ρ 0
2∫
H = d 3
. (V.7)
⎣ ⎦ ∂t

Introducing the normal mode expansions that satisfies the condition ∇ × d = 0 , we have
1/ 2
⎛ 1 ⎞ k
d ( x, t ) = −i ∑ ⎜ ⎟ ( bk ei k i x −i ωt − bk† e − i k i x +i ωt ) , (V.8)
k ⎝ 2 ρ 0ωk Ω ⎠ k
1/ 2
⎛ρω ⎞ k
π ( x, t ) = − ∑ ⎜ 0 k ⎟ ( bk ei k i x−iωt + bk†e−i k i x+iωt ) , (V.9)
k ⎝ 2 Ω ⎠ k

where ⎡⎣bk , bk†′ ⎤⎦ = δ kk ′ , and ωk = u0 k . (V.10)

Substituting EQs. (V.8) and (V.9) into EQ. (V.7), we obtain

⎛ 1⎞
H = ∑ ωk ⎜ bk†bk + ⎟ , (V.11)
k ⎝ 2⎠

which represents a system of uncoupled harmonic oscillators. The derivation leading to EQ. (V.11) is
analogous to what you have seen in Part I for the quantization of electromagnetic fields in free space except
that the sound velocity in the case of phonons is determined by the material properties of the system under
consideration.

The Hamiltonian given in EQ. (V.11) provides the basis for investigating the thermodynamics and
statistical mechanics of the free phonon system. For instance, the total energy E of the system is given by

⎛ 1⎞ ⎛ 1 1⎞
E = ∑ ⎜ nk + ⎟ ωk = ∑ ⎜ + ⎟ ωk , (V.12)
k ⎝ 2⎠ k ⎝ exp ( βωk ) − 1 2⎠

where β = T−1. The momentum sum can be converted into energy integration by the following relation:
2
Ω Ω Ω ⎛ω⎞ ⎛ω⎞ Ω
∑⇒ ∫ d ⎜⎝ u ⎟⎠ 4π ⎜⎝ u ⎟⎠ = 2π 2u 3 ∫ dω ω ≡ ∫ dω g (ω ) ,
( 2π ) ∫ ( 2π ) ∫
d 3
k= dk 4π k 2
= 2

( 2π )
3 3 3
k 0 0 0

Ω
⇒ g (ω ) = ω 2 and ω = ωk = u0 k . (V.13)
2π u0
2 3

In a uniform medium there is no upper limit for the frequency. On the other hand, for a real crystal the
wavenumber of propagation cannot exceed the reciprocal lattice constant. Therefore, we may define the
upper bound for the phonon frequency as ωD, the Debye frequency, which satisfies the following relation

Nai-Chang Yeh V-2 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory

ωD ωD ω 2Ω ωD3 Ω 9 Nω 2
3N = ∫ g (ω ) dω = ∫ dω = ⇒ g (ω ) dω = dω , (V.14)
0 0
2π 2 u03 6π 2 u0 3 ωD3

because the total number of degrees of freedom in a crystal of N ions is 3N. We may further define the Debye
temperature by Θ D ≡ ( ωD k B ) if we restore and kB, and apply EQ. (V.13) to EQ. (V.12), so that the
energy associated with phonons becomes
3
⎛ T ⎞ ΘD T ⎛ u 3 ⎞ 9 Nk B Θ D
E = 9 Nk BT ⎜ ⎟
⎝ ΘD ⎠
∫ 0
du ⎜ ⎟+
⎝ e −1 ⎠
u
8
, (V.15)

where u ≡ ( ω k BT ) is a dimensionless variable, and we note that the chemical potential for the phonon
system is zero. Thus, the specific heat is given by
3
∂E ⎛ T ⎞ ΘD T u 4 eu
Cv = = 9 Nk B ⎜ ⎟ ∫ du . (V.16)
( eu − 1)
2
∂T ⎝ ΘD ⎠ 0

Equation (V.16) is the Debye theory of the specific heat, which has two limiting values:
3 3
⎛ T ⎞ ∞ u 4 eu 12π 4 ⎛ T ⎞
Cv = 9 Nk B ⎜ ⎟ ∫ du = Nk B ⎜ ⎟ , T → 0; (V.17)
( )
2
⎝ ΘD ⎠ 0
eu − 1 5 ⎝ ΘD ⎠
Cv = 3 Nk B , T → ∞. (V.18)

3
The low-temperature limit of the specific heat is known as the Debye T -law, and the high-temperature limit
is consistent with the classical description of equipartition of energy. The Debye theory of the specific heat
provides an excellent one-parameter (the Debye temperature) description for the specific heat of metals, and
therefore one can obtain the values of the Debye temperature for different metals by fitting their specific
data.

Having discussed the basic properties of non-interacting phonons, we want to develop field-theory
description for the phonon propagator and electron-phonon interaction. We first define the phonon field
operator by the following expression:
1/ 2
⎛ω ⎞
ϕ( x) = i ∑ ⎜ k ⎟ (b e
k
i k i x − i ωk t
)
− bk† e −i k i x +i ωk t . (V.19)
k ⎝ 2Ω ⎠

Restricting the above expression to longitudinal phonons in the Debye model so that the sum over k is
limited to |k| < kD = ωD/u0, the Debye wavelength, and noting that the phonon fields are real, we define the
phonon propagator D ( x, x′ ) as:

D ( x, x′ ) ≡ −i T [ϕ ( x ) ϕ ( x′ )] . (V.20)

Substituting the free-field operator EQ. (V.19) into EQ. (V.20) and noting that there are no phonons in the
ground state, we obtain the free phonon propagator:

Nai-Chang Yeh V-3 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory

⎛ ωk ⎞ i k i x −iωk t
i
D (0)( x ) = − ∑⎜
Ω ⎝
⎟e
2 ⎠
θ ( ω D − ωk ) for t > 0,
k

i ⎛ ω ⎞ −i k i x +iωk t
= − ∑⎜ k ⎟ e θ ( ω D − ωk ) for t < 0. (V.21)
Ω k ⎝ 2 ⎠

Therefore, the Fourier transformation of EQ. (V.21) becomes

ωk ⎡ 1 1 ⎤ ωk2
D (0)( k , ω ) = ⎢ − ⎥ θ ( ω − ω ) = θ ( ω D − ωk ) . (V.22)
2 ⎣ ω − ωk + iδ ω + ωk − iδ ⎦ ω 2 − ωk2 + iδ
D k

Diagrammatically, the free phonon propagator, or equivalently the phonon Green function, is expressed by a
thin dashed line. Similar to the fermion Green functions, we may also define the retarded and advanced
phonon propagators in the coordinate representation as follows:

DR ( x, x′ ) ≡ −iθ ( t − t ′ ) [ϕ ( x ) , ϕ ( x′ ) ] , (V.23)
DA( x, x′ ) ≡ iθ ( t ′ − t ) [ϕ ( x ) , ϕ ( x′ )] . (V.24)

V.2. Electron-Phonon Interaction


As discussed earlier, the charge polarization associated with longitudinal phonons can induce coupling
to electrons. For electron charge density ρ el ( x ) , the corresponding electron-phonon interaction Hamiltonian
is given by:
ρ ( x ) δρ ( x′ )
H el − ph = ∫ d 3 x d 3 x′ el , (V.25)
x − x′

where δρ = − zen0∇ i d according to EQ. (V.3), and z denotes the valence of the ions in the crystal. Using
EQ. (V.7) and expressing the electron charge density in terms of fermion field operators

1
ψ (x) = ∑ ei k i x ηλ akλ , (V.26)
kλ Ω1/ 2

we rewrite EQ. (V.25) into the following:


1/ 2
⎛ ωk ⎞ 4π e 2
θ ( ωD − ωq ) ( ak† +q ,λ ak ,λ bq + ak† ,λ ak +q ,λ bq† )
zn0
H el − ph = ∑∑ ⎜ ⎟
u0 kλ q ⎝ 2 ρ 0 Ω ⎠ q 2

1/ 2
⎛ ωk ⎞
⎟ U 0( q ) θ ( ωD − ωq ) ( ak +q ,λ ak ,λ bq + ak ,λ ak +q ,λ bq ) ,
zn0
= ∑∑ ⎜
u0 kλ q ⎝ 2 ρ 0 Ω ⎠
† † †
(V.27)

where U0(q) denotes the bare Coulomb potential. However, our previous analysis of the degenerate electron
gas reveals that the bare Coulomb interaction becomes modified by summing over the ring diagrams due to
many-body interaction in the electron gas. Hence, we may replace the bare Coulomb interaction potential
U0(q) by the effective static Coulomb interaction in the Thomas-Fermi approximation, Ur(q), which yields
4π e 2 4π e 2 4k F
U r(q ) = ≈ because q 2
k F and qTF ≡ . (V.28)
2
q +q 2
TF
q 2
TF
π a0

Nai-Chang Yeh V-4 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory
Hence, we find
4π ze 2 n0
∫ d x ψ α ( x )ψ α ( x ) ϕ ( x )

H el − ph = 3

u0 ( ρ 0 )
1/ 2 2
q TF

≡ γ ∫ d 3 x ψ α† ( x )ψ α ( x ) ϕ ( x ) , (V.29)
where
4π ze 2 n0 zπ 2 n0
γ ≡ = (V.30)
u0 ( ρ 0 )
1/ 2 2
qTF mk F B1/ 2

is the electron-phonon coupling constant. It is worth noting that γ is dependent on the electron mass and the
bulk modulus, but is independent of the ion mass.

Diagrammatically, the effect of electron-phonon interaction may be treated in a way similar to the
results derived previously for Coulomb interactions among fermions if we simply replace the wavy lines for
Coulomb interactions with dashed lines for the phonon propagators. Therefore, each vertex now represents
the occurrence of electron-phonon interaction, as shown in Fig. V.2.1.

k+q
q

Fig. V.2.1 Illustration of the basic electron-phonon vertex, where solid lines represent the electron
propagators and the dashed line indicates the phonon propagator.

Specifically, the electron-electron interaction potential V(x1 − x2) mediated by the electron-phonon interaction
can be expressed by the following:

V ( x1 − x2 ) ⇒ γ 2 D (0) ( x1 − x2 ) , (V.32)

and the corresponding diagram is shown in Fig. V.2.2.

iD(0)(q)
−iγ −iγ

Fig. V.2.2 Illustration of the electron-electron interaction mediated by the electron-phonon interaction
with a coupling coefficient γ.

Given the electron-phonon coupling, we consider the correction to the non-interacting phonons. The
first non-vanishing correction occurs in the second order with respect to the interaction Hel-ph, as shown in
Fig. V.2.3 (a) – (b), and the corresponding expressions are

Nai-Chang Yeh V-5 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory

−γ 2i ∫ d 4 x1 d 4 x2 D (0) ( x − x1 ) Gαβ
(0)
( x1 − x2 ) Gβα( 0)( x2 − x1 ) D (0)( x2 − x′ ) for (a), (V.33)

and +γ 2i ∫ d 4 x1 d 4 x2 D (0) ( x − x1 ) Gαα


(0)
( 0 ) Gββ(0)( 0 ) D (0)( x2 − x′ ) for (b). (V.34)

However, the disconnected graph in Fig. V.2.3 in fact does not contribute to the electron-electron
interaction potential, which may be understood by the following simple consideration. If we inspect in EQ.
(V.34) the integration of D (0)( x − x1 ) over x1, we find that

D (0)( x − x1 ) ∼ T ⎡⎣ϕ ( x ) ∇ x1 i d( x1 ) ⎤⎦ ∼ ∇ x1 i T [ϕ ( x ) d( x1 )] ,

so that

∫d
3
x1 D (0)( x − x1 ) ∼ ∫ d 3 x1 ∇ x1 i T [ϕ ( x ) d( x1 )] ∼ ∫d
2
x1 nˆ i T [ϕ ( x ) d( x1 )] → 0 .

(a) (b)

Fig. V.2.3 Second-order corrections to the phonon propagator: (a) connected polarization correction;
(b) disconnected correction, which can be shown to vanish identically.

We summarize in the following the general rules used to calculate the corrections of order 2n (with
respect to Hel-ph) to the electron and phonon Green functions:

1) Form all connected, topologically non-equivalent diagrams with 2n vertices;


(0)
2) With each solid line associate with a free-particle Green function Gαβ ( x − x′ ) , and with each dashed line
associate a function D (0)( x − x′ ) ;

3) Integrate over the coordinates of all vertices and sum over the corresponding spin variables;

4) Multiply the resulting expression by γ 2 n i n ( −1) , where F is the number of closed loops formed by the
F

fermion G(0)-lines.

As an example, consider the diagram in Fig. V.2.4. Using the rules given above, we obtain the
corresponding expression for the diagram as follows:

γ 4 ∫ d 4 x1 d 4 x2 d 4 x3 d 4 x4 D (0) ( x − x1 ) Gγ(0)
1γ 2
( x1 − x2 ) D (0)( x2 − x3 ) Gγ(0)2γ 4 ( x2 − x4 )
× Gγ( 40)γ 3 ( x4 − x3 ) Gγ(0)
3γ 1
( x3 − x1 ) D ( 0)( x4 − x′ ) . (V.35)

Fig. V.2.4 A fourth order correction to the phonon propagator.

Nai-Chang Yeh V-6 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory
Next, we consider the equivalent electron-electron interaction due to electron-phonon coupling in the
momentum space. From EQs. (V.32) and (V.22), the Fourier transform of the interaction potential is

ωq2
V ( q, ω ) = γ 2
θ (ωD − ωq ) . (V.36)
ω 2 − ωq2 + iδ

In the static limit, the equivalent electron-electron interaction potential becomes V ( q, 0 ) = − γ 2θ ωD − ωq . ( )


If we assume that the static potential holds for all q, then the equivalent interaction potential becomes an
attractive delta function:

V ( x) = − γ 2 δ ( x) . (V.37)

On the other hand, for energy transfer greater than all of the relevant phonon modes, ω > ωD, we find from
EQ. (V.36) that
V ( q, ω > ω D ) > 0 , (V.38)

implying that the interaction is always repulsive. Therefore, the equivalent interaction potential between two
electrons can only be attractive if both electrons lie within an energy shell ωD below the Fermi surface and
become excited to unoccupied states within an energy shell ωD above the Fermi surface. (N.B.! for most
metals ωD ~ 102 meV and the Fermi energy εF ~ 1 eV so that ωD << εF). This attractive interaction between
particles near the Fermi surface as a consequence of electron-phonon interaction has important implications
on the occurrence of superconductivity in metallic systems.

Finally, we summarize the general rules used to calculate the corrections of order 2n (with respect to
Hel-ph) to the electron and phonon Green functions in momentum space:

1) Form all connected, topologically non-equivalent diagrams with 2n vertices;


2) With each solid line associate with a free-particle Green function

1
G (0)( k ) = lim ,
δ →0 + ω − ( ε k − μ ) + iδ sgn ( ε k − μ )

and with each dashed line associate a function


ωq2
D (0)
( q ) = δlim ;
→0 + ω 2 − ωq2 + iδ

3) Integrate over n independent momenta;

4) Multiply the resulting expression by γ 2 n ( 2π ) i n ( −1) , where F is the number of closed loops formed
−4 n F

by the fermion G(0)-lines.

Nai-Chang Yeh V-7 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory
V.3. Dyson’s Equation and the Vertex Part
Given the electron-phonon interaction as corrections to the electron and phonon Green functions, we
can express these corrections diagrammatically with Dyson’s equation.
In the case of electron Green functions, the Dyson’s equation for the total Green function G with a
proper self-energy Σ* correction is

( )
−1
G = G ( 0) + G (0) Σ*G ⇔ G −1 = G (0) − Σ* . (V.39)

The simplest diagram for the self-energy correction due to electron-phonon coupling is given by the diagram
in Fig. V.3.1 (a), which is the skeleton diagram for the generalized diagram of Σ* expressed by the graph in
Fig. V.3.1 (b). The shaded area on the right of the graph in Fig. V.3.1 (b) represents all diagrams with three
external points, one associated with a phonon and two with electrons. This shaded triangle is the vertex part,
and is denoted by Γ( k , k − q; q ) . Thus, the proper self-energy can be explicitly given by the vertex part and
the electron and phonon Green functions:

d 4q
Σ *( k ) = i ∫ G ( k − q ) D ( q ) Γ( k − q , k ; q ) , (V.40)
( 2π )
4

where we have set Gαβ = Gδ αβ .

(a) (b)

Fig. V.3.1 Corrections to the proper self-energy of the electron Green function due to electron-phonon
coupling: (a) the skeleton diagram for the lowest order correction; (b) the generalized
diagram consisting of the vertex part.

Substituting EQ. (V.40) into EQ. (V.39), we obtain the Dyson’s equation for the electron Green
function:
d 4q
[ ( k )] ( ) ∫
ω − ε − μ G k − i G ( k − q ) D ( q ) Γ( k − q , k ; q ) G ( k ) = 1 . (V.41)
( 2π )
4

Similarly, the proper self-energy part of the phonon propagator due to electron-phonon coupling is
associated with the polarization insertion, and is denoted by Π*. The corresponding skeleton diagram and the
generalized diagram containing the vertex part are shown in Fig. V.3.2 (a) – (b), and the Dyson’s equation
for the phonon Green function is given by

( )
−1
D = D (0) + D (0) Π * D ⇔ D −1 = D (0) − Π* . (V.42)

From Fig.V.3.2 (b), the proper self-energy of phonon propagator is given by

Nai-Chang Yeh V-8 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory

d 4q
Π *( k ) = −2i ∫ G ( q ) G ( q − k ) Γ( q , q − k ; k ) , (V.43)
( 2π )
4

where the factor 2 takes care of the spin degeneracies of electrons. Inserting EQ. (V.43) into EQ. (V.42), we
obtain an explicit form for the Dyson’s equation of phonons:
d 4q
ωk−2 ( ω 2 − ωk2 ) D( k ) + 2i ∫ G ( q ) G ( q − k ) Γ( q , q − k ; k ) D ( k ) = 1 . (V.44)
( 2π )
4

(a) (b)

Fig. V.3.2 Corrections to the proper self-energy of the phonon Green function due to electron-phonon
coupling: (a) the skeleton diagram for the lowest order correction; (b) the generalized
diagram consisting of the vertex part.

In general, Dyson’s equation can be obtained directly from the equations of motion for the
Heisenberg operators of fermions, which you will prove in Problem Set 5. The final result for a fermion
system under an interaction Hamiltonian Hint is:

⎡ ∂ ∇ 2x ⎤
⎢i ∂t + 2m + μ ⎥ Gαβ ( x, x′ ) = δ ( x − x′ ) δαβ −i 0 T ⎡⎣ψ H α ( x ) , H int ⎤⎦ψ H β ( x′ ) 0 .

(V.45)
⎣ ⎦

Taking Hint = Hel-ph as given in EQ. (V.29), we find that the last term in EQ. (V.45) becomes

−iγ 0 T ⎡⎣ψ Hα ( x )ψ H† β ( x′ ) ϕ H ( x ) ⎤⎦ 0 . (V.46)

We may therefore associate the quantity

Gαβ ( x1 , x2 ; x3 ) = 0 T ⎡⎣ψ Hα ( x1 )ψ H† β ( x2 ) ϕ H ( x3 ) ⎤⎦ 0 ≡ T ⎡⎣ψ H α ( x1 )ψ H† β ( x2 ) ϕ H ( x3 ) ⎤⎦ (V.47)

with a set of Feynman diagrams with one external phonon line and two external electron lines, The simplest
of these diagrams is shown in Fig. V.3.3 (a), which corresponds to the following quantity

−γ δ αβ ∫ d 4 y G (0) ( x1 − y ) G (0) ( y − x2 ) D (0) ( y − x3 ) . (V.48)

The generalized diagram for EQ. (V.47) is shown in Fig. V.3.3 (b), which corresponds to the following
expression:

Gαβ ( x1 , x2 ; x3 ) = δαβ G ( x1 , x2 ; x3 )
= − δ αβ ∫ d 4 x1′ d 4 x2′ d 4 x3′ G ( x1 − x1′ ) G ( x2′ − x2 ) D( x3′ − x3 ) Γ( x1′ , x2′ ; x3′ ) . (V.49)

Nai-Chang Yeh V-9 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory
The vertex part Γ represents the vertex part for electron-phonon interaction, which corresponds to the set of
all diagrams with three external points associated with one phonon and two electrons. The Fourier transform
of Γ may be written in the form

Γ( k , k − q; q )( 2π ) δ ( k − k ′ − q ) = ∫ d 4 x1 d 4 x2 d 4 x3 Γ( x1 , x2 ; x3 ) e
4 − ikx1 + ik ′x2 + iqx3
. (V.50)

The relation between the Fourier components of Γ and G is given by:

G ( k , k − q ; q ) = −G ( k ) G ( k − q ) D ( q ) Γ ( k , k − q ; q ) . (V.51)

(a) (b)

Fig. V.3.3 The Feynman diagrams associated with electron phonon interaction: (a) the first-order
perturbation theory approximation; (b) the generalized expression containing all diagrams
associated with the vertex part.

To calculate the vertex part Γ under electron-phonon interaction, we need to find all compact
diagrams and associate the corresponding analytical expressions with them according to the rules prescribed
earlier. Keeping in mind that the electron-phonon vertex part consists of three external points associated with
one phonon and two electrons, we find that the diagrams consist of contributions from terms of order γ, γ 3,
γ 5, etc. Some representative examples of such contributions up to order γ 7 are illustrated in Fig. V.3.4, and a
complete set of contributions up to order γ 5 are given in Fig. V.3.5.

(a) (b) (c)

Fig. V.3.4 Representative vertex contributions due to the electron-phonon interaction: (a) to order γ 3;
(b) to order γ 5; and (c) to order γ 7.

The vertex contributions exemplified in Figs.V.3.4 and V.3.5 seem tedious and difficult to compute exactly.
Interestingly, however, the exact proper vertex can be greatly simplified by a remarkable theorem known as
the Migdal theorem, which states that the exact vertex in the electron-phonon system satisfies a simple
relation:

Nai-Chang Yeh V-10 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory

⎧⎪ ⎡⎛ m ⎞1/ 2 ⎤ ⎫⎪
Γ = γ ⎨1 + O ⎢⎜ ⎟ ⎥⎬ , (V.52)
⎪⎩ ⎣ ⎝ M ⎠ ⎦ ⎭⎪

where (m/M) is the ratio of the electron mass to the ion mass. Therefore, EQ. (V.52) allows us to replace the
vertex by the point value γ to an excellent approximation. Here we only mention this important result without
going through the proof of the theorem. For details of the proof, you may consult the original paper by A. B.
Migdal, Sov. Phys.-JETP 7, 996 (1958). In addition, you may refer to Section 47 of the book by Fetter &
Walecka for proof to the second-order vertex correction.

Γ = + + + +

+ + + +

+ + + O(γ 7)

Fig. V.3.5 Vertex contributions due to the electron-phonon interaction, up to order γ 5.

The aforementioned discussion suggests that attractive electron-phonon interaction can always occur
in metals, which in turn implies (according to the BCS theory, a topic of our later discussion) that
superconductivity will always occur at sufficiently low temperatures, i.e. for T < Tc where Tc denotes a
critical temperature. On the other hand, in the “normal state” of the metal where Tc << T << ωD, our
derivation of the electron and phonon Green functions must be modified to incorporate the finite temperature
effect. In the following section we discuss the finite-temperature Green functions for electron-phonon
interaction.

Nai-Chang Yeh V-11 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory
V.4. Electron-Phonon Interactions at Finite Temperatures

To deal with problems at finite temperatures, we need to introduce temperature Green function. As
discussed in Part II.2, we may transcribe the Green functions using the “imaginary time” trick so that we
write i t ⇒ τ , and τ varies from 0 to T −1. The temperature Green function is therefore defined as

{(
gαβ ( x1 , τ 1 ; x 2 , τ 2 ) = −Tr e
ΩG + μ N − H ) / T
Tτ ⎡⎣ψ H α ( x1 ,τ 1 )ψ H β ( x 2 ,τ 2 ) ⎤⎦ , }
= − Tτ ⎡⎣ψ H α ( x1 , τ 1 )ψ H β ( x 2 , τ 2 ) ⎤⎦ , (V.53)

where ΩG is the grand potential, Tτ is the imaginary time ordering operator, and the Heisenberg field
operators ψ H and ψ H for electrons and ϕ H for phonons at T ≠ 0 are given by:

(H − μ N ) τ − (H − μ N ) τ
ψ H α ( x, τ ) = e ψα(x) e , (V.54)
( H − μ N )τ − (H − μ N ) τ
ψ H α ( x, τ ) = e ψ α† ( x ) e , (V.55)
ϕ H ( x, τ ) = e Hτ
ϕ(x) e −H τ
. (V.56)

We note that the field operators ψ H and ψ H are no longer Hermitian conjugates of each other. Moreover,
given that the temperature Green function is a function of the imaginary time difference τ 1 − τ 2 = τ , it is
defined in the interval from –1/T to 1/T. On the other hand, from EQ. (V.53) we have

⎛ 1 1⎞
g (τ < 0 ) = − g ⎜ 0 < τ + < ⎟ for fermions, (V.57)
⎝ T T⎠
⎛ 1 1⎞
= g⎜0 <τ + < ⎟ for bosons, (V.58)
⎝ T T⎠

and the phonon temperature Green function

⎛ 1⎞
D (τ < 0 ) = D ⎜ τ + ⎟. (V.59)
⎝ T⎠

In addition, noting that the phonon temperature Green function is real, we have

D (τ < 0 ) = D *(τ < 0 ) = D (τ > 0 ) = D ( −τ ) . (V.60)

Next, we consider the temperature Green functions for free particles, which play an important role in
the perturbation theory. In the case of free particles, the total Hamiltonian H is equal to the non-interacting
Hamiltonian H0, and the field operators in EQs. (V.54) and (V.56) are given by

1 1
ψ α ( x1 ) =
Ω
∑ ak α ei k i x ,
1
1 1
ψ β† ( x 2 ) =
Ω
∑ ak† β e − i k i x .
2
2 2
(V.61)
k1 k2

Consequently, we obtain

Tr {e( }
1 ΩG 0 + μ N − H 0 ) / T (H 0 − μ N ) τ
ak1α e ( 0 ) ak†2 β
− H −μ N τ
(0)
gαβ ( x1 , x 2 ;τ > 0 ) = −
Ω
∑ e
i ( k i x −k i x )
1 1 2 2
e
k1 , k 2

Nai-Chang Yeh V-12 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory

=−
1
Ω
∑e
k1 , k 2
i ( k1 i x1 −k 2 i x 2 ) − ⎣⎡ε 0( k1 ) − μ ⎦⎤τ
Tr e( { ΩG 0 + μ N − H 0 ) / T
ak1α ak†2 β }
1 i k i ( x1 − x 2 ) − ⎡⎣ε 0( k ) − μ ⎤⎦τ
⇒ (0)
gαβ ( x1 − x 2 ;τ > 0 ) = −δαβ
Ω
∑e akα ak†α . (V.62)
k

The quantity akα ak†α can be expressed in terms of the equilibrium occupation number n(k) at a finite
temperature T:

{ }
−1
⎡ε 0( k ) − μ ⎤⎦ / T
akα ak†α = 1 − n( k ) , n( k ) = e ⎣ +1 for fermions,

n( k ) = {e − 1}
−1
⎡⎣ε 0( k ) − μ ⎤⎦ / T
akα ak†α = 1 + n( k ) , for bosons. (V.63)

Taking the volume Ω to infinity, we may rewrite the free-particle temperature Green function into:
1
( x;τ > 0 ) = −δαβ i k i x − ⎡⎣ε 0( k ) − μ ⎤⎦ τ
[1 ∓ n( k )] ,
( 2π ) ∫
(0) 3
gαβ d ke
3
(V.64)

with the upper (lower) sign for fermions (bosons). Moreover,

⎛ 1⎞
(0)
gαβ ( x;τ < 0 ) = ∓ gαβ(0) ⎜ x;τ + ⎟
⎝ T⎠
1 i k i x − ⎡⎣ε 0( k ) − μ ⎤⎦ τ
n( k ) .
( 2π ) ∫
= ± δαβ d ke 3
3
(V.65)

Similarly, the phonon Green function may be derived from the free-phonon field operator
1/ 2
⎛ ωq ⎞
ϕ(x) = ∑ ⎜ ⎟
Ω q ⎝ 2 ⎠
i
(b eq
iqix
− bq†e− i q i x ) , (V.66)

so that

∫ d q {[ N ( q ) + 1] e },
1 i q i x −ω0( q ) τ i q i x +ω0( q ) τ
D (0) ( x,τ ) = − 3
+ N (q) e (V.67)
2 ( 2π )
3

where
{ }
−1
N ( q ) = e 0( ) − 1
ω q /T
.

Apparently D (0) is an even function of τ according to EQs. (V.58) and (V.67).

Diagrammatically, we may apply similar technique of Feynman rules for T = 0 to the particle and
phonon temperature Green functions. In coordinate space, the following formulae are satisfied:

Tτ ⎡⎣ψ α ( x1 ,τ 1 )ψ β ( x 2 , τ 2 ) ⎤⎦ = − gαβ
(0)
( x1− x 2 ;τ 1− τ 2 ) , (V.68)

Tτ ⎡⎣ψ β ( x 2 , τ 2 )ψ α ( x1 ,τ 1 ) ⎤⎦ = ± gαβ
(0)
( x1− x 2 ;τ 1− τ 2 ) , (+: fermions, −: bosons) (V.69)
Tτ [ϕ ( x1 ,τ 1 ) ϕ ( x 2 , τ 2 )] = −D (0) ( x1− x 2 ;τ 1− τ 2 ) . (V.70)

Given the electron-phonon interaction Hamiltonian for T > 0:

Nai-Chang Yeh V-13 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory

H el − ph(τ ) = γ ∫ d 3 x ψ α ( x,τ )ψ α ( x,τ ) ϕ( x, τ ) , (V.71)

we can calculate the second-order correction to the phonon Green function in ways similar to the case for T =
0, and we find

γ 2 ∫ d 4 z1 d 4 z2 D (0) ( x − z1 ) gαβ
(0)
( z1 − z2 ) g βα(0)( z2 − z1 ) D (0)( z2 − x′ ) , (V.72)

which is similar to the result in EQ. (V.33) for the diagram shown in Fig. V.2.3 (a).

The general rules for calculating the corrections of order 2n (with respect to Hel-ph) to the electron
and phonon Green functions at T > 0 and in coordinate space may be summarized as follows:

1) Form all connected, topologically non-equivalent diagrams with 2n vertices;


( 0)
2) With each solid line associate with a free-particle Green function gαβ ( x − x′ ) , and with each dashed line
associate a function D (0)( x − x′ ) ;

3) Integrate over the coordinates of all vertices with respect to both x and τ, and sum over the corresponding
spin variables;

4) Multiply the resulting expression by γ 2 n ( −1)


n+ F
, where F is the number of closed loops formed by the
fermion g(0)-lines.

In reality, the aforementioned diagrammatic techniques in coordinate space are not practical for
calculating Green function corrections at finite temperatures, because the imaginary time varies from 0 to 1/T
rather than to infinity. The situation can be much simplified by expanding all quantities depending on τ in
Fourier series relative to the imaginary time difference τ. Noting that τ is defined in an interval between −1/T
and 1/T, we obtain

g (τ ) = T ∑ e g ( ωn ) ,
− iωnτ
(V.73)
n

1 1/ T
g ( ωn ) = g (τ ),
2∫
iωnτ
and dτ e ωn = nπ T . (V.74)
−1/ T

Using EQs. (V.57) and (V.58), we may rewrite EQ. (V.74) into the following:

1 1/ T 1 0
g ( ωn ) = g (τ ) + g (τ )
2∫ 2∫
iωnτ iωnτ
dτ e dτ e
0 −1/ T

1 1/ T 1 1/ T ⎛ 1⎞
∫ g (τ ) + ∫
iωnτ iωnτ iωn / T
= dτ e dτ e e g ⎜τ + ⎟
2 0
2 0
⎝ T⎠
1
( )∫
1/ T
g (τ )
ω /T iωnτ
= 1∓ e dτ e
i n

2 0

ωn = ( 2n + 1) π T for fermions,
1/ T
=∫ g (τ ),
iωnτ
dτ e (V.75)
0
1/ T
=∫ g (τ ),
iωnτ
dτ e ωn = 2nπ T for bosons. (V.76)
0

Nai-Chang Yeh V-14 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory

Taking the Fourier transformation of the coordinates, we find

(0)
gαβ ( k;τ > 0 ) = −δαβ e − ⎡⎣ε 0( k ) − μ ⎤⎦ τ
[1 − n( k )] , (V.77)

so that
1/ T − ⎡⎣ε 0( k ) − μ ⎤⎦ τ
(0)
gαβ ( k; ωn ) = −δαβ [1 − n( k )] ∫ 0
dτ e
iωnτ
e ,
1
= , ωn = ( 2n + 1) π T for fermions, (V.78)
iωn − ε 0( k ) + μ
1
= , ωn = 2nπ T for bosons. (V.79)
iωn − ε 0( k ) + μ

Similarly, for phonon propagators, we find that

ωk2
D (0) ( k ; ωn ) = − , ωn = 2nπ T . (V.80)
ωn2 + ωk2

In general, there are even numbers of fermion lines at each vertex, so that the integration over τ
involves the following integral

1
dτ e ∑ n = ∑ω
1/ T iτ ω
∫0
T
for n
= 0. (V.81)

=0 for ∑ ω n
≠ 0.

Consequently, the condition for summing over imaginary time in temperature Green functions is similar to
that for conservation of energy at a vertex in the case of Green functions at T = 0.

As an example for diagrammatic analysis of temperature Green functions in momentum space, we


consider the diagram in Fig. V.4.1 (a) for the Green function correction δg(1) under a two-particle interaction
potential V(z1 – z2). According to the rules given for coordinate space, we find

(1)
δ gαβ ( x − x′ ) = − ∫ d 4 z1 d 4 z2 gαγ(0)1 ( x − z1 ) gγ(0)1γ 2 ( z1 − z2 ) V ( z1 − z2 ) gγ(0)2 β ( z2 − x′ ) . (V.82)

Taking the Fourier transform of δg(1), we have

1 1/ T − i k i ( x − x′) + iω (τ −τ )
δ g (1)( k , ωn ) = ∫ d ( x − x′ ) ∫ d (τ x − τ x′ ) δ g (1)( x − x′ ) e n x x′
, (V.83)
2 −1/ T

T
V ( x, τ ) = ∑ ∫ d q eiq i x−iω
3 n 4τ
V ( q, ωn 4 ) . (V.84)
( 2π )
3
ωn 4

Noting that

T ∑ ei 2 nπ Tτ = δ (τ ) , (V.85)
n =−∞

we have

Nai-Chang Yeh V-15 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory
4
1⎡ T ⎤
δ gαβ ( k , ωn ) = − ⎢
(1)
3 ⎥
2 ⎣⎢ ( 2π ) ⎦⎥
∑∑∑∑ ∫ d k d k d k d q gαγ(0) ( k , ω ) gγ(0)γ ( k
3
1
3
2
3
3
3
1 1 n1 1 2 2
, ωn 2 ) gγ(0)

( k 3 , ω n 3 ) V ( q, ω n 4 )
ωn1 ωn 2 ωn 3 ωn 4
1/ T 1/ T 1/ T − i k i ( x − x′ ) + iωn (τ x −τ x′ )
× ∫ d ( x − x′ ) ∫ d 3 z1 ∫ d 3 z 2 ∫ d (τ x − τ x′ ) ∫ dτ 1 ∫ dτ 2 e
−1/ T −1/ T −1/ T

i k1 i ( x − z1 ) −iωn1 (τ x −τ1 ) i k 2 i ( z1 − z 2 ) − iωn 2 (τ1 −τ 2 ) i k 3 i ( z 2 − x′ ) −iωn 3 (τ 2 −τ x′ ) i q i ( z1 − z 2 ) − iωn 4 (τ1 −τ 2 )


×e e e e
4
⎡ T ⎤
= −⎢ ⎥ ∑∑∑∑ ∫ d k d k d k d q gαγ(0) ( k , ω ) gγ(0)γ ( k
3 3 3 3
, ωn 2 ) gγ(0)

( k 3 , ω n 3 ) V ( q, ω n 4 )
⎣⎢ ( 2π )
3 1 2 3 1 n1 2
⎦⎥
1 1 2
ωn1 ωn 2 ωn 3 ωn 4
3
⎡ ( 2π )3 ⎤
×⎢ ⎥ δ ( k − k 1 ) δ ( k 1 − k 2 − q ) δ ( k 2 − k 3 + q ) δ ωn −ωn1 δ ωn1 −ωn 2 −ωn 4 δ ωn 2 −ωn 3 +ωn 4
⎢⎣ T ⎥⎦
T
=− ∑∫d k 3 (0)
gαγ ( k , ωn ) gγ(0)1γ 2 ( k1 , ωn1 ) gγ(0)2 β ( k , ωn ) V ( k − k 1 , ωn − ωn1 ) . (V.86)
( 2π )
3 1 1
ω n1

Inserting EQs. (V.78) and (V.79) into EQ. (V.86), we obtain

δαβ T V ( k − k 1 , ω n − ω n1 )
(1)
δ gαβ ( k , ωn ) = − ∑∫d k 3

iωn1 − ε 0( k 1 ) + μ
, (V.87)
2
( 2π )
1
⎡⎣iωn − ε 0( k ) + μ ⎤⎦
3
ω n1

and the diagrammatic representation for EQ. (V.87) is shown in Fig. V.4.1 (b).

Similarly, the correction to the temperature Green function shown in Fig. V.4.1 (c) is given by
i ωn1τ
δαβ T e
± 2 (
V 0, 0 )( 2 s + 1) ∑ ∫ d 3k 1 iωn1 − ε 0( k 1 ) + μ
, (V.88)
⎡⎣iωn − ε 0( k ) + μ ⎤⎦ ( 2π )
3
ωn1

where the plus (negative) sign corresponds to the correction to fermions (bosons).

As another example, the generalized two-particle interaction that involves the vertex contribution as
illustrated in Fig. V.4.1 (d) is given by:

1 T 1
− ∑∫d k 3
Γ αγ(0),γβ ( k , ωn , k 1 , ωn1 ; k 1 , ωn1 , k , ωn )
iωn1 − ε 0( k 1 ) + μ
, (V.89)
( 2π )
2 1
⎡⎣iωn − ε 0( k ) + μ ⎤⎦
3
ωn1

,γβ ( k1 , k 2 ; k3 , k1 + k 2 − k3 ) that ensures momentum and


(0)
where the vertex part generally takes the form Γ αγ
energy conservation.

Nai-Chang Yeh V-16 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory

(a) (b) (c) (d)


(k1; ωn1) (k1; ωn1)

V (z1 – z2) V (k – k1; ω – ωn1)


V (0,0)

x z1 z2 x′ (k; ωn) (k1; ωn1) (k; ωn) (k; ωn) (k; ωn) (k; ωn) Γ (k; ωn)

Figure V.4.1 (a) Temperature Green function correction associated with two-particle interaction to
first order in coordinate space; (b) similar diagram to (a) in momentum space; (c) another
first-order diagram in momentum space; (d) generalized vertex correction to the temperature
Green function.

Next, we consider the case for electron-phonon interaction. As discussed before, only contributions
associated with even order of Hel-ph are non-zero. For an arbitrary diagram of order 2n in Hel-ph, there are
(2n+1) internal electron lines, n internal phonon lines, and 2n vertices. Hence, there are n independent
integrations. The general rules for calculating a diagram of order 2n relative to Hel-ph are summarized below:

1) Form all connected, topologically non-equivalent diagrams with 2n vertices;


2) With each solid line associate with a free-particle Green function

1
g (0)( k ) =
iωn − ε 0( k ) + μ
and with two solid external lines associate a quantity
δαβ
2
.
⎡⎣iωn − ε 0( k ) + μ ⎤⎦

3) With each phonon (dashed) line associate a function


ωq2
D (0)
(q) = − ;
ωn2 + ωq2

4) Integrate over n independent momenta;


5) Multiply the resulting expression by
Tn
γ 2n ( −1) ( 2 s + 1) ( ∓1) ,
n F F

( 2π ) 3n

where F is the number of closed loops formed by the fermion g(0)-lines.

For example, we consider the second-order correction to the phonon propagator at T > 0, as shown in
Fig. V.4.2. Applying the general rules outlined above, we obtain

Nai-Chang Yeh V-17 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory
2
⎡ ωq2 ⎤ 2 T 1 1
±⎢ 2 2 ⎥
γ ( 2 s + 1) ∑ ∫ d k iω 3

− ε 0 ( k ) + μ i ( ω n1 − ω n ) − ε 0 ( k − q ) + μ
. (V.90)
⎣ ω n + ωq ⎦ ( 2π )
3
ωn1 n1

(k; ωn1)

(q; ωn) (q; ωn)


(k – q; ωn1 – ωn)

Figure V.4.2 Second-order correction to the phonon propagator at T > 0, in momentum space.

In general, the correction to the temperature Green function g can be obtained from the expression
for the correction to the Green function G at T = 0 by replacing the frequencies ω in G by iωn and changing
all integrals over ω to sums over ωn:

1
∫ dω ⇒ iT ∑ (V.91)
2π ωn

Finally, we note that the Dyson’s equations for the temperature Green functions of electrons and
phonons are similar to those for the Green functions at T = 0. The Dyson’s equations for corrections
associated with electron-phonon interactions are given below and also illustrated in Figs. V.4.3 (a) and (b)
for electrons and phonons, respectively:
γT
−1
gαβ ( k , ωn ) = [iωn − ε 0( k ) + μ ]δαβ + ∑∫d k 3
gαβ ( k1 , ωn1 ) D ( k 1 − k , ωn1 − ωn ) Γ ( k , k 1 ; ωn , ωn1 )
( 2π )
3 1
ωn1

(V.92)
γT
D −1( q, ωn ) = −ωq−2 ⎡⎣ωn2 + ωq2 ⎤⎦ − ∑∫d k 3
gαβ ( k1 , ωn1 ) g βα ( k 1 − q, ωn1 − ωn ) Γ ( k 1 , k 1 − q; ωn1 , ωn1 − ωn )
( 2π )
3 1
ωn1

(V.93)

(a)

= +

(b)

= +

Fig. V.4.3 Dyson’s equations for temperature Green functions of (a) electrons and (b) phonons.

Nai-Chang Yeh V-18 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part V: Electron-Phonon Interaction
Field Theory

Further Readings:

1. Fetter and Walecka, “Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems”, Sections 7 – 10, 13 – 15, 44 – 47.
2. Abrikosov, Gorkov, and Dzyaloshinski, “Methods of Quantum Field Theory in Statistical Physics”,
Chapters 2 and 3.
3. Doniach and Sondheimer, “Green Functions for Solid State Physicists”, Chapters 3, 5 and 6.

Nai-Chang Yeh V-19 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

PART VI. Basics of Fermi Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach


We have seen in Part III that perturbation theory can be miraculously applied to high-density fermion
systems with long-range Coulomb interaction, even though the interaction among fermions is much larger
than the energy level spacing. This puzzling finding is consistent with the phenomenological theory of Fermi
liquid by Landau, which asserts that the ground state and the low-energy excitations of an interacting fermion
system are in one-to-one correspondence to those of the free fermion system, so that the low-energy
excitations, known as the quasiparticle excitations, can be described by perturbation theory to free fermions.
Landau theory of Fermi liquid in fact works well for all known “good metals” so that it has become one of
the two corner stones of conventional many-body theory, the other being the Landau symmetry breaking
theory of phase transitions. The Fermi liquid theory is even applicable to systems such as conventional and
heavy-fermion superconductors as well as some anti-ferromagnetic materials. The prominence of the Fermi
liquid theory has only been challenged quite recently after the discovery of the fractional quantum Hall
(FQH) states in 1982 and of high-temperature superconductivity in 1987. It is now known that a new class of
strongly correlated electronic systems, such as the Luttinger liquid in one-dimensional conductors, the FQH
states in two-dimensional electron gas under high magnetic fields, the high-temperature superconducting
cuprates and colossal magnetoresistive manganites, all deviate fundamentally from the predictions of Fermi
liquid theory. A new paradigm of many-body theory is clearly needed to provide proper descriptions for the
physical observation in strongly correlated electronic systems.

In Part VI we want to investigate basic concepts and important physical predictions of the Fermi liquid
theory. We first restrict to perturbative consideration of small momentum/energy transfers relative to the
Fermi momentum and Fermi energy. This approximation may be justified by noting that most interesting
electronic properties of metals are determined by electrons near the Fermi level, and large momentum/energy
transfers of electrons and holes near the Fermi level are generally quenched due to the Pauli exclusion
principle. Part III is structured as follows. In Part VI.1 we begin with an overview of the Fermi liquid theory,
including the basic assumptions and their general consequences. In Part VI.2 we develop rigorous formalism
for studying the vertex contribution in the case of small momentum transfer, followed by explicit predictions
of physical relations of Fermi liquid systems in Part VI.3. The Kondo effect, a celebrated phenomenon
associated with the Fermi liquid response to localized magnetic impurities, will be investigated in Part VII as
a special case study for many-body interactions in a Fermi liquid. It is further noted that the Kondo effect can
be extended beyond interactions of conduction electrons with single magnetic impurities to the Kondo lattice
problem encountered in heavy fermions, as well as to nanoelectronic systems such as the quantum dots and
carbon nanotubes. The limitation of Fermi liquid theory is discussed in Part VIII, followed by studies of an
exemplifying non-Fermi liquid system, the Luttinger liquid theory in one dimension.

VI.1. An Overview of the Fermi Liquid Theory


A theory of the weakly excited states of a Fermi liquid, defined as a system of interacting fermions
with spin ½, was developed by Landau [L. D. Landau, Sov. Phys. JETP 3, 920 (1956) and Sov. Phys. JETP
5, 101 (1957)]. The basic assumption for the theory is that the excitation spectrum of the Fermi liquid is
formed by the same principle as the spectrum of an ideal Fermi gas, provided that the interaction is turned on
adiabatically. Thus, a weakly excited state of a Fermi liquid resembles a weakly excited state of a Fermi gas
and can be similarly described by a set of elementary excitations with spin ½ and of momenta near the Fermi
momentum kF.

To examine the excitations of interacting fermions in the context of the Fermi liquid theory, we first
establish the description for excitations in an ideal Fermi gas. At T = 0, the occupied states of an ideal Fermi

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-1 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

gas form a Fermi sphere of a radius kF in the momentum space, where kF is given by the volume density n ≡
(N/Ω) of fermions of spin ½:
2 ⎛4 3 ⎞
⎜ π k F ⎟ = n ⇒ k F = ( 3π n ) .
2 1/ 3
(VI.1)
( 2π )
3
⎝3 ⎠

In the excited state of the Fermi gas, the momentum distribution of fermions will be different from that in the
ground state, and the low-energy excitations consist of removing fermions from within the Fermi sphere to
outside of the Fermi sphere. It is clear that each process involves creating a pair of “quasiparticles” with one
particle having momentum |k| > kF and one hole having momentum |k| < kF. Therefore, the energy of a
particle-like excitation is given by
2
k k F2 kF
ξk = − ≈ ( k − k F ) ≡ vF ( k − k F ) , (VI.2)
2m 2m m

and that of a hole-like excitation is


2
k k F2
−ξk = − ≈ −vF ( k F − k ) . (VI.3)
2m 2m

Similar to the excitations of the Fermi gas, in Landau’s theory the excitations of the Fermi liquid also
occur in pairs, with particle-like excitations of momentum |k| > kF and hole-like excitations of momentum |k|
< kF. However, there are also important differences between the Fermi gas and Fermi liquid. That is, the
excitations of a Fermi liquid interact among themselves, and the most significant manifestation of such
interactions is in the case of superfluid Fermi liquids such as 3He. Specifically, in a Fermi gas the low energy
excitations are gapless and are expected to have zero total momentum. On the other hand, the existence of
superfluidity implies that there is a critical velocity for excitations, so that a finite total momentum for the
excitations can occur below a critical value without incurring energy dissipation, and there exists an energy
gap in the spectrum for excitations. Thus, certain interactions among the quasiparticles in the superfluid
Fermi liquid can lead to a spectrum fundamentally different from that for a Fermi gas. For the time being, we
only concentrate on the properties of normal Fermi liquids.

To incorporate the interaction among quasiparticles in a Fermi liquid, Landau’s theory assumes that
the interaction can be described by a self-consistent field acting on one quasiparticle due to the presence of
all other quasiparticles. Therefore, the energy of the excitations is no longer the simple sum of the energies of
all quasiparticles. Rather, it becomes a functional of the quasiparticle distribution function. If the spin indices
are taken into account, the variation of the total energy per unit volume (E/Ω) under a varying density
distribution δnkσ is given by:

⎛E⎞ ⎪⎧ d 3 k ⎪⎫ ⎪⎧ d 3k ⎪⎫
3 ( k ,αβ k , βα ) ⎬
δ ⎜ ⎟ = ∑ αβ ⎨ ∫ ε δ n = Tr ⎨∫ 3 ( k
ε δ nk ) ⎬ , (VI.4)
⎝Ω⎠ ⎪⎩ ( 2π ) ⎪⎭ ⎪⎩ ( 2π ) ⎪⎭

where εk denotes the energy of the quasiparticles. For simplicity, we will drop the summation notation for
spin indices (such as α, β…) in the following expressions, with the understanding that repeated subscripts
indicate summations over the subscripts. We also note that the variations in nk is subjected to the following
condition
d 3k
∫ ( 2π )3 δ nk = 0 (VI.5)

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

because all excitations come in pairs, and the total number of particle-like excitations is equal to that of hole-
like excitations. Furthermore, we note that the definition of quasiparticle energy in EQ. (VI.4) implies that
their equilibrium distribution function is actually a Fermi distribution. This point can be proven by
considering the following expression for the entropy S:

⎛S⎞ ⎧⎪ d 3 k ⎫⎪
⎜ ⎟ = − Tr ⎨ ∫ 3⎣ k k⎡ n ln n + (1 − n ) ln (1 − n ) ⎤
k ⎦⎬
. (VI.6)
⎩⎪ ( 2π )
k
⎝Ω⎠ ⎭⎪

The conditions for maximizing the entropy requires that the total number and energy of the particles be
conserved, so that δ N = 0, δ E = 0 and Tδ (S/Ω) = δ (E/Ω). From EQs. (VI.4) and (VI.6), we find

ε k δ nk = −T [δ nk ln nk − δ nk ln (1 − nk )] ,

which, combined with the condition lim T →0 nk ≡ lim T →0 n ( ε k < μ ) = 1 where μ is the chemical potential,
leads to the distribution function

1
nk ≡ n ( ε k ) = , (VI.7)
exp [( ε k − μ ) T ] + 1

where εk is in fact a function of nk, so that EQ. (VI.7) is a complicated expression for nk.

Including the spin index σ and noting that the quasiparticle energy εkσ also depends on temperature
besides being a functional of nkσ, we may express εkσ by the formula:

⎧⎪ d 3 k ′ ⎫⎪
ε kσ = ε k(0)σ + Tr ⎨ ∫ f ( k , σ ; k ′, σ ′ ) δ nk ′σ ′ ⎬ , (VI.8)
⎪⎩ ( 2π )
3
⎪⎭

where ε k( 0)σ is the equilibrium energy of quasiparticles at T = 0, and f ( k , σ ; k ′, σ ′ ) is the Fermi liquid
function, which is a matrix depending on the momentum and spin operators of two interacting quasiparticles.
A more detailed expression for EQ. (VI.8) is to rewrite it as follows:

d 3k ′
ε k ,αβ = ε k ,αβ + ∫
(0)
fαβ ,γδ ( k , k ′ ) δ nk ′,δγ , (VI.9)
( 2π )
3

We shall show in Part VI.2 that the Fermi liquid function is associated with the forward scattering amplitude
of two quasiparticles and can be evaluated from the vertex contribution. We also note that in the absence of
magnetic fields, the equilibrium energy of quasiparticles at T = 0, ε k( 0) , can be expressed as

kF
ξk = ε k(0) − ε F ≈ ( k − kF ) ≡ v ( k − kF ) , (VI.10)
m*

where m* is the effective mass related to the Fermi liquid function, and v is the velocity of quasiparticles. To
see how m* is related to f ( k , σ ; k ′, σ ′ ) , we follow Landau’s argument by considering the momentum density
of the Fermi liquid, which is equal to the mass flow of quasiparticles:

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-3 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

d 3k d 3k d 3k
2∫ k nk = 2m ∫ v nk = 2m ∫ (∇ kε k ) n . (VI.11)
( 2π ) ( 2π ) ( 2π )
3 3 3 k

If we vary EQ. (VI.11) relative to nk and use EQ. (VI.8) for the variation of quasiparticle energy, we find by
explicitly expressing the spin indices the following relation:

d 3k ⎛ k ⎞ d 3k ⎧⎪ d 3 k d 3k ′ ⎫⎪
∫ ( 2π )3 ⎜⎝ m ⎟⎠αβ k ,βα ∫ ( 2π )3 ( k k ,αβ ) k ,βα ⎪⎨∫ ( 2π )3 ∫ ( 2π )3 ∇ k′ fαβ ,γδ ( k , k ′ ) nk′,δγ δ nk ,βα ⎪⎬
δ n = ∇ ε δ n +
⎩ ⎭
3 ⎧⎪ d k 3 3
d k′ ⎫⎪
=∫
d k
( 2π )
( )
∇ k ε k ,αβ δ nk , βα − ⎨ ∫ 3∫ 3 αβ ,γδ (
f ( )
k ′, k ) ∇ k ′ nk ′,δγ δ nk , βα ⎬
⎪⎩ ( 2π ) ( 2π )
3
⎭⎪
⎛k⎞ ⎧⎪ d 3 k ′ ⎫⎪
(
⇒ ⎜ ⎟ = ∇ k ε k ,αβ − ⎨ ∫ ) 3 αβ ,γδ (
f (
k ′, k ) ∇ k ′ nk ′,δγ ⎬ . ) (VI.12)
⎝ m ⎠αβ ⎪⎩ ( 2π ) ⎪⎭

The last line in EQ. (VI.12) is obtained because δn is arbitrary. Equation (VI.12) can be rewritten in terms of
traces, which yields

k ⎪⎧ d 3 k ′ ⎪⎫
⇒ = Trσ {( ∇ k ε kσ )} − Trσ Trσ ′ ⎨ ∫ f ( k , σ ; k ′, σ ′ ) ( ∇ k ′ nk ′σ ′ ) ⎬ . (VI.13)
⎪⎩ ( 2π )
3
m ⎭⎪

Moreover, at T = 0 the quasiparticle energy is approximately given by EQ. (VI.10), and we also have

k′
∇ k ′ nk ′ ≈ − δ ( k′ − kF ) for T → 0. (VI.14)
k′

Inserting EQs. (VI.10) and (VI.14) into EQ. (VI.13) and noting that f ( k , σ ; k ′, σ ′ ) depends only on the angle
θ between k and k ′ , we obtain for k = k ′ = k F the following relation for the effective mass:

1 1 ⎧⎪ 1 ⎫⎪
3 ∫ d Ω f ( n, θ , σ , σ ) cos θ ⎬ ,
= − k F Trσ Trσ ′ ⎨ ˆ ′ (VI.15)
⎪⎩ ( 2π )
*
m m ⎭⎪

where dΩ denotes an element of the solid angle.

Empirically the effective mass m* can be determined from measurements of the electronic specific
heat. Using EQ. (VI.4), the electronic specific heat (i.e. electronic heat capacity per volume) to the lowest
order in T becomes (after restoring the Boltzmann constant kB):

⎛ ∂ ( E Ω) ⎞ ⎪⎧ d 3 k ⎛ ∂ nk ⎞ ⎪⎫ 1 * 2 π2
C v ≡⎜ ⎟ = 2 ⎨∫ ε
3 k ⎜ ⎟ ⎬ ≈ m k k T = N ( ε F ) k B2T , (VI.16)
∂ ⎩⎪ ( 2π ) ⎝ ∂ ⎠ N ⎭⎪ 3 3
F B
⎝ T ⎠ N ,Ω T

where N (εF) denotes the density of states at the Fermi level. It is interesting to note that the electronic
specific heat is linearly proportional to T, whereas that of phonons is proportional to T3 at low temperatures.

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-4 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

To derive the result shown in EQ. (VI.16), we first rewrite the integration in EQ. (VI.4) over
momentum into integration over energy as follows:

d 3k
∫ ( 2π )3 ⇒ ∫ N (ε ) dε ,

and we further note that for any function of energy ψ (ε), the following relation holds:

∂n ∂n
d ε ψ ( ε ) n( ε ) = [ Ψ ( ε ) n( ε )]0 − ∫ d ε Ψ ( ε )
∞ ∞ ∞

∫ = − ∫ d ε Ψ(ε )

, (VI.17)
0 0
∂ε 0
∂ε
where
ε
Ψ(ε ) ≡ ∫ ψ (ε ′) dε ′ ,
0

1
= Ψ ( μ ) + ( ε − μ ) Ψ ′( μ ) + (ε − μ ) Ψ ′′( μ ) + … .
2
(VI.18)
2

In EQ. (VI.17) we have used the fact that Ψ(0) = 0 and n (∞) = 0. Therefore, by inserting EQ. (VI.18) into
EQ. (VI.17), we obtain

∞ ⎛ ∂nε ⎞
∞ ∞ ⎛ ∂nε ⎞
∫ d ε ψ ( ε ) n( ε ) = Ψ ( μ ) ∫ d ε ⎜ − ⎟ + Ψ ′( μ ) ∫0 d ε ( ε − μ ) ⎜ − ⎟ +…
0 0
⎝ ∂ε ⎠ ⎝ ∂ε ⎠

∂nΨ ∞
1 ∞ n ⎛ ∂nε ⎞ ⎛ ∂ n Ψ ⎞
≡ ∑ Fn ∑ ( )
∂ε n μ n = 0 n !∫0
≡ d ε ε − μ ⎜ − ⎟⎜ n ⎟
n =0 ⎝ ∂ε ⎠ ⎝ ∂ε ⎠ μ
(k T ) exp [( ε − μ ) k BT ] ⎛ ∂ n Ψ ⎞
n n

∞ ⎛ε −μ ⎞⎛ε −μ ⎞
=∑ ∫
B
⎛ μ ⎞d ⎜ ⎟⎜ ⎟ 2 ⎜ n ⎟
n =0 n! −⎜ ⎟
⎝ k BT ⎠ ⎝ k BT ⎠ ⎝ k BT ⎠ (1 + exp [( ε − μ ) k BT ]) ⎝ ∂ε ⎠ μ
(k T )
n

⎛ ∂nΨ ⎞ ∞ zn
≈∑ ⎜ ∂ε n ⎟ ∫−∞ ( because k BT μ)
B
dz
n =0 n! ⎝ ⎠μ (1 + e z )(1 + e− z )

⎛ ∂ 2n Ψ ⎞
= ∑ 2c2 n ( k BT ) ⎜
2n
2n ⎟
, (VI.19)
n =0 ⎝ ∂ε ⎠ μ

where the coefficients c2n in the last line of EQ. (VI.19) can be evaluated as summable series. Specifically,
the term 2c2 is equal to π2/6. Consequently, we have

∞ μ π2 ⎡ ∂ψ ( ε ) ⎤
∫ d ε ψ ( ε ) n( ε ) = ∫ d ε ψ ( ε ) + ( k BT ) 2 ⎢ ⎥ +… . (VI.20)
0 0
6 ⎣ ∂ε ⎦ μ

Now if we define ψ (ε) = εN(ε) in EQ. (VI.20), we find the following expression for the energy:

π2 ∂
( k BT ) ⎡⎢ {N ( ε ) ε }⎤⎥
∞ μ
ε = ∫0 d ε N ( ε ) ε n( ε ) = ∫0 d ε N ( ε ) ε +
2
+… . (VI.21)
6 ⎣ ∂ε ⎦μ

Similarly, if we take ψ (ε) = N(ε), we may relate the Fermi energy εF to the chemical potential μ by the
following expression:

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

∞ εF μ π2 ⎡ ∂N ( ε ) ⎤
d ε N ( ε ) n( ε ) = ∫ d ε N ( ε ) = ∫ d ε N ( ε ) + ( k BT ) ⎢
2

0 0 0
6 ⎣ ∂ε ⎥⎦ μ
+… , (VI.22)

so that
μ εF π2 ⎡ ∂N ( ε ) ⎤
∫ dε N (ε ) − ∫ dε N (ε ) ≈ ( μ − ε F ) N (ε F ) ≈ − ( k BT ) 2 ⎢ ⎥
0 0
6 ⎣ ∂ε ⎦ ε F
π2 ∂ π2 2 ⎡ 1 ∂N ( ε ) ⎤
( k BT ) ⎢⎡ lnN ( ε ) ⎥⎤ = ε F − ( k BT ) ⎢
2
⇒ μ ≈ εF − ⎥. (VI.23)
6 ⎣ ∂ε ⎦ε F 6 ⎢⎣ N ( ε F ) ∂ε εF ⎥

Therefore, from EQ. (VI.21) the specific heat becomes

∂ε 2 2
⎛ d μ ⎞ π kB ⎡ ∂N ( ε ) ⎤
Cv = = N (μ) μ ⎜ ⎟ + T ⎢N ( ε ) + μ +…
∂T ⎝ dT ⎠ 3 ⎣ ∂ε ⎥⎦ μ

π 2 k B2 ⎡⎛ d μ ⎞ π 2 k B2T ∂N ( ε ) ⎤
= T N ( ε F ) + N ( μ ) μ ⎢⎜ ⎟+ ⎥ +…
3 ⎣⎝ dT ⎠ 3N ( ε ) ∂ε ⎦ μ
π 2 k B2T 1
≈ N (ε F ) = m* k F k B2T . (VI.24)
3 3

where we have used EQ. (VI.23) in the deriving the last line of EQ. (VI.24).

Similarly, we may consider the spin susceptibility of a Fermi liquid by the following consideration. In
the presence of an external magnetic field H, the quasiparticle energy is modified by the amount due to spin-
field coupling:

σ = − μ B σ i H + ∑ f ( k , σ ; k , σ ) δ nk ′σ ′ .
δε kσ = − μ B* σ i H ≡ δε k(1)σ + δε k(2) ′ ′ (VI.25)
k ′σ ′

Assuming that in the weak field limit the Fermi liquid function can be expressed in terms a spin-independent
part and a spin-dependent part:

f ( k , σ ; k ′, σ ′ ) = f 0 ( k , k ′ ) + ( σ i σ′ ) f1 ( k , k ′ ) . (VI.26)

Using EQs. (VI.25) and (VI.26), we find that

δ nk ′σ ′
− μ B* σ i H = − μ B σ i H + ∑ f ( k , σ ; k ′, σ ′ ) δε k ′σ ′
k ′σ ′ δε k ′σ ′
δn
= − μ B σ i H + ∑ f ( k , σ ; k ′, σ ′ ) k ′σ ′ − μ B* σ′ i H ,
δε k ′σ ′
( )
k ′σ ′

2 δ nk ′ ( ε ′ )
⇒ μ B* = μ B + μ B* ∑ f1 ( k , k ′ ) , (VI.27)
3 k′ δε ′

because the term associated with f 0 vanishes after summing over σ ′. For T → 0, the derivative of the density
distribution function in EQ. (VI.27) can be replaced by −δ ( ε F − ε ) and the amplitude of k and k′ can be

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-6 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

replaced by kF. Therefore, we may write f1 ( k , k ′ ) = φ ( k F , θ ) with θ being the angle between k and k′, and
EQ. (VI.27) reduces to
μB 2
μ B* = , where s≡ N (ε F ) φ ( kF ,θ ) , (VI.28)
(1 + s ) 3

N ( ε F ) denotes the density of states at the Fermi level, and φ ( k F , θ ) represents averaging over the Fermi
surface. Finally, the magnetic susceptibility is given by

χ P0 μ B2 N ( ε F )
χP = ≡ , (VI.29)
(1 + s ) (1 + s )
where χ P0 is the Pauli spin susceptibility for free electron spins.

In general, our description of the Fermi liquid theory is based on the notion of well-defined
quasiparticles, so that not only the total number of quasiparticles is conserved, but also the number of
quasiparticles in a given momentum direction. Hence, a Fermi liquid has an infinite number of conserved
quantities, which implies that we can develop a hydrodynamic theory for a Fermi liquid and that a Fermi
liquid contains many bosonic modes, one mode for each conserved quantity. For hydrodynamic descriptions
of a Fermi liquid in two dimensions, you may consult Chapter 5 of “Quantum Field Theory of Many-Body
Systems” by Xiao-Gang Wen.

Now that we have established the phenomenology of Fermi liquid theory, we want to further
investigate the physical origin of the Fermi liquid function and to build the foundation of Fermi liquid theory
on quantum field theory.

VI.2. Vertex Contributions to the Fermi Liquid Theory

As mentioned in the previous section, the Fermi liquid function contains information of quasiparticle
interaction. It is natural to consider the type of interaction due to two quasiparticle scattering, which is
diagrammatically associated with the vertex contribution.

Let us begin with the diagrammatic descriptions for quasiparticles. The particle-like excitations may be
considered as a pole of the retarded Green’s function GR in the lower half-plane near the positive real half-
line of the complex energy variable ε, whereas the hole-like excitations correspond to a pole of the advanced
Green’s function GA in the upper half-plane near the negative real half-line of the complex variable ε.
Therefore, the Green’s function for quasiparticles G can be expressed by the following form

⎡ a ⎤
G ( k , ε ) = lim ⎢ ⎥ (VI.30)
⎣ ε − v ( k − k F ) + iη sgn ( k − k F ) ⎦
η →0 +

for (|k|, ε) near (kF, 0), v = kF/m*, and a is a coefficient between 0 and 1, which will be determined a bit later.
Next, we consider the properties of the vertex part Γ ( k1 , k2 ; k3 , k4 ) . Specifically, we are interested in the
behavior of small momentum and energy transfer so that k1 is near k3 and k2 is near k4. We therefore
introduce the notation

Γ ( k1 , k2 ; k1 + κ , k2 − κ ) ≡ Γ ( k1 , k2 ; κ ) , (VI.31)

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

where the energy-momentum transfer k = (κ, ε) is a small four-vector so that |κ| << kF and ε << μ. The vertex
part can be expressed in terms of the sum over the ladder diagrams as shown in Fig. VI.2.1.

k1 + κ k2 − κ k1 + κ k2 − κ k1 + κ k2 − κ k1 + κ k2 − κ k1 + κ k2 − κ
q+κ q+κ
γ δ γ δ γ η δ(1) γ δ γ η δ
Γ = Γ(1) + Γ(1)
ξ
Γ +… = Γ(1) + Γ(1)
ξ
Γ
α β α β α β α β α β
q q
k1 k2 k1 k2 k1 k2 k1 k2 k1 k2

Fig. VI.2.1 The ladder-diagram contributions to the two-particle scattering vertex Γ. Here Γ(1) denotes
the vertex contribution that does not involve singularities upon κ → 0.

It is worth mentioning that there are in fact three different types of ladder diagrams associated with the
vertex contributions, as illustrated in Fig. VI.2.2. However, the first two types illustrated in Figs. VI.2.2 (a) –
(b) nothing special happens as κ → 0, whereas the poles of the two Green’s functions of Fig. VI.2.2 (c),
which is equivalent to Fig. VI.2.1, come together as κ → 0, leading to the appearance of singularities in Γ.

More explicitly, we can express the sum in Fig. VI.2.1 as an integral equation:

d 4q
Γαβ ,γδ ( k1 , k2 ; κ ) = Γαβ
(1)
,γδ ( k1 , k 2 ; κ ) − i ∫
(1)
Γαξ ,γη ( k1 , − q; κ ) G ( q ) G ( q + κ ) Γξβ ,ηδ ( q , k 2 ; κ ) , (VI.32)
( 2π )
4

where Γ(1) denotes the vertex contribution that does not yield singularities upon taking κ → 0, although Γ(1)
must contain pertinent momentum transfer to satisfy the diagrammatic representations. The integral in EQ.
(VI.32) consists of the contribution from regions far away from the point (|q| = kF, ε = 0) and that from the
neighborhood of this point, and the latter contribution determines the singularities of the expression. For
small momentum transfer κ, we may treat the neighborhood of the point (|q| = kF, ε = 0) to be small, so that
the only significant contribution to the integral comes from the part of the contour going around the poles of
the Green’s functions. Given that the poles of the two Green’s functions are very close to each other, we may
assume that other quantities in the integrand are slowly varying, and the only non-trivial contributions from
the poles can only occur if the poles lie on the opposite side of the real axis. Thus, the only possibilities for
the condition to be satisfied are |q| < kF, |q + κ| > kF or |q| > kF, |q + κ| < kF. For small κ, we must have |q| ≈
kF and ε = 0. Therefore, the product of the Green’s functions G(q) G(q+κ) may be replaced by Aδ(ε)δ(|q|−kF),
where the coefficient A is determined by integrating G(q) G(q+κ) relative to |q| and ε, which yields:

i 2π a 2 v iκ
A= , (VI.33)
v ω − v iκ

where v directs along q and |v| = kF/m*. Therefore, we can express the product G(q) G(q+κ) as follows:

i 2π a 2 viκ
G( q ) G( q + κ ) = δ ( ε ) δ ( q − k F ) + ϕ ( q ) ≡ i Φ( q ) + ϕ ( q ) , (VI.34)
v ω − viκ

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Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

where ϕ ( q ) represents the regular part of G(q) G(q+κ) that is important only in the integral far from the
point (|q| = kF, ε = 0).

(a) k2 k2 − κ (b) k2 − κ k1 + κ (c) k1 + κ k2 − κ


q+k2−k1−κ
k1+k2−q q+κ
β η δ δ η γ γ η δ
Γ(1) Γ Γ(1) Γ Γ(1) Γ
ξ γ ξ β ξ β
α α α
q q q
k1 k1 + κ k1 k2 k1 k2

Fig. VI.2.2 Three different types of ladder diagrams for the two-particle scattering vertex Γ:
, βη ( k1 , − q; − k1 − k 2 ) , Γξγ ,ηδ ( q , − k1 − κ ; − k1 − k 2 ) ; (b) Γαξ ,δη ( k1 , − q; k 2 − k1 − κ ) ,
(1) (1)
(a) Γαξ
Γξβ ,ηγ ( q, k2 ; k 2 − k1 − κ ) ; (c) Γαξ
(1)
,γη ( k1 , − q; κ ) , Γξβ ,ηδ ( q , k 2 ; κ ) .

The limit of the Green’s function product in EQ. (VI.32) and that of the vertex Γ as κ, ω → 0 depend
on the ratio of |κ| to ω. We first consider the limit ω → 0 and |κ| /ω → 0 so that i Φ( q ) → 0 from EQ.
ω
(VI.34), and denote the vertex in this limit by Γ . Thus, EQ. (VI.32) can be rewritten into

d 4q
,γδ ( k1 , k 2 ; κ ) = Γαβ ,γδ ( k1 , k 2 ; κ ) − i ∫ ,γη ( k1 , − q; κ ) ϕ ( q ) Γξβ ,ηδ ( q , k 2 ; κ ) .
ω (1) (1) ω
Γαβ Γαξ (VI.35)
( 2π )
4

To eliminate Γ(1) from EQ. (VI.35), we use the following short-hand expressions to rewrite EQs. (VI.32) and
(VI.35):
Γ = Γ (1) − i Γ (1) ( i Φ + ϕ ) Γ , (VI.36)
ω (1) (1) ω
Γ =Γ −iΓ ϕ Γ , (VI.37)

where the products are interpreted as integrals. From EQ. (VI.37) we obtain

( )
−1
Γ ω = 1 + i Γ (1)ϕ Γ (1) , (VI.38)

and using EQs. (VI.36) and (VI.38) we find

Γ = Γ ω + Γ ω ΦΓ , (VI.39)

which can be explicitly written as

a 2 k F2 viκ
Γαβ ,γδ ( k1 , k2 ; κ ) = Γαβ
ω
,γδ ( k1 , k 2 ; κ ) + Γαξ ,γη ( k1 , − q; κ ) Γξβ ,ηδ ( q, k 2 ; κ ) .
ω
( 2π ) v ∫ ω − v i κ

3
(VI.40)

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-9 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

Next, we consider the other limiting case where |κ| → 0 and ω/|κ| → 0, and we denote the vertex
κ κ ω
contribution in this limit by Γ . Using EQ. (VI.40), we obtain the following relation between Γ and Γ :

a 2 k F2
,γδ ( k1 , k 2 ; κ ) = Γαβ ,γδ ( k1 , k 2 ; κ ) − d Ω Γαξ ,γη ( k1 , − q; κ ) Γξβ ,ηδ ( q, k2 ; κ ) .
κ ω ω κ
( 2π ) v ∫
Γαβ 3
(VI.41)

Now we are ready to investigate the poles of the vertex Γ ( k1 , k2 ; κ ) for small κ and ω. Noting that near the
pole Γ ( k1 , k2 ; κ ) Γω ( k1 , k2 ; κ ) , we may neglect the first term Γ in the right-hand side of EQ. (VI.41).
ω

Furthermore, by inspecting the second term in EQ. (VI.41) and Fig. VI.2.1, we find that near the pole,

,γδ ∼ χαγ ( k1 ; κ ) χ βδ ( k 2 ; κ ) , Γκξβ ,ηδ ∼ χξη ( q; κ ) χ βδ


κ
Γαβ ′ and ′ ( k2 ; κ ) , (VI.42)

ω
where χ and χ′ are two functions. Inserting EQ. (VI.42) into EQ. (VI.41) and neglecting the first term Γ ,
′ ( k2 ; κ ) on both sides, and obtain the following:
we can cancel the common term χ βδ

a 2 k F2
χαγ ( k1 ; κ → 0 ) ≈ − d Ω Γαξ ,γη ( k , − q; κ → 0 ) χξη ( q; κ → 0 ) .
ω
( 2π ) v ∫
3 1
(VI.43)

Inserting EQ. (VI.43) into EQ. (VI.40), we have for a finite κ:

a 2 k F2 viκ
χαγ ( k1 ; κ ) ≈ Γαξ ,γη ( k1 , − q; κ ) χξη ( q; κ ) .
ω
( 2π ) v ∫ ω − v i κ

3
(VI.44)

If we define
niκ
vαγ ( n ) = χαγ ( q; κ ) , (VI.45)
ω − niκ

where n denotes the normal vector along k1, EQ. (VI.44) can be rewritten into:

k F2
(ω − n i κ ) vαγ ( n ) = n i κ d Ω a Γαξ ,γη ( n, l ) vξη ( l ) .
ω
( 2π ) ∫
2
3
(VI.46)

Here l denotes the normal vector along q for small κ. We’ll show in Part VI.3 that EQ. (VI.46) is essentially
the equation for zero sound and spin waves, which is natural because the poles of the vertex determine the
ω
acoustic excitations of the Fermi liquid. Moreover, the quantity a2 Γ is in fact the Fermi liquid function f
κ
introduced in Part VI.1, and its relation to a2Γ through EQ. (VI.41) implies that the Fermi liquid function is
related to the forward scattering amplitude of two quasiparticles. To understand the last point, we note that
the two-particle Green’s function consists of two parts, one corresponds to the free motion of two particles
and the other corresponds to scattering of the particles by each other:

,γδ ( k1 , k 2 ; k3 , k 4 ) = ( 2π ) G ( k1 ) G ( k 2 ) ⎡
⎣δ ( k1 − k3 ) δαγ δ βδ − δ ( k1 − k4 ) δ βγ δαδ ⎤⎦
(2) 4 (0) (0)
Gαβ
+iG (0)( k1 ) G (0) ( k2 ) G (0)( k3 ) G (0)( k4 ) Γαβ
′ ,γδ ( k1 , k2 ; k3 , k4 ) . (VI.47)

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-10 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

We have also mentioned in the beginning of this section that near the poles, the Green’s functions of
quasiparticles have a form very similar to the free-particle Green’s function except a factor a. Therefore,
from EQ. (VI.47) we find that a 2 Γαβ′ ,γδ ( k1 , k2 ; k3 , k4 ) corresponds to the amplitude of scattering two
quasiparticles. In particular, in the limit of ω = 0, a 2 Γκ ( k1 , k2 ; k3 , k4 ) corresponds to the forward scattering
amplitude. Consequently, given a scattering mechanism for quasiparticles, we can in principle calculate the
vertex contribution and establish the effective mass and various properties of a Fermi liquid system. In Part
II.10 we have investigated a specific case of electron-phonon scattering, which is one of the fundamental
processes in condensed matter physics. Another special case related to resonant scattering of electrons due to
many-body interactions with magnetic impurities will be considered in Part VII.

Having established the physical significance of the vertex contribution, we derive in Part VI.3
several basic relations of Fermi liquid theory and investigate the bosonic excitations (zero sound and spin
waves) in Fermi liquid systems.

VI.3. Basic Relations of Fermi Liquid Theory

To derive basic relations of Fermi liquid theory involving the Green’s function of quasiparticles, we
need to investigate how the two-particle Green’s function varies under a small perturbation field. We shall
consider in the following four different types of small perturbations that lead to four relations between the
Green’s function of interacting quasiparticles and the vertex contributions.

Let’s first consider a perturbation in the form of an external time-dependent field δU(t). The
corresponding interacting Hamiltonian is therefore given by

H int = ∫ d 3 x ψ γ†( x ) δ U ( t ) ψ γ ( x ) . (VI.48)

If we express the Green’s function in the interaction picture with respect to Hint and expanding the Green’s
function in a power series in δU(t) and then keeping terms up to the first order in δU(t), we find that the
changes in the Green’s function under the perturbation becomes:

δ Gαβ ( x, x′ ) = − ∫ d 4 y δ U ( t y ) ⎡⎣ T (ψ Hα ( x )ψ H† γ ( y )ψ H γ ( y )ψ H† β ( x′ ) ) − T (ψ H α ( x )ψ H† β ( x′ ) ) ψ H† γ ( y )ψ H γ ( y ) ⎤⎦
(VI.49)
where ψH are the Heisenberg operators of the interacting particles in the absence of the external perturbation
field δU(t). Comparing EQ. (VI.49) with the two-particle Green’s function, we may rewrite δGαβ into:

δ Gαβ ( x, x′ ) = δαβ ∫ d 4 y δ U ( t y ) [G ( x − y ) G ( y − x′ )]

( )∫d
− i∫ d 4 y δU t y 4
x1d 4 x2 d 4 x3 d 4 x4 G ( x − x1 ) G ( y − x2 ) G ( x3 − x′ ) G ( x4 − y ) Γαγ , βγ ( x1 , x2 ; x3 , x4 ) .
(VI.50)

The diagrams equivalent to EQ. (VI.50) is shown in Fig. VI.3.1. The Fourier transformation of EQ. (VI.50)
becomes

δ Gαβ = δ αβ G ( k ) δ U ( ω ) G ( k + κ1 )
d 4q
− i G ( k ) G ( k + κ1 ) ∫ G ( q ) δ U ( ω ) G ( q + κ1 ) Γαγ , βγ ( k , q; κ1 ) , (VI.51)
( 2π )
4

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-11 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

where κ1 ≡ ( 0, ω ) . Furthermore, we note that the field δU(t) has no effect on the spin of the particles, so that
δGαβ is proportional to δαβ, so we can take the trace of EQ. (VI.51) and rewrite it into:

δ G = G ( k ) δ U ( ω ) G ( k + κ1 )
1 d 4q
− i G ( k ) G ( k + κ1 ) Γαβ ,αβ ( k , q; κ1 ) G ( q ) δ U ( ω ) G ( q + κ1 ) .
2 ∫ ( 2π )
4
(VI.52)

x′,β x′,β

δU x3 x4 δU
δ Gαβ ( x, x′ ) = y,γ +
x1 x2 y,γ

x,α x,α

Figure VI.3.1 Diagrammatic expression for δ Gαβ ( x, x′ ) under an external perturbation field δU, to
the first order in δU.

On the other hand, in the limit of δU → constant, the interaction Hamiltonian becomes

H int = δ U ∫ d 3 x ψ α† ( x ) ψ α ( x ) = δ U Nˆ , (VI.53)

where N̂ is the total number operator of the system. Consequently, the Green’s function of the perturbed
( ) − i δ U t −t ′
system can be obtained by simply multiplying the unperturbed Green’s function by e , which
corresponds to shifting the energy of the system by −δU. In other words, we have ( δ G δ U ) → − ( ∂G ∂ε )
for ω → 0. Therefore, from EQ. (VI.52) we find

∂G ⎡ i d 4q ω ⎤
= − {G ( k )} ⎢1 − ∫
2
Γαβ ,αβ ( k , q ) {G 2 ( q )} ⎥ , (VI.54)
∂ε ⎣⎢ 2 ( 2π )
ω 4 ω
ω →0 ⎦⎥

where we have denoted

lim G ( k ) G ( k + κ1 ) ≡ {G 2 ( k )} = ϕ ( k )
ω →0 ω

by using EQ. (VI.34). Writing G(k) in the form of EQ. (VI.30) and dividing EQ. (VI.54) by − G 2 ( k ) { }ω
, we
obtain the first basic formula:

∂G −1 ( k ) 1 d 4q
∂ε
=
a
= 1−
i
2 ∫ ( 2π )
4
ω
Γαβ {
,αβ ( k , q ) G ( q )
2
} ω
. (VI.55)

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-12 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

The second equation can be obtained by considering an external perturbation due to a small charge
variation δ e in the presence of a vector potential A that is homogeneous in space and constant in time. The
change in the Hamiltonian due to this perturbation is therefore given by the following:

δe
H int = − ∫ d x ψ ( x ) ( kˆ iA( x ) ) ψ ( x ) ,
3 †
α α (VI.56)
m

where k denotes the momentum operator. Defining κ 2 ≡ ( κ , 0 ) and following similar steps leading to EQ.
(VI.55), we have

δe ˆ
δ G = −G ( k )
m
( k iA ) G( k + κ 2 )
i d 4q δe
+ G( k ) G( k + κ 2 ) Γαβ ,αβ ( k , q; κ 2 ) G ( q ) ( qi A ) G( q + κ 2 ) ,
2 ∫ ( 2π )
4
(VI.57)
m

In the limit of k → 0, the gauge invariance leads to ( δ G Aδ e ) → − ( ∂G ∂k ) , so that for k → 0 and δ e → 0,


we obtain a second relation for the Green’s function G(k) by dividing − G 2 ( k ) { } κ
from EQ. (VI.57):

d 4q
∇ k G −1 ( k ) = −
v
a
=−
k
ma*
=−
k
m
+
i
2 ∫ ( 2π )
4
κ
Γαβ ,αβ ( k , q )
q
m
{G ( q )}
2
κ
, (VI.58)

where lim G ( k ) G ( k + κ 2 ) ≡ {G 2 ( k )} .
κ →0 κ

The third equation can be obtained by considering the variation in the Green’s function when the
system as a whole moves with a small and slowly varying velocity δ u(t). In this case, the Hamiltonian of the
system is modified by adding the following:

δ H = − δ u i K = − δ u i ∫ d 3 x ψ α† ( x ) k ψ α ( x ) , (VI.59)

where K is the total momentum operator of the system. Therefore, the variation in the Green’s function is

δ G = − G ( k ) ( k i δ u )( ω ) G ( k + κ1 )
i d 4q
+ G ( k ) G ( k + κ1 ) Γαβ ,αβ ( k , q; κ1 ) G ( q ) ( q i δ u )( ω ) G ( q + κ1 ) ,
2 ∫ ( 2π )
4
(VI.60)

where κ1 ≡ ( 0, ω ) as defined before. In the ω → 0 limit, the change in the Green’s function is consistent with
a transformation to a coordinate that moves with a constant velocity δ u. Therefore, the energy change is δε =
( k i δ u ) and δ G = ( ∂G ∂ε ) k i δ u , so that from EQ. (VI.60) we find that by dividing − G 2 ( k ) , we have { }ω

∂G −1 d 4q
k
∂ε
=
k
a
=k−
i
2 ∫ ( 2π )
4
ω
Γαβ {
,αβ ( k , q ) q G ( q )
2
}ω . (VI.61)

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-13 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

Finally, the fourth equation can be derived by considering the change in the Green’s function under the
influence of a small field δU(x) constant in time and weakly homogeneous in space. The change in the
Green’s function is given by

δ G = G( k ) δ U ( κ ) G( k + κ 2 )
i d 4q
− G( k ) G( k + κ 2 ) Γαβ ,αβ ( k , q; κ 2 ) G ( q ) δ U ( κ ) G ( q + κ 2 ) ,
2 ∫ ( 2π )
4
(VI.62)

where κ 2 ≡ ( κ , 0 ) as defined before. Moreover, under equilibrium condition we have μ + δU = constant.


Consequently, for κ → 0 the change in the chemical potential is −δU, so that in the limit of κ → 0 and δU →
0, we have from EQ. (VI.62) the following relation:

∂G −1 d 4q
∂μ
= 1−
i
2 ∫ ( 2π )
4
κ
Γαβ {
,αβ ( k , q ) G ( q )
2
} κ
. (VI.63)

Using EQs. (VI.41), (VI.55), (VI.58), (VI.61) and (VI.63), we are ready to derive the basic relations of
the Fermi liquid theory. In the following we consider the effective mass expression, the relation between the
Fermi momentum and the particle density, and the acoustic excitations.

[Effective mass]

First, we rewrite EQ. (VI.41) into the following:

a 2 k F2
,αβ ( k , q ) = Γαβ ,αβ ( k , q ) − d Ω Γαξ ,αη ( k , − q ) Γξβ ,ηβ ( q, q′ )
( 2π ) v ∫
κ ω ω κ
Γαβ ′ ′ 3

a 2 k F2
= ω
Γαβ ,αβ ( k , q′ ) − ∫ d Ω Γαβ ,αβ ( k , − q ) Γα ′β ′,α ′β ′( q, q′ )
ω κ
(VI.64)
2 ( 2π ) v
3

Substituting EQ. (VI.64) into EQ. (VI.58), we obtain

d 4 q′ q′

ma
k
*
+
k
m
=
i
2 ∫ ( 2π )
4
κ
Γαβ ,αβ ( k , q )

m
{G ( q′)}2
κ
,

d 4 q′ q′ a 2 k F2 ⎡i d 4 q′ ′ ⎤
=
i
2 ∫ ( 2π )
ω
Γαβ ,αβ ( k , q )
′ { G 2 ( q′ ) } −
2 ( 2π ) v
∫ d Ω Γαβ ,αβ ( k , − q ) ⎢
ω
∫ Γακ ′β ′,α ′β ′( q, q′ ) {G 2 ( q′ )} ⎥
q
⎢ 2 ( 2π )
4 κ 3 4 κ
m ⎣ m ⎦⎥
4
a 2 k F2 ⎛ q⎞
=
i d q
2 ∫ ( 2π )
4
ω
Γαβ ,αβ ( k , q )
q
m
{G ( q )}
2
κ

2 ( 2π ) v
∫ d Ω Γαβ ,αβ ( k , − q ) ⎜⎝ − m*a + m ⎟⎠ .
3
ω q
(VI.65)

From EQ. (VI.34), we have

i 2π a 2
{
G2 (q) }κ
=−
v
δ (ε ) δ ( q − kF ) + G 2 ( q ) . { } ω
(VI.66)

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-14 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

Inserting EQ. (VI.66) into EQ. (VI.65) and then using EQ. (VI.61), also taking the limit |k| → kF and ε → 0,
defining k iq ≡ k F2 cos θ , and noting that v = k/m*, we obtain:

kF kF i ⎛ 2π ia 2 m* ⎞ k F2 d Ω ω k cos θ ⎛ k F k F ⎞
− + = ⎜− ⎟∫ Γαβ ,αβ (θ ) F +⎜− + ⎟
m* a ⎠ ( 2π )
4
m 2⎝ kF m ⎝ ma m ⎠
a 2 k F m* ⎛ k F cos θ k F cos θ ⎞
∫ d Ω Γαβ ,αβ (θ ) ⎜⎝ −
ω
− + ⎟
2 ( 2π )
3 *
ma m ⎠
1 1 kF
∫ d Ω a Γαβ ,αβ (θ ) cos θ .
2 ω
⇒ = + (VI.67)
2 ( 2π )
* 3
m m

Comparing EQ. (VI.67) with EQ. (VI.15), we find the following relation between the vertex contribution and
the Fermi-liquid function:

,αβ (θ ) = Trσ Trσ ′ { f (θ , σ , σ )} .


ω
a 2 Γαβ ′ (VI.68)

[Relation between Fermi momentum and particle density]


Next, we want to examine the validity of EQ. (VI.1)

1/ 3
⎛ N⎞
k F = ⎜ 3π 2 ⎟ , (VI.1)
⎝ Ω⎠

for a Fermi liquid under finite quasiparticle interaction. The validity of this relation is one of the most
essential properties of the Fermi liquid theory, because it confirms Landau’s assumption that interacting
quasiparticles still preserve the same states as the non-interacting Fermi gas. Noting that the Green’s function
can be related to the density of states, we begin by considering the Green’s function expression in EQ.
(VI.30) near the pole for |k| → kF and ε → 0. Given that the coefficient a, the velocity v and the Fermi
momentum kF are all functions of the chemical potential, we have

∂G G da G2 dv G2 dk F G2 dk F
= − ( k − kF ) − v ≈− v ,
∂μ a dμ a dμ a dμ a dμ
dk F ⎛ ∂G −1 ⎞
⇒ v = a⎜ ⎟ . (VI.69)
dμ ⎝ ∂μ ⎠ε =0, k = k F

Substituting EQ. (VI.63) into EQ. (VI.69) and using EQ. (VI.64) to express Γκ, we obtain

d 4q 1 a 2 k F2 ⎛ v dk F ⎞
( k , q ) {G ( q )}κ −
v dk F i
d Ω Γαβ ,αβ ( k , q ) ⎜
2 ∫ ( 2π ) 2 ( 2π ) v ∫
ω 2 ω
= 1− Γαβ ,αβ − 1⎟ . (VI.70)
a dμ 4 3
⎝ a dμ ⎠

Inserting EQ. (VI.66) into the expression for G 2 ( q ) { }κ


in EQ. (VI.70), we find

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-15 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

−1
v dk F⎧⎪ k F2 ⎫⎪
= ⎨1 + ∫ ⎣
d Ω ⎡ a 2 ω
Γ αβ ,αβ ( k , q ) ⎤
⎦⎬ .
a dμ ⎩ ⎪ 2 ( 2π ) v
3
⎪⎭
⎛ ∂G −1 ⎞ d 4q κ
Γαβ ,αβ ( k , q ) {G 2 ( q )}
i
=⎜ ⎟ = 1− ∫ (VI.71)
⎝ ∂μ ⎠ε =0, k = kF 2 ( 2π )
4 κ

Next, we note that the total number density of particles (N/Ω) is related to the Green’s function by the
following relation

N
= ψ H† α ( x )ψ H α ( x ) = −i lim x′→x ,t ′→t + Gαα ( x − x′ ) = −2i lim x′→ x ,t ′→t + G ( x − x′ )
Ω
d 3k d ω
= −2i limt →0+ ∫ G ( k , ω ) eiωt . (VI.72)
( 2π )
4

Differentiating EQ. (VI.72) with respective to the chemical potential μ gives

d ( N Ω) d 4 k ∂G ( k ) d 4 k ⎡ ∂G ( k ) ⎤
−1

= −2i ∫ = 2i ∫ ⎥ {G ( k )}κ .
2
⎢ (VI.73)
dμ ( 2π ) ∂μ ( 2π ) ∂μ
4 4
⎣ ⎦

Taking EQ. (VI.63) and using EQ. (VI.41) for Γκ in EQ. (VI.73), we have

d ( N Ω) d 4k d 4k d 4q
= 2i ∫ {G 2( k ) } +∫ {G ( k )} { }
,αβ ( k , q ) G ( q )
( 2π ) ∫ ( 2π )
2 ω 2
Γαβ
dμ ( 2π )
4 κ 4 4 κ κ

d 4k d 4q ⎛ a 2 k F2 ⎞
+∫ ⎟⎟ ∫ d Ω {G ( k )}κ Γαβ ,αβ ( k , − q ) Γα ′β ′,α ′β ′( q, q′ ) {G ( q )}κ . (VI.74)
( 2π ) ∫ ( 2π )
2 ω κ 2
4 4 ⎜−
⎜ 2 ( 2π ) 3
⎝ v⎠

Noting that EQ. (VI.71) can be rewritten into

⎛ v dk F ⎞ d 4q κ
Γα ′β ′,α ′β ′( k , q ) {G 2 ( q )} ,
i
⎜ a dμ ⎟

− 1

= − ∫
2 ( 2π )
4 κ
(VI.75)

we can express EQ. (VI.74) by the following relation

d ( N Ω) d 4k d 4k d 4q
= 2i ∫ {G 2( k ) } +∫ {G ( k )} { }
,αβ ( k , q ) G ( q )
( 2π ) ∫ ( 2π )
2 ω 2
Γαβ
dμ ( 2π )
4 κ 4 4 κ κ

ia 2 k F2 d 4k ⎛ v dk F ⎞
d Ω {G ( k )} ,αβ ( k , − q ) ⎜
( 2π ) v ∫ ( 2π ) ∫
2 ω
− Γαβ − 1⎟ . (VI.76)
⎝ a dμ ⎠
3 4 κ

Using EQ. (VI.66) for G 2( k ) { } κ


in EQ. (VI.76), we obtain individual terms in EQ. (VI.76) as follows:

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-16 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

d 4k d 4k 8π a 2 k F2
2i ∫ {
G 2( k ) }κ = 2i ∫ { G 2( k ) }ω + ; (VI.77)
( 2π ) ( 2π ) ( 2π )
4 4 3
v
d 4k d 4q
∫ ( 2π ) ∫ ( 2π ) {G ( k )} ,αβ ( k , − q ) G ( q ) { }
2 ω 2
4 4
Γαβ
κ κ

d 4k d 4q ⎛ i 4π k F2 a 2 ⎞ d 4 q ω
=∫ {G ( k )}ω Γαβω αβ ( k , −q ) {G ( q )}ω − ⎜⎜ Γαβ ,αβ ( k , − q ) {G 2( q )}
( 2π ) ∫ ( 2π )
⎟⎟ ∫
2 2
,
⎝( ) v ⎠ ( )
4 4 3 4 ω
2π 2π
⎛ i 4π k F2 a 2 ⎞ d 4 k ω ⎛ k F4 a 4 ⎞
−⎜
⎜ ( 2π )3 v ⎟ ∫ ( 2π ) 4 αβ ,αβ
⎟ Γ ( k , − q ) { G 2
( k )}ω
− ⎜ 16π 5 v 2 ⎟ ∫ d Ω Γαβ ,αβ ( k , − q ) ;
ω
(VI.78)
⎝ ⎠ ⎝ ⎠
2 2 4
⎛ v dk F ⎞
d Ω {G 2( k )} Γαβ
ia k F d k
− ∫ 4 ∫
ω
,αβ ( k , −q ) ⎜ − 1⎟
( 2π ) v ( 2π ) ⎝ a dμ ⎠
3 κ

ia 2 k F2 d 4k
}ω Γαβω αβ ( k , −q ) ⎛⎜ av dk ⎞ k a ⎛ v dk ⎞ 4 4

=− ∫ ( 2π ) 4 ∫ {
d Ω G 2( k ) , − 1⎟ − ∫
ω
d Ω Γαβ αβ ( k , − q ) ⎜
F
− 1⎟ .
F
,
F

( 2π ) v ⎝ d μ ⎠ 16π v ⎝ a dμ ⎠
5 2
3

(VI.79)
Inserting EQs. (VI.77) – (VI.79) into EQ. (VI.76), we find cancellations of terms between EQ. (VI.78) and
EQ. (VI.79). By further applying EQ. (VI.55) to the sum of the three terms, we arrive at

d ( N Ω) d 4k d 4k d 4q 8π a 2 k F2
= 2i ∫ { G 2( k ) } +∫ 4 {
G 2( k ) }ω {
,αβ ( k , q ) G ( q ) }ω
( 2π ) ∫ ( 2π )
ω 2
Γαβ +
dμ ( 2π ) ( 2π )
4 ω 4 3
v
8π k F2 ( a − 1) dk F k a 4 4
⎛ v dk F ⎞
∫ d Ω Γαβ ,αβ ( k , −q ) ⎜⎝ a d μ ⎟⎠ .
ω
− v − F
(VI.81)
( 2π ) v d μ
3 5 2
16π v

The first two terms in EQ. (VI.81) can be simplified by applying EQ. (VI.55), which yields

d 4k ⎡ d 4q ω ⎤
∫ ( 2π )4 { }ω ⎢ ∫ 4 Γαβ ,αβ ( k , q ) {G 2( q )}ω ⎥
G 2( k )
⎢⎣
2i +
( 2π ) ⎥⎦
d 4k ⎡ ⎛ ∂G −1 ⎞ ⎤ d 4 k ∂G
4 { }ω ⎢
=∫ G 2
( k ) 2i + 2 i ⎜ ∂ε − 1 ⎟⎥ = −2i ∫ ( 2π )4 ∂ε
( 2π ) ⎣ ⎝ ⎠⎦
d 3k
= −2i ∫ ⎡⎣G ( ε = ∞ ) − G ( ε = −∞ ) ⎤⎦ = 0 .
( 2π )
4

We may also use EQ. (VI.72) to express the last term of EQ. (VI.81). Finally, we obtain

d ( N Ω) 8π k F2 dk F
= . (VI.82)
( 2π )
3
dμ dμ

Integrating with respect to μ, we find

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-17 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

N 8π k F3 k F3
= = .
3 ( 2π )
3
Ω 3π 2

Thus, we have proven that EQ. (VI.1) holds under finite quasiparticle interaction.

[Acoustic excitations in Fermi liquids]


Generally speaking, the propagation of sound in a Fermi liquid has some special features that differ
from those of a Bose liquid at very low temperatures. If we consider temperatures that are not too low, sound
propagates in a Fermi liquid according to the laws of ordinary hydrodynamics, which is known as the first
sound, and the corresponding attenuation is determined by the time τ between collisions of excitations. As
temperature T is lowered, the probability of collisions decreases, and the collision time increases with
decreasing temperature following a relation τ ∝ T−2. Eventually first sound ceases to propagate when
temperature is lowered to the extent that ωτ ~ 1, where ω denotes the frequency. However, if the temperature
is further lowered until ωτ >> 1, sound can propagate again, but this high-frequency sound propagation (in
contrast to the low-frequency sound in the limit of ωτ << 1) is no longer associated with the compressibility
of the Fermi liquid. Rather, it is mediated by quasiparticle excitations that lead to anisotropic Fermi surface
distortion, which differs from the situation associated with first sound that involves an isotropic Fermi sphere
as a whole with a fluctuating radius and also oscillations about the k = 0 point. We refer to the high-
frequency sound occurring at very low temperatures as the zero sound.

Let us begin with the consideration of first sound. To find the sound velocity, we need to know the
compressibility of the Fermi liquid, which is given by ( ∂μ ∂N ) . Noting that the chemical potential μ is only
a function of (N/Ω), we have
∂μ Ω 2 ∂P 1 ∂P
=− = .
∂N 2
N ∂Ω N ∂ ( N Ω)

The sound velocity u is therefore given by

∂P ∂P 1 ∂μ
u2 = = = N . (VI.83)
∂ρ ∂ ( mN Ω ) m ∂N

Now we may use the relation derived in EQ. (VI.81), which yields

d ( N Ω)
−1
1 ⎛ ∂μ ⎞ 1⎛ N ⎞ 8π k F3 1 8π k F2 ⎛ dk F ⎞
= ⎜ ⎟ = ⎜ ⎟= = 3 ⎜
v ⎟
Ω ⎝ mu 2 ⎠ 3 ( 2π ) mu 2 ( 2π ) v ⎝ d μ ⎠
3
dμ Ω ⎝ ∂N ⎠
−1
8π k F2 m* ⎛ k F2 ⎞
3 ∫
2 ω
= ⎜⎜ 1 + dΩ a Γ ⎟ , (VI.84)
( 2π ) k F ⎝ 2 ( 2π ) v
3 ⎟

where we have used EQ. (VI.71) to derive the second line of EQ. (VI.84). Hence, we find the velocity of first
sound can be related to the vertex contributions as follows:


k F2 k F m* 2 ω
⎞ k F2 1 ⎛ kF ⎞
3
2 ω
3 ∫ ⎜ ⎟ ∫ dΩ a Γ .
u2 = * ⎜
1 + d Ω a Γ ⎟⎟ = + (VI.85)

3mm ⎝ 2 ( 2π ) *
⎠ 3mm 6m ⎝ 2π ⎠

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-18 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

Recalling the effective mass expression in EQ. (VI.67), we have


3
k F2 1 ⎛ kF ⎞
∫ d Ω a Γ (1 − cos θ ) .
ω
u2 = 2
+ ⎜ ⎟
2
(VI.86)
3m 6m ⎝ 2π ⎠

In the absence of interaction, the first-sound velocity becomes u = k F ( 3m) = vF 3.

Next, we consider the propagation of high-frequency acoustic excitations, the zero sound. We shall
take a semi-classical description for the zero sound in the following, and leave the rigorous field theory
derivation to you in a problem set.

In the presence of acoustic excitations, the fermion density distribution function n exhibits spatial and
temporal variations that deviate from the equilibrium value nF. We may express the distribution function as:

n = nF + δ n with δ n ~ exp [i ( k ir − ωt )] .

Now we consider the transport equation in the ωτ >> 1 limit so that

∂n ⎛δn ⎞ ∂n
+ ∇ r n i ∇ k ε − ∇ k n i ∇ rε ≈ O ⎜ ⎟
∂t ⎝τ ⎠ ∂t
∂n
⇒ + ∇ r n i ∇ k ε − ∇ k n i ∇ rε ≈ 0 . (VI.87)
∂t

Using EQ. (VI.8), we have


d 3k ′
∇ r ε = Trσ ′ ∫ f ∇ r δ n′ , (VI.88)
( 2π )
3

where f is the Fermi liquid function as defined before. Inserting EQ. (VI.88) into EQ. (VI.87), and noting that
v = ∇ k ε and ( ∂n ∂ε )ε ≈ − δ ( ε − μ ) , we find the following relation for δn:
F

∂n d 3k ′
( v i k − ω )δ n − ( v i k ) Trσ ′ ∫ f δ n′ = 0 . (VI.89)
∂ε ( 2π )
3
εF

If we further define δ n ≡ ( ∂n ∂ε )ε ϒ , EQ. (VI.89) can be rewritten into


F

k F m*
(vik −ω)ϒ + (vik) Trσ ′ ∫ d Ω′ f ϒ′ = 0 . (VI.90)
( 2π )
3

In Problem Set 5 you will be asked to find the explicit form for the function ϒ in terms of the Green’s
functions and vertex contributions in the small momentum transfer limit.

It is clear from EQ. (VI.90) that the zero sound propagation differs from ordinary sound because the
density distribution function in the former is no longer isotropic. We also remark that the solutions to EQ.
(VI.90) represent the zero sound modes, and the Fermi surface under zero sound propagation does not remain
spherical, with changes in the Fermi surface determined by the function ϒ. The microscopic origin for the

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-19 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VI: Basics of Fermi-Liquid Theory: A Perturbative Approach
Field Theory

zero sound excitations in Fermi liquids may be attributed to the short-range repulsive interaction of fermions
at low temperatures. Hence, the properties of Fermi liquids may differ for different systems such as liquid
3
He (known as a neutral Fermi liquid), metals, superconductors, and ferromagnetic materials. The possibility
of having sound waves propagating at T = 0 implies that these modes are bosonic in nature.

Finally, we remark that zero sound of electrons in metals cannot occur with varying the electron
density alone. Otherwise there would be uncompensated electric charge, leading to very large energies
required for such excitations. The zero-sound propagation associated with variations of electron densities in
metals must be accompanied by changes in the crystalline lattice to ensure charge neutrality. Consequently,
electron-phonon interactions are essential for the occurrence of high-frequency acoustic excitations in metals,
and we have considered such interactions in Part V.

So far we have been primarily concerned with perturbative effects on Fermi liquids. In Part VII, we
investigate an interesting example of the Fermi liquid theory in the presence of localized magnetic moments.
Although the conduction electrons may still be considered as weakly interacting among themselves, the
many-body interaction of the localized magnetic moments with the spins of conduction electrons is in fact
strong and non-perturbative, leading to the celebrated Kondo effect, a strongly correlated phenomenon
associated with the Fermi liquid theory.

Further Readings

1. A. A. Abrikosov, L. P. Gorkov, and I. E. Dzyaloshinski, “Methods of Quantum Field Theory in Statistical


Physics”, Sections 2, 9 – 14, 16, 18 – 22.
2. A. L. Fetter and J. D. Walecka, “Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems”, Sections 44 – 47.
3. X. G. Wen, “Quantum Field Theory of Many-Body Systems”, Chapters 4 and 5.

Nai-Chang Yeh VI-20 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VII: Fermi-Liquid Theory with Non-Perturbative Strong
Field Theory Interaction: the Kondo Effect

PART VII. Fermi Liquid Theory with Non-Perturbative Strong


Interactions: the Kondo Effect
The Kondo effect was first discovered in the 1930’s in metallic systems containing dilute magnetic
impurities. It was observed that the resistivity of such systems at low temperatures would reach a minimum
and then diverge logarithmically with decreasing temperature. This behavior is in contrast to typical
temperature dependent resistivity of metallic systems that generally decreases with decreasing temperatures
due to diminishing phonon scattering of electrons, and then either saturates at a finite resistance associated
with the presence of non-magnetic impurities or becomes superconducting with zero resistance below a
critical temperature. In 1964 Jun Kondo suggested that the anomalous increase in the resistivity with
decreasing temperature is the result of many-body interactions between the conduction electrons of the host
metal and a localized magnetic moment. Specifically, the localized magnetic moment may be considered as
being screened by a cloud of conduction electrons and forming an effective singlet in the ground state, while
the remaining conduction electrons are described by the Fermi liquid theory so that they are scattered
elastically by the resonant “Kondo cloud”, leading to enhanced resistivity.

Subsequently, it was realized that the Kondo effect was not limited to metallic systems with dilute
magnetic impurities. For instance, in late 1970’s, a class of compounds involving magnetic f-electrons in
their crystalline structures was found to have very large electronic specific heat corresponding to
approximately 1000 times effective masses at the Fermi level as predicted by bandstructure calculations.
These heavy fermion systems can be described as Kondo lattices, and the origin of the heavy masses may be
attributed to the strong many-body interaction with magnetic moments. In late 1990’s and early 2000’s,
modern nanotechnology led to further realizations of the Kondo effect in such systems as quantum dots,
carbon nanotubes, and artificial atomic structures constructed by scanning tunneling microscopy. To date the
“Kondo physics” remains an active and well defined testing ground for new numerical and analytical tools
that have been developed to investigate other challenging many-body problems. In this section, we describe
how the localized magnetic moment interacts with conduction electrons through the slave-boson techniques
that bosonize the action of the interacting system.

VII.1. Basic concept of the Kondo Problem


We begin by consider a system of magnetic ions with f-shell electrons (because of their higher degrees
of degeneracy) and assume that the Coulomb repulsion energy U for occupying two electrons in the same f-
orbital is very large. Such an assumption is consistent with the rare-earth compounds containing cerium,
where the energy of occupying either none or one electron in the f-orbital is comparable, whereas the energy
for occupying two electrons in the f-orbital is approximately 10 eV! This consideration leads to an Anderson
lattice model for the Ce compounds:

jmk
( )
jm
( )

( ) ( )
H = ∑ vkm ei k i Rj d †jm ckσ + h.c. + ξ 0f ∑ d †jm d jm + ∑ ξk ck†σ ckσ + U ∑ nd jm nd jm′ ,
jmm′
(VII.1)

where d †jm creates an electron in the m’th orbital of Ce at the j-th site, ck†σ is the creation operator for the
Bloch state of conduction electrons, vkm is the hybridization energy parameter between the electron of Ce and
the conduction electrons, ξ 0f is the energy of the f-orbital electron of Ce measured relative to the Fermi level,
ξk is the conduction electron energy measured relative to the Fermi level, and U is the Coulomb repulsion
energy for two electrons on the same site of Ce.

Nai-Chang Yeh VII-1 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VII: Fermi-Liquid Theory with Non-Perturbative Strong
Field Theory Interaction: the Kondo Effect

Generally the f-band of the cerium compounds is narrow relative to the on-site Coulomb repulsion
energy U. Therefore, we may take the U → ∞ limit in cerium compounds so that double occupancy of the f-
orbital is forbidden. To implement the constraint of no double occupancy, we apply the slave boson
technique to the f-orbital electrons by expressing the electron operators in terms of the following product:

d †jm = b j f jm

, d jm = b †j f jm , (VII.2)


where b j denotes a “slave boson” (or a “holon”) operator and f jm is a “pseudo fermion” (or a “spinon”)
operator. We note that the physical significance of the slave boson operator b†j ( b j ) corresponds to the
creation (annihilation) of the f 0 state on the j-th site. Under the U → ∞ limit, we may consider the f-electron
operator d †jm = b j f jm

as creating a fermion state from an initially empty state, which is equivalent to
annihilating a slave boson and thus the operator b j . Similarly, the annihilation of an f-electron leads to the
creation of a slave boson, leading to d jm = b†j f jm . Furthermore, we note that the chemical potential that
couples to real particle density operators d †jm d jm can only couple to f jm

f jm but not to b†j b j in the slave-
boson formalism.

Next, we impose the following constraint to enforce the condition of no double occupancy:

⎛ † ⎞
⎜ b j b j + ∑ f jm f jm ⎟ ψ j = ψ j .

(VII.3)
⎝ m ⎠

Therefore, ψ j includes both the f 0-state for which b†j b j = 1 and the f 1-state for which ∑ m f jm† f jm = 1 ,
but it excludes all other higher occupancy states because of the condition U → ∞. The introduction of the
slave boson operator effectively incorporates the many-body interaction of conduction electrons with the
localized f-electron because it imposes partial occupancy of the f-electron as the result of its dynamic
coupling with conduction electrons near the Fermi level, as illustrated in Fig. VII.1.1.

To proceed further, we consider the mean-field approximation in the limit of large degeneracy, so that the
hybridization parameter vkm is replaced by a mean value

v
vkm → ≡v , (VII.4)
N

where N denotes the degree of degeneracy in the total angular momentum J, N = (2J + 1). Therefore, the
Feynman diagrams for the propagator self-energy may be classified in powers of 1/N, depending on the
number of vertices and the sum over the f-state degeneracy in the diagram. In the N → ∞ limit, we may
replace the operators bj by a mean-field value
2
z ≡ b†j b j = b , (VII.5)

which represents the average occupancy of the f 0-state and also renormalizes the hybridization parameter v .
We therefore rewrite the Hamiltonian as

H = H0 +H ′, (VII.6)
where

Nai-Chang Yeh VII-2 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VII: Fermi-Liquid Theory with Non-Perturbative Strong
Field Theory Interaction: the Kondo Effect

⎛ ⎞
( )
H 0 = ∑ ξ k ck†σ ckσ + ξ 0f ∑ f jm

( )
f jm + v z1/ 2 ∑ f jm

(
ckσ + h.c. + λ ∑ ⎜ z + ) ∑f †
jm f jm − 1 ⎟ (VII.7)
kσ jm jmk j ⎝ m ⎠

and (
H ′ = v ∑ δ b j f jm

ckσ + h.c. , ) δ bj ≡ bj − b . (VII.8)
j

We note that λ in EQ. (VII.7) is a variational parameter that enforces the U → ∞ limit. The term H ′ given
in EQ. (VII.8) corresponds to fluctuations of the bosonic field, which is generally small. In the following we
shall restrict our discussion to mean-field theory only so that the fluctuations term is ignored.

(a) Initial state Virtual state Final state (b) Density of states

TK
U

Energy
Δ0
ε 0f

Fig. VII.1.1 (a) A simplified picture of the Kondo effect based on the Anderson model: an magnetic
impurity level at an energy ε 0f below the Fermi surface is initially occupied by one spin-up electron,
and the on-site Coulomb repulsion energy to doubly occupy the same site is denoted by U, which is
much larger than both ε 0f and the linewidth of the impurity state Δ0. The electron in the impurity
level may temporarily tunnel into an empty state near the Fermi level, (which corresponds to the
“virtual state”), and then may be replaced by another spin-down electron near the Fermi level,
thereby effectively flipping the spin in the impurity level, as shown in the “final state”. (b)
Schematic illustration of the electronic density of states (horizontal axis) vs. energy (vertical axis)
plot associated with the Kondo effect, indicating that an initial broad energy state of the magnetic
impurity can result in a sharp resonant peak (of linewidth ~ TK) near the Fermi level after
hybridization with conduction electrons due to the Kondo resonance.

VII.2. The Single-Impurity Kondo Problem

Equations (VII.7) and (VII.8) can be applied to both the single-impurity Kondo problem and the
Kondo lattice problem. In the single-impurity case, we have

( ) (
H 0 = ∑ ξk ck†σ ckσ + v z1/ 2 ∑ f m† ckσ + h.c. + ξ 0f + λ) ( )∑( f †
m fm ) + λ ( z − 1) ,
kσ mk m

( ) ( ) (
≡ ∑ ξ k ck†σ ckσ + ∑ ξ rf f m† f m + b v ∑ f m† ckσ + h.c. + ξ rf − ξ 0f ) ( )( b 2
)
−1 , (VII.9)
kσ m mk

Nai-Chang Yeh VII-3 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VII: Fermi-Liquid Theory with Non-Perturbative Strong
Field Theory Interaction: the Kondo Effect

where we have defined a renormalized single impurity energy ξ fr ≡ ξ 0f + λ , which has been shifted by λ( )
relative to the bare impurity energy level ξ 0f due to many-body interactions.

To find the mean-field solution to the ground state energy, we minimize the Hamiltonian in EQ.
(VII.9) relative to λ and z. Recall the Hellman-Feynman theorem in Part II:

∂ ∂H ( λ )
ψ (λ ) H (λ ) ψ (λ ) = ψ (λ ) ψ (λ )
∂λ ∂λ

where ψ ( λ ) is the ground state of H ( λ ) , we obtain from ( ∂H ∂λ ) = 0 and EQ. (VII.9) the following
constraint equation:

= 1 − ∑ f m† f m ≡ 1 − ∑ n fm ,
2
z= b (VII.10)
m m

and from ( ∂H ∂z ) = 0 and EQ. (VII.9) the following consistency equation:

λ ≡ ( ξ rf − ξ 0f ) = − v z −1/ 2 ∑ f m† ckσ . (VII.11)


mk

The action S of the single-impurity plus conduction-electron system according to the Hamiltonian
EQ. (VII.9) is related by the partition function Z by the following relation

(
Z = ∫ Dc † Dc Df † Df Db† Db δ Q ,1 e S , ) (VII.12)

where the Kronecker delta function δ Q ,1 is expressed by the following form (which is also known as “the
Abrikosov’s trick”):

1 π β
δ Q ,1 ≡ ∏τ ∫ d λ exp ⎡⎢ −i ∫ dτ λ (τ )( Q − 1) ⎤⎥ , (VII.13)
2π − π ⎣ 0 ⎦
and Q ≡ b†b + ∑ f m† f m . (VII.14)
m

Therefore, we find that the action for temperature T−1 = β is given by:

⎧ ⎫
( ) ( )
β
S = − ∫ dτ ⎨∑ ck†σ ( ∂τ + ξ k ) ckσ + ∑ f m† ∂τ + ξ 0f f m + v ∑ b f m† ckσ + ck†σ f m b† + b†( ∂τ b ) ⎬ . (VII.15)
0
⎩ kσ m mk ⎭

Moreover, using the U → ∞ constraints expressed in EQs. (VII.13) and (VII.14), we have
β
S ≡ S − i ∫ dτ λ (τ )( Q − 1) , (VII.16)
0


( )
β
= − ∫ dτ ⎨b† ( ∂τ + iλ (τ ) ) b + ∑ ck†σ ( ∂τ + ξk ) ckσ + ∑ f m† ∂τ + ξ 0f + iλ (τ ) f m
0
⎩ kσ m

+ v ∑ ( b f m†ckσ + ck†σ f m b† ) − iλ (τ ) .
mk
} (VII.17)

Nai-Chang Yeh VII-4 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VII: Fermi-Liquid Theory with Non-Perturbative Strong
Field Theory Interaction: the Kondo Effect

If we further shift the particle operators in the action S by the following relations:

ck†σ ≡ ck†σ + v f m†bGk0 , ckσ ≡ ckσ + v f mb†Gk0 (VII.18)

where the conduction electron Green’s function is given by

1
Gk0(ξ ) = , (VII.19)
∂τ + ξk

we may rewrite EQ. (VII.17) as follows:

⎧ ⎛ ⎛ ⎞⎞ ⎫
( )
β −1
S = − ∫ dτ ⎨b† ( ∂τ + iλ (τ ) ) b + ∑ ck†σ Gk0 ckσ + ∑ f m† ⎜ ∂τ + ξ 0f + iλ (τ ) − v 2 ⎜ b ∑ Gk0 b† ⎟ ⎟ f m − iλ (τ ) ⎬ .
0
⎩ kσ m ⎝ ⎝ k ⎠⎠ ⎭
(VII.20)
Hence, we can integrate out shifted c-operators in EQ. (VII.18) and obtain (see Problem Set 6)

Z = ∫ Dλ Db † Db e ( ),
Seff
(VII.21)

{ } ∑ ln (1 + e− βξ ) + Tr ( ln G ) ,
β
where Seff = − ∫ dτ b† ( ∂τ + iλ ) b − iλ (τ ) + k −1
f (VII.22)
0
k

and
⎛ ⎞
( )
Tr ln G −f 1 ≡ ∑∑ ln ⎜ ∂τ + ξ 0f + iλ (τ ) − v 2 b (τ ) ∑ Gk0 b†(τ ) ⎟ . (VII.23)
m ωn ⎝ k ⎠

Here Gk0 and G f denote the Green’s functions of the conduction electrons and f-electron, respectively. We
further note that in EQ. (VII.22) we have used the identity:

(
Tr ln ⎡ Gk0

( )
−1
)
⎤ ≡ ∑ ln ( −iω + ξ ) ≡ ln (1 + e − βξk ) ,
⎦ ωn n k ωn ≡ ( 2n + 1) π T .

Therefore, we have effectively bosonized our problem according to EQ. (VII.21). The bosonization is non-
perturbative, and its procedure involves the hybridization of the conduction electrons and f-electron through
the “shift in the c-operators”, as expressed in EQ. (VII.18). Next, we solve the problem in the mean-field
limit so that both b and λ are τ-independent and are simply c-numbers. Hence, we have b (τ ) → b = z1/ 2
and iλ (τ ) → λ , and the mean-field action becomes:

MF
Seff = βλ (1 − z ) + ∑σ ln (1 + e
k
− βξ k
) + ∑ ln ⎛⎜⎝ −iω
ωn
n + ξ 0f + λ + zv 2 ∑
1⎞
⎟,
k iωn − ξ k ⎠

⎛ ⎞
∑ ln (1 + e ) 1
+ ∑ ln ⎜ −iωn + ξ rf + zv 2 ∑
− βξ k
≡ βλ (1 − z ) + 2 ⎟. (VII.24)
k ωn ⎝ k iωn − ξ k ⎠

Here we remark that the derivation of EQ. (VII.24) does not involve any perturbation in the diagrammatic
expansion. It is simply obtained by assuming the saddle-point solution to the total action.

Nai-Chang Yeh VII-5 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VII: Fermi-Liquid Theory with Non-Perturbative Strong
Field Theory Interaction: the Kondo Effect

To proceed further, we assume that the momentum sum in EQ. (VII.24) is over the conduction band
of a bandwidth 2W. Therefore, we have

1 ∞ N (ε ) 1
∑ iω ≈ N (0) ∫ ( ξ = ε − EF )
W
= ∫ dε dξ ,
k n − ξk −∞ iωn − ξ −W iωn − ξ
⎛ iωn − W ⎞ ⎛ ωn + iW ⎞
= −N ( 0 ) ln ⎜ ⎟ = −N ( 0 ) ln ⎜ ⎟,
⎝ iωn + W ⎠ ⎝ ωn − iW ⎠
⎛ z eiϕ ⎞ −1 ⎛ W ⎞
≡ −N ( 0 ) ln ⎜ − iϕ ⎟ = −2iϕ N ( 0 ) = −2iN ( 0 ) tan ⎜ ⎟, (VII.25)
⎝ ze ⎠ ⎝ ωn ⎠

where we have assumed that the Fermi level is at the center of the conduction band, and that the density of
states of the conduction electrons is nearly a constant N(0). For W >> ωn, which corresponds to low
temperatures and a broad bandwidth limit, EQ. (VII.25) becomes

1
∑ iω − ξk
≈ −iπ N ( 0 ) sgn ( ωn ) . (VII.26)
k n

Hence, the mean-field action in EQ. (VII.24) implies that the f-electron energy level has shifted from ξ 0f for
the non-constrained case (U → 0) to ξ rf for the no-double-occupancy limit (U → ∞), and that the f-electron
energy linewidth evolves from Δ 0 ≡ π v 2N ( 0 ) in the U → 0 limit to Δ ≡ π zv 2 N ( 0 ) = z Δ 0 in the U → ∞
limit. (See Problem Set 6 for more details.) Given EQ. (VII.10), we note that z ≤ 1 and z << 1 when
ξ 0f W , implying that the many-body interaction gives rise to a much sharper resonance peak of a narrow
linewidth Δ ≡ zΔ0 near the Fermi level, as schematically shown in Fig. VII.1.1.

Given EQs. (VII.24) and (VII.26), the mean-field action may be simplified into (see Problem Set 6):

⎛ Δ ⎞
∑ ln (1 + e ) + 2β ∫
− βξ k 1
= βλ (1 − z ) + 2
W
dξ tan −1 ⎜ , (VII.27)
⎜ ξ r − ξ ⎟⎟
MF
Seff βξ
k
−W e +1 ⎝ f ⎠

where we have used the following identity (which you are asked to prove in Problem Set 6):

( ( ) ) ≡ 2∑ ln ( −iω
Tr ln G −f 1 n + ξ rf − iΔ sgn ( ωn ) , )
ωn

⎛ −β ⎞ 1
= 2⎜ ⎟ ∫ dz βξk ln ( − z + ξ rf − iΔ sgn ( ωn ) ) ,
⎝ 2π i ⎠ ( e + 1)
⎛ −2 β ⎞ W 1
=⎜
⎝ 2π i
⎟ ∫−W d ξ βξ
⎠ e + 1
( ln ( −ξ + ξ fr − iΔ ) − ln ( −ξ + ξ fr + iΔ ) ) ,

2β W 1 ⎛ Δ ⎞
= ∫ d ξ βξ tan −1 ⎜ r , ωn ≡ ( 2n + 1) π T .
π −W e +1 ⎜ ξ − ξ ⎟⎟
⎝ f ⎠

Nai-Chang Yeh VII-6 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VII: Fermi-Liquid Theory with Non-Perturbative Strong
Field Theory Interaction: the Kondo Effect

At T = 0, we find that the integration over the energy bandwidth 2W is reduced to integration from –W to 0
because there is no electron occupation above the Fermi level ξ = 0. Hence, the third term in EQ. (VII.27)
becomes:

⎛ Δ ⎞ Δ ⎛ (W + ξ rf ) + Δ 2 ⎞
2
⎛ Δ ⎞ ⎛ Δ ⎞ r
⎟⎟ = (W + ξ f ) tan ⎜⎜
0
∫−W ξ −1 −1 −1
⎜ ⎟
tan ⎜⎜ r ⎟ − ξ f tan ⎜⎜ ξ r ⎟⎟ + 2 ln ⎜ ξ r 2 + Δ 2 ⎟
r ⎟
r
d
⎝ ξ f −ξ ⎝ ( f)
⎠ ⎝ W + ξ f ⎠ ⎝ f ⎠ ⎠
⎛Δ ⎞ Δ ⎛ W 2 + Δ2 ⎞
≈ Δ − ξ rf tan −1 ⎜
⎜ ⎟⎟ + ln ⎜ r 2 ⎟ if W ( Δ, ξ ) .
r
(VII.28)
⎝ξf 2 ⎜ ( ) 2 ⎟
r f
⎠ ⎝ f ξ + Δ ⎠

Therefore, upon minimizing the action relative to Δ and ξ rf so that the term solely involving conduction
electrons in EQ. (VII.27) drops out, we arrive at the following relations:

∂Seff
MF ⎛ (ξ rf )2 + Δ 2 ⎞
Δ0
=0 → ln ⎜ ⎟ = λ ≡ ξ 0f − ξ rf , (VII.29)
∂Δ π ⎜ W2 ⎟
⎝ ⎠
∂Seff
MF
2 −1
⎛Δ⎞ Δ
= 0 → tan ⎜⎜ r ⎟⎟ = 1 − = 1 − z = n fm . (VII.30)
∂ξ f
r
π ⎝ξf ⎠ Δ0

For a bare f-electron energy level ξ 0f much lower than the bottom of the conduction band, i.e., ξ 0f W , we
expect that the f-electron level is nearly half-filled so that n fm → 1− and tan −1 ( Δ ξ rf ) ≈ (π 2 ) . Hence, we
have Δ ξ rf , ξ rf → 0 , z 1 , and Δ 0 Δ ≡ z Δ 0 . In other words, we find an enormous renormalization of
the f-electron level from ξ 0f to ξ rf → 0 due to strong interaction U → ∞.

Using EQ. (VII.29) and the fact that ξ rf → 0 , we may define the Kondo temperature TK as follows:

⎛ (ξ rf )2 + Δ 2 ⎞ 2Δ 0
Δ0 ⎛ Δ ⎞ 2Δ 0 ⎛ k BTK ⎞
ln ⎜ ⎟ = ξ 0f − ξ rf , → ln ⎜ ⎟≡ ln ⎜ 0
⎟ ≈ − ξf . (VII.31)
π ⎜ W 2
⎟ π ⎝W ⎠ π ⎝ W ⎠
⎝ ⎠

Hence, we obtain an explicit expression for the Kondo temperature:

−π ξ 0f 2 Δ0
Δ = k BTK = W e . (VII.32)

Due to the exponential dependence on the parameters, TK may vary from <~ 1 K to 102 K. The Kondo
temperature sets an important energy scale below which the strong hybridization of the conduction electrons
and the f-electron leads to resonant scattering, thereby giving rise to increasing resistivity below TK in metals
with magnetic impurities, as illustrated in Fig. VII.1.1 (a). In other words, for T < TK the low-energy
excitations at the Fermi surface become heavy-fermions and are more f-electron like. This effect becomes
more significant with decreasing temperature, leading to increasing resistivity. Moreover, because of the
large onsite Coulomb repulsion, conduction electrons cannot occupy the f-orbit until the f-electron hops off
to the Fermi surface, creating a slave boson, and then a succeeding electron can hop on again. This delay (as
illustrated in Fig. VII.1.1) is the reason why the resonance energy width is reduced from Δ0 to zΔ0 ≡ Δ << Δ0.

Nai-Chang Yeh VII-7 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VII: Fermi-Liquid Theory with Non-Perturbative Strong
Field Theory Interaction: the Kondo Effect

VII.3. Kondo Lattice Problem

As mentioned earlier, many of the single Kondo impurity properties are also found in heavy fermion
materials that are pure crystalline intermetallic compounds, such as CuAl3, CeCu6, CeCu2Si2, and UPt3.
Newns and Read [Advances in Physics 36, 799 (1987)] have considered a simplified model that captures the
essence of the Kondo lattice. Specifically, they consider an idealized SU(N) lattice model in which the
degeneracy of the conduction bands is taken to be identical to that of the f-levels. Returning to the mean-field
Hamiltonian of the Anderson lattice model in EQ. (VII.7) and assuming that vmσ ( k ) = v δ mσ , we have

⎛ ⎞
( ) ( ) (
H MF = ∑ ξk ck†σ ckσ + ξ 0f ∑ f j†σ f jσ + v z1/ 2 ∑ fk†σ ckσ + h.c. + λ ∑ ⎜ z + ) ∑ †
f σ f σ − 1⎟ .
j j (VII.33)
kσ jσ kσ j ⎝ σ ⎠

Similar to the procedure that we have employed to investigate the problem of single Kondo impurities, we
minimize the Hamiltonian relative to λ and z, and obtain the constraint equation at each site:

z = 1− ∑
σ

fσfσ,
j j (VII.34)

and the self-consistent equation:

∑ ( fk†σ ckσ + h.c.) .


v
ξ rf − ξ 0f = (VII.35)
2 z1/ 2 kσ

Hence, EQ. (VII.33) represents a set of N degenerate hybridized bands (N being the total number of lattices
in the sample), and its energy spectrum can be derived by diagonalizing the mean-field Hamiltonian in EQ.
(VII.33) and using EQ. (VII.35), which yields (see Problem Set 6):

(ξ )±
2
r
+ ξk ⎛ ξ rf − ξk ⎞
ξ ± 2
f
= ⎜ ⎟ + zv . (VII.36)
2 2
k
⎝ ⎠

The spectrum in EQ. (VII.36) implies a narrow hybridized energy gap. Furthermore, the hybridized density
of states is given by:


( ) (
N (ξ ) = ∑ ⎡⎣δ ξ − ξk+ + δ ε − ξk− ⎤⎦ = d ξ N ( ξ ) ) ∫ dξ
δ ( ξ − ξk± )
k

⎛ 1 ξ rf − ξ ⎞
≈ N (0) ⎜ ± ⎟, (VII.37)
⎝2 ξk± ⎠

where N(0) denotes the density of states at the Fermi level in the absence of hybridization. From EQ.
(VII.37) we find that the hybridized density of states has strongly enhanced peaks on each side of the gap,
and the effective mass is also much enhanced at the Fermi level, leading to the heavy-fermion behavior.

Finally, we comment on an issue associated with changes in the symmetry of the Hamiltonian under
bosonization of a Kondo lattice. Specifically, the original Hamiltonian is invariant under the transformation:

c jσ → e iθ c jσ , (VII.38)

Nai-Chang Yeh VII-8 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VII: Fermi-Liquid Theory with Non-Perturbative Strong
Field Theory Interaction: the Kondo Effect

where θ is site invariant. In other words, EQ. (VII.38) implies that the Hamiltonian is invariant under a
global U(1) transformation. On the other hand, in the slave-boson formalism, we have the constraint

b†j b j + ∑
σ

f σ f σ =1
j j (VII.39)

at each site j. Therefore, the new Hamiltonian is invariant under the following transformation
iθ iθ j
bj → e j bj , f jσ → e f jσ , (VII.40)

where θ j is site-dependent. Equation (VII.40) implies that the Hamiltonian in the slave-boson formalism has
a local rather than a global U(1) gauge symmetry.

VII.4. Kondo Problems in Quantum Dots

With the advances of modern technology in electronic device fabrication, a system with a localized
spin embedded between metal leads can be created artificially in a semiconductor quantum dot device, which
is a transistor-like device also known as an artificial atom because its electronic properties resembles those of
a real atom. The total number of electrons within the quantum dot can be controlled by a gate voltage. If the
number of electrons confined in the dot is odd, then the conductance measured between the two leads
increases due to the Kondo effect at low temperatures, because of strong coupling between the conduction
electrons in the leads and the odd spins in the dot. This temperature dependence associated with odd spins in
quantum dots is opposite to that found in the case of Kondo impurities in metals, as shown in Fig. VII.4.1 (a)
– (b). The reason is that electrons are forced to travel through the dot without having other electrical path
around it, and for conductance to occur between the leads and the dot, availability of electronic states in the
dot is essential. Therefore, hybridization of the conduction electrons in the leads with those in the quantum
dot due to the Kondo resonance enhances the conductance, and the degree of such hybridization increases
with decreasing temperature. In this context, when the quantum dot contains an even number of electrons, the
total spins add up to zero, so that the conductance continuously decreases with decreasing temperature. In
contrast, for magnetic impurities in metals, conduction electrons are scattered by the Kondo resonant states
that are induced by magnetic impurities, and the degree of scattering increases with decreasing temperature,
so does the resistivity. Overall, other than the temperature dependence of the conductivity, quantum dots
with odd electrons follow the same Kondo physics as magnetic impurities in metals, and the ratio of the
resistance relative to the zero-temperature resistance for all Kondo systems, R(T)/R(0), follow the same
temperature dependent function f(T/TK) determined by a single parameter TK.

Generally speaking, quantum dots have provided new opportunities to control the Kondo effect
empirically, and have expanded the research scope in regimes previously inaccessible with magnetic
impurities. For instance, the Kondo effect can also occur for magnetic impurities and quantum dots with a
total spin of 1 or higher. In the case of magnetic impurities, the spin is controlled by the electronic structure
of the system, whereas in quantum dots, the spin of the quantum dots can be controlled more easily by
applying a modest magnetic field (~ 1 Tesla), which is sufficient to force a transition in the dot between a
singlet (S = 0) and a triplet (S = 1) state. For comparison, the same type of transition can also occur in real
atoms in principle, but the field required would be on the order of 106 Tesla, which is completely
inaccessible in a real lab. The availability of such singlet-triplet transitions in quantum dots leads to
interesting new degrees of degeneracy because of the combined spin and orbital effects. Thus, new many-
body effects as the result of the degeneracy and exchange interactions can be studied in quantum dots.

Nai-Chang Yeh VII-9 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VII: Fermi-Liquid Theory with Non-Perturbative Strong
Field Theory Interaction: the Kondo Effect

(a) Metallic systems (b) Quantum dot systems

2e2/h
Kondo Odd
Resistance

Conductance
effect spins
TK : 1 ~ 10 K
TK : 0.1 ~ 1 K
Typical
metal
Superconductor
Even spins
Tc

Temperature Temperature

Fig. VII.4.1 (a) As the temperature of a metallic system is lowered, a typical metal exhibits decreasing
resistance because of reduced electron-phonon scattering, and the resistance eventually saturates
at a finite value with T → 0 due to non-magnetic impurities. Some metals may undergo a
superconducting transition and reach zero resistance below a critical temperature Tc. However,
for metals containing magnetic impurities, the resistance may reach a minimum at the Kondo
temperature TK, and then rise again with decreasing temperature due to resonant scattering of
conduction electrons by the magnetic impurities. (b) In the case of quantum dot systems, the
localized spins on the dot may be controlled by a gate voltage. If the number of electrons
confined in the dot is odd, then the conductance between the two electrical leads connecting to
the dot increases with decreasing temperature for T < TK due to the Kondo effect at low
temperatures. On the other hand, for even electrons where the total number of spins adds up to
zero, the conductance continuously decreases with decreasing temperature.

VII.5. Other Artificially Constructed Kondo Systems

The invention of the scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) in 1981 has enabled imaging,
characterization and manipulation of matter down to atomic precision. Since 1998, STM has been used to
image and construct magnetic impurities directly on the surface of noble metals, which is a new experimental
approach in contrast to previous research that only inferred the role of the Kondo effect indirectly from bulk
measurements of the resistivity and magnetic susceptibility. In addition to observing how one magnetic atom
such as cobalt or manganese on the surface of copper or gold may influence the surrounding electronic
density of states of the host metal, how multiple magnetic atoms interacting among each other through the
host metal as a function of separation have also been investigated. Moreover, artificial structures such as an
elliptical “stadium” consisting of cobalt atoms surrounding one cobalt atom in one of the two foci of the
stadium have been constructed on a copper surface by the STM technique [See H. C. Manoharan, C. P. Lutz
and D. M. Eigler, Nature 403, 512 (2000)]. It is found that the density of states of the cobalt atom at the focal
point reveals Kondo resonance. In particular, Kondo resonance is also observed at the other focal point
where no cobalt atom is present. This mirror image of the Kondo resonance is referred to as a “quantum
mirage”. In addition to studying the Kondo effect on metallic surfaces, STM has been used to deposit cobalt
clusters on carbon nanotubes and to study their effect on the electronic states of the nanotubes [J. Nygard, D.
H. Cobden and P. E. Lindelof, Nature 408, 342 (2000)].

The availability of scanning tunneling microscopy and quantum dot devices has enabled new
dimensions for studying the Kondo effect from different perspectives and unprecedented control. Some of

Nai-Chang Yeh VII-10 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VII: Fermi-Liquid Theory with Non-Perturbative Strong
Field Theory Interaction: the Kondo Effect

the new experimental capabilities have their counterparts in the conventional magnetic-impurity-in-metal
systems, and others are unique to the artificial nanostructures.

Investigations into the Kondo effect are far from complete. Among the important issues concerns the
so-called Kondo cloud, which refers to the conduction electrons involved in the spin-flip processes in VII.1.1
that combine to build the Kondo resonance. The Kondo cloud consists of all electrons that have interacted
with the same magnetic impurity. Since each electron of the Kondo cloud contains information about the
same impurity, they are effectively correlated.

The most fundamental issue to address for research on the Kondo effect is to understand the time
evolution of the many-body quantum state. Experimental challenges to achieve this understanding will
involve devising means to measure and control the Kondo cloud with proper time resolution. The Kondo
cloud also provides a possible mechanism to investigate the interactions between magnetic impurities. For
instance, we would like to understand how two many-body states formed around two separated localized
magnetic moments merge. Additionally, a well controlled study of interacting localized spins could provide
us with a new perspective on extended Kondo systems, such as spin glasses. The basic technology for
fabricating interacting Kondo systems now exists. Therefore, we may be cautiously optimistic that better
understandings can be derived from new development in experiments.

Further Readings

1. N. Andrei, Phys. Rev. Letts. 45, 379 (1980).


2. P. Coleman, Phys. Rev. B 28, 5255 (1983).
3. N. Read, D. M. Newns and S. Doniach, Phys. Rev. B 30, 3841 (1984).
4. D. M. Newns and N. Read, Advances in Physics 36, 799 (1987).
5. L. Kouwenhoven and L. Glazman, Physics World, January 2001, pp. 33 – 38.

Nai-Chang Yeh VII-11 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

PART VIII. Breakdown of Fermi Liquid Theory & The Luttinger


Liquids
The essence of Fermi liquid theory is the preservation of available eigenstates under finite quasiparticle
interactions so that there is one-to-one correspondence between the non-interacting and interacting fermion
systems. In addition, in Landau’s quasiparticle hypothesis, the eigenstates of quasiparticles specified by the
quantum numbers of the non-interacting system are assumed to be long lived. The underlying assumptions of
Fermi liquid theory are therefore only valid if the system is relatively simple so that there is one-to-one
correspondence between the ground state and the low-energy excitations, and if neither the quasiparticle
interaction nor quantum fluctuations are too strong to fundamentally alter the eigenstates. Given these rather
restrictive assumptions, it is not surprising that Fermi liquid theory breaks down in strongly correlated
electronic systems.

VIII.1. Limitations of Fermi Liquid Theory & the Tomonaga-Luttinger Liquid Theory
In our previous discussion we have noted various signatures of the Fermi liquid theory, including the
effective mass description, the effective magnetic moment for spin susceptibility, zero sound propagation,
and the linear temperature dependence in the electronic specific heat. Another important signature commonly
used to distinguish whether a system exhibits Fermi liquid behavior is the quasiparticle residue (Zk) at the
Fermi level, which refers to the magnitude of discontinuity in the quasiparticle momentum distribution
function at the Fermi momentum kF. This discontinuity is associated with well defined eigenvalues in the
quasiparticle spectra, and therefore a Fermi liquid generally has a discontinuity in the momentum distribution
function at the Fermi level.

To understand the physical significance of the quasiparticle residue Zk, we consider an interacting
fermion system with a complex proper self-energy Σ* = Σ*R + iΣ*I , where the imaginary part of the proper
self-energy represents the damping rate of quasiparticles. If we assume Σ*I Σ*R and solve for the pole of
the Green function from the Dyson’s equation:

G −1( k , ω ) = G0−1( k , ω ) − Σ*( k , ω ) = ( ω − ε k + iδ k ) − ⎡⎣ Σ*R ( k , ω ) + iΣ*I ( k , ω ) ⎤⎦ = 0 , (VIII.1)

we find that to zeroth order in Σ*I , the eigenvalue is given by

ω = ε k ≡ ε k + Σ*R ( k , ε k ) . (VIII.2)

On the other hand, the solution to first order in Σ*I can be found by defining ω = ε k + ω1 and by performing
Taylor’s expansion of Σ*R in EQ. (VIII.1), which yields:

∂Σ*R ( k , ε k ) ∂Σ*R ( k , ε k )
ω − ⎡⎣ε k + Σ ( k , ε k ) ⎤⎦ − ω1
*
− iΣ ( k , ε k ) = ω1 − ω1
*
− iΣ*I ( k , ε k ) = 0 ,
∂ω ∂ω
R I

i Σ*I ( k , ε k )
⇒ ω1 = . (VIII.3)
(
1 − ∂Σ*R ∂ω )
Therefore, under finite quasiparticle interactions as characterized by the proper self-energy Σ*, the pole of the
Green function G is given by

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-1 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

i Σ*I ( k , ε k ) i
ω = ε k + ω1 = ε k + ≡ εk − , (VIII.4)
(
1 − ∂Σ *
R
∂ω ) τk

where τk has the physical meaning of the quasiparticle lifetime. Hence, the Green function becomes

1 1
G( k , ω ) = =
ω − (ε k + Σ *
R ) − ω ( ∂Σ
1
*
R
∂ω − iΣ) *
I
ω (1 − ∂Σ ∂ω ) − ε k (1 − ∂Σ*R ∂ω ) − iΣ*I
*
R

=
(
1 1 − ∂Σ*R ∂ω )≡ Zk
=
Z k (ω − ε k )
−i
Z kτ k
−1

. (VIII.5)
(ω − ε ) + iτ
k
−1
k (ω − ε ) + iτ
k
−1
k (ω − ε ) k
2
+ τ k−2 (ω − ε ) k
2
+ τ k−2

We note that Z k ≡ ⎡⎣1 − ( ∂Σ*R ∂ω ) ⎤⎦ in EQ. (VIII.5). Moreover, ∂Σ*R ∂ω ( )


−1
< 0 because at higher
ω =ε k
energies the system has less time to react to produce an energy shift in the spectrum. Therefore, we generally
have Zk < 1. In reality, the Green function in EQ. (VIII.5) may include additional contributions from an
incoherent background Gincoh that does not contain any pole-singular terms. We also recall that the imaginary
part of G(k,ω) is related to the spectral density function A(k,ω) via the relation:

1 1 Z kτ k−1 1
A( k , ω ) ≡ − Im [G ( k , ω )] = − Im [Gincoh ( k , ω )] . (VIII.6)
π π ( ω − ε k ) + τ k−2 2
π

Therefore, from the sum rule we have:

∫ dω A( k , ω ) = 1 = Z k
+ (1 − Z k ) . (VIII.7)
pole incoherent part

Schematically, the quasiparticle spectra for the non-interacting and interacting systems are depicted
in Fig. VIII.1.1 (a) – (b), and the corresponding ground-state density distribution functions
nkσ ≡ 0 ak†σ akσ 0 are shown in Fig. VIII.1.2 (a) – (b). We note that the peak height of A(k,ω) at ω = ε k is
equal to ( Z kτ k π ) according to EQ. (VIII.6), and there is a discontinuity of a magnitude Zk in nkσ at k = kF.
Consequently, a fermion system is considered to be a Fermi liquid if empirically there is a peak in A(k,ω)
and a finite discontinuity in nkσ at kF, implying that Z k ≠ 0 .

(a) (b)
A(k,ω) A(k,ω)
Zkτk /π

ω ω
εk εk
Fig. VIII.1.1 The spectral density function A(k,ω) for (a) non-interacting and (b) interacting fermion
systems. The presence of interaction has the effect of shifting the pole and reducing the
peak height Zkτk at the pole energy.

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-2 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

There are occasions when more than one solution to a given proper self-energy Σ*(k,ω) exists for
each k. In this case, there is no one-to-one correspondence between the ground state and the excitation state.
However, as long as the pole energy ε k is unique and if the imaginary parts Σ I τ k−1 so that the multiple
solutions cannot be simultaneously accessed during the characteristic damping time τk, the fermion system
can still be considered as a Fermi liquid.

(a) (b)
nkσ nkσ
1

Zk
0 k k
kF kF
Fig. VIII.1.2 The fermion density distribution function nkσ for (a) non-interacting and (b) interacting
systems at T = 0. The presence of interaction results in a reduced discontinuity Zk at the
Fermi momentum kF.

(a) (b)
εk ky

εF
kx
−π/a 2kF π/a

k
− kF 0 kF

Fig. VIII.1.3 Nested Fermi surfaces at the wave vector q = 2 kF for (a) a one-dimensional conductor
and (b) a two-dimensional fermion system with a square Fermi surface, with a
representing the square lattice constant. Both systems are candidates for non-Fermi
liquid behavior.

On the other hand, systems with perfectly “nested” Fermi surfaces generally exhibit non-Fermi
liquid behavior. One of the most celebrated examples is the case of one-dimensional conductors. Consider
the dispersion relation of a one-dimensional conductor shown in Fig. VIII.1.3 (a). There are only two points
on the Fermi surface, and the wave vector q = 2 kF connects points on the entire Fermi surface, so that the
system is perfectly nested, and there is diverging response of the one-dimensional conductor at q = 2 kF.
Moreover, it can be shown that there are strong interactions between the left-moving and right-moving
wavefunctions, leading to bosonic excitations that involve spin-charge separation and are therefore
fundamentally different from quasiparticle excitations of Fermi liquids. In the language of the effective field
theory, the effective action of the system after bosonization involves two coupling coefficients g1 and g2 that
contain mixtures of spin and charge degrees of freedom for the left-moving and right-moving wavefunctions.
It is found that the Fermi liquid fixed point (g1, g2) = (0,0) is unstable in the renormalization group flow

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-3 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

diagram, whereas the Luttinger liquid fixed point (g1, g2) = (g


*
1
> 0, g 2 > 0 ) that corresponds to finite
*

interaction strengths and spin-charge separation is found to be a stable fixed point, as schematically
illustrated in Fig. VIII.1.4. We shall discuss the Luttinger liquid theory in the end of Part VIII.

g2
(g , g )
*
1
*
2

g1
(0,0)

Fig. VIII.1.4. The “flow patterns” in the renormalization group diagram of a one-dimensional
conductor, where g1 and g2 are coupling constants for the charge and spin mixtures of
left-moving and right-moving wavefunctions, (0,0) represents the (unstable) Fermi
liquid fixed point, and ( g1* , g 2* ) is the (stable) Luttinger liquid fixed point.

Another example of potentially non-Fermi liquid behavior is associated with a two-dimensional


nearly squared Fermi surface, as illustrated in Fig. VIII.1.3 (b). In this case the wave vector q = 2kF connects
all points on the Fermi surface so that non-analytic behavior occurs at q = 2kF and the one-to-one
correspondence generally required for the Fermi liquid behavior no longer holds. Furthermore, for a square
lattice structure, the nearly squared Fermi surface shown in Fig. VIII.1.3 (b) corresponds to a half-filling
valence state. Specifically, we note that the parent state of high-temperature superconducting cuprates may
be approximated to first order by a two-dimensional square lattice of CuO2 structure with a half-filling
valence state. The strong on-site Coulomb repulsion in the cuprates gives rise to a Mott insulating phase for
half-filling valence, which is known to be electronically strongly correlated. Upon doping with either
electrons or holes into the CuO2 plane, while the Fermi surface of the cuprates begins to deviate from the
perfectly nested condition, the physical properties remain different from the Fermi liquid behavior for a
range of doping levels. In particular, the ground state of these cuprates are found to be rather complex,
ranging from such phases as the insulating antiferromagnetism, spin density waves, charge density waves,
orbital antiferromagnetism, to superconductivity. Consequently, the low-energy excitations of a complex
ground state with multiple competing orders are unlikely simple quasiparticles that preserve the one-to-one
correspondence between one of the ground-state phases and its corresponding excitations. It is therefore not
surprising that the Fermi liquid theory does not apply to the cuprates. Similarly, the physical properties of
another class of strongly correlated material, known as the colossal magnetoresistive (CMR) manganites with
a variety of competing phases, are also found to deviate from the Fermi liquid theory.

Finally, we note that the fractional quantum Hall (FQH) states associated with strongly correlated
electronic configurations of two-dimensional electron gas under large magnetic fields also deviate in a
fundamental way from the Fermi liquid theory. The FQH states generally involve complex ground states and
the excitations consist of quasiparticles that acquire fractional charges and obey fractional statistics. In the
following, we give a general derivation for the Luttinger liquid theory (also known as the Tomonaga-
Luttinger liquid theory), which is one of the celebrated examples of non-Fermi liquid systems.

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-4 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

VIII.2. Tomonaga-Luttinger Liquid Theory

To derive the Tomonaga-Luttinger liquid theory for one-dimensional conductor, we begin with the
Hamiltonian for one dimensional electrons:

H = −∑ ti j ci†σ c jσ = ∑ ε k ck†σ ckσ , (VIII.8)


i jσ kσ

where ti j denotes the hopping energy coefficient between site i and site j. We are primarily interested in the
low-energy physics close to the Fermi surface, so we shall restrict our discussion to linearized systems
around the Fermi surface. In this context, we consider the dispersion relation of the one-dimensional
conductor as depicted in Fig. VIII.1.3 (a), which corresponds to a simplified system with the hopping
coefficient restricted to the nearest neighbor hopping t ≡ ti ,i ±1 so that ε k = −2t cos ( ka ) inEQ. (VIII.8) and a
is the lattice constant. Therefore, the Hamiltonian for the linearized motions of particles around the Fermi
surface becomes:

−α k − k F −α − k − kF
H 0 = ∑ vF ( k − k F ) c1†k σ c1kσ e + ∑ vF ( −k − k F ) c2†k σ c2 kσ e , (VIII.9)
kσ kσ

where vF = ( ∂ε k ∂k )k = k is the Fermi velocity, c1kσ ( c2kσ ) refers to the operator for right- (left-) moving
F

waves, and α is a cutoff on spectrum. We may rewrite EQ. (VIII.9) into a form in coordinate space by the
following transformation:

∞ dk
ψ 1σ ( x ) = ∫ ei k x c1kσ (right-moving)
−∞

∞ dk
ψ 2σ ( x ) = ∫ e − i k x c2 kσ (left-moving)
−∞

so that we have

H 0 = vF ∑ dx ψ 1†σ ( x ) ( −i∂ x − k F )ψ 1σ ( x ) + vF ∑ dx ψ 2†σ ( x ) ( i∂ x − k F )ψ 2σ ( x )


L L

σ
∫ 0
σ

0

≡ vF ∑ dx ψ σ† ( x ) A 0ψ σ ( x ) ,
L

σ

0
(VIII.10)

⎛ −i ∂ x − k F 0 ⎞ ⎛ ψ 1σ ( x ) ⎞
where A0 ≡ ⎜ ⎟, ψσ ( x) ≡ ⎜ ⎟,
⎝ 0 i∂ x − k F ⎠ ⎝ψ 2σ ( x ) ⎠
and L is the length of the one-dimensional conductor.

Next, we want to include interactions among the particles, and the simplest interactions are:
σσ
g11 ( x − y ) ρ1σ ( x ) ρ1σ ′( y ) ,
′ σσ
g12 ( x − y ) ρ1σ ( x ) ρ 2σ ′( y ) ,
′ σσ
g 22 ( x − y ) ρ 2σ ( x ) ρ 2σ ′( y ) ,

where ρiσ ( x ) ≡ ψ i†σ ( x )ψ iσ ( x ) , (i = 1, 2). The coefficients g11


σσ σσ ′ ′
and g 22 have the effect of renormalizing
σσ ′
the Fermi velocity and so do not destroy the Fermi-liquid theory. On the other hand, the coefficient g12

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-5 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

involves the “head-on collisions” of right- and left-moving particles, so is of interest to us. Thus, we may
σσ ′ σσ ′ σσ ′
ignore contributions from the coefficients g11 and g 22 by adding an interaction term involving only g12 :

H = H0 +∑ ( x − y ) ρ1σ ( x ) ρ 2σ ′( y ) .
L L
∫ ∫
σσ ′
dx dy g12 (VIII.11)
0 0
σσ ′

To begin, we first assume a simplified case with all particles being spin polarized so that we can drop
the spin indices for now. This is equivalent to considering a spinless fermion system. We further assume that
only on-site interaction is relevant, so that g12 (x−y) = gδ (x−y). Hence,EQ. (VIII.11) becomes:

dxψ †( x ) H 0 ψ ( x ) + g dx ρ1( x ) ρ 2( x ) .
L L
H = ∫ 0 ∫
0
(VIII.12)

The partition function of the system is now given by

Z = ∫ Dψ 1† Dψ 1 Dψ 2† Dψ 2 e
(
S ψ 1† ,ψ 1 ,ψ 2† ,ψ 2 ) , (VIII.13)

where the action S at finite temperature T = β −1 satisfies the following expression:

( ) ∫
β β
dx ρ1( x ) ρ 2( x ) ≡ S 0 + S I
L L
S =− ∫ 0
dτ ∫ 0
dx ψ †∂τψ + vFψ † A 0ψ − g
0
dτ ∫ 0

β L ⎛ ∂τ − ivF ∂ x − vF k F ⎞ 0
=− ∫0



0 0
dxψ † ⎜ ⎟ψ + S I
∂τ + ivF ∂ x − vF k F ⎠
β L ⎛ D1 0 ⎞
≡ − ∫ dτ ∫ dxψ † ⎜ ⎟ψ + S I . (VIII.14)
0 0
⎝ 0 D2 ⎠

Therefore, we are interested in computing the term:

(
exp ( S I ) = exp − g ∫ dτ ∫ dx ρ1 ρ 2 ,
β
0
L

0 )
which can be evaluated through the Hubbard-Strotonovich transformation by introducing two auxiliary
boson fields ϕ and ϕ* so that we obtain the following identity:

⎡ β L ⎞⎤ ⎛1
∫ Dϕ Dϕ exp ⎢ − ∫ dτ ∫ dx ⎜ ϕ *ϕ + iϕ * ρ1 + iϕρ 2 ⎟ ⎥
*
0 0
⎣ ⎝g ⎠⎦
⎡ β 1 ⎤
( )
β
(ϕ + ig ρ1 ) − g ∫0 dτ ∫0 dx ρ1 ρ 2 ⎥
L L
= ∫ Dϕ * Dϕ exp ⎢ − ∫ dτ ∫ dx ϕ * + ig ρ 2
0 0
⎣ g ⎦
⎡ β 1 ⎤ β
ϕ ⎥ exp ⎡ − g ∫ dτ ∫ dx ρ1 ρ 2 ⎤
L L
= ∫ Dϕ * Dϕ exp ⎢ − ∫ dτ ∫ dx ϕ *
⎣ 0 0 g ⎦ ⎣ 0 0 ⎦

=⎜
⎛πg ⎞

⎝ βL ⎠ 0
β
0(
L
exp − g ∫ dτ ∫ dx ρ1 ρ 2 ) (VIII.15)

We note that to arrive at EQ. (VIII.15) we have used the relation:

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-6 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

n/2
⎛ n ⎞ ⎛ 1 ⎞ n ⎛ 2π ⎞ ⎛ λi λ j ⎞
∫ ⎜⎝ ∏ dyi⎟ exp ⎜ −
⎝ 2
y C y
i ij j + λi j⎟=∏ ⎜
y ⎜
⎠ i =1 ⎝ Ci j
⎟⎟ exp ⎜⎜ − ⎟⎟
. (VIII.16)
i =1 ⎠ ⎠ ⎝ 2Ci j ⎠
Substituting EQ. (VIII.15) into EQ. (VIII.14) and ignore the constant coefficient (π g/βL), we rewrite the
action into the following form:

β L ⎡⎛ D1 0 ⎞ ⎛ϕ* 0 ⎞⎤ 1 β L
∫ ∫ dxψ † ⎢⎜ ⎟ ⎥ψ − ∫0 dτ ∫0 dx ϕ ϕ .
*
S =− dτ ⎟+i⎜ (VIII.17)
0 0
⎣⎝ 0 D2 ⎠ ⎝0 ϕ ⎠⎦ g

Integrating out the fermion sector in EQ. (VIII.17) exactly, we find that the partition function becomes

Z = ∫ Dϕ * Dϕ Dψ † Dψ e
(
S ϕ * ,ϕ ,ψ † ,ψ ) = Dϕ * Dϕ e S ff (ϕ* ,ϕ ) ,
∫ (VIII.18)
e

where the effective action is given by

1
( ) { ( )} + Tr {ln (D
β
+ iϕ )} .
L

g∫ ∫
S eff ϕ * , ϕ = − dτ dx ϕ *ϕ + Tr ln D1 + iϕ * 2 (VIII.19)
0 0

In EQ. (VIII.19) we have used the identity detM = exp (Tr {ln M}), where M is a matrix. Furthermore, the
positive sign associated with the matrix in EQ. (VIII.19) is the result of Grassman algebra involved in
integrating out the fermion operators, as discussed in Part II.5. Therefore, we have effectively bosonized the
action. We remark here that the concept of bosonization is also well known in relativistic field theory in the
operator formalism, including abelian bosonization that maps fermions to the soliton sector of the sine-
Gordon model [S. Coleman, Phys. Rev. D 11, 2088 (1975)] and non-abelian bosonization [A. M. Polyakov
and P. Wiegmann, Phys. Lett. 131B, 121 (1983); E. Witten, Commun. Math. Phys. 92, 455 (1984)].

Next, we make the following substitutions:

ϕ * ⇒ ϕ1 and ϕ ⇒ ϕ2

and for the free fermion case we have ϕ1 = ϕ 2 = 0 so that

S0 = ∑ i =1 Tr ⎣⎡ ln (Di ) ⎦⎤ .
2
(VIII.20)

Introducing the matrix A such that

⎛ 1 0 ⎞ ⎛ϕ* 0 ⎞ −1
A ≡ vF A 0 + ∂τ ⎜ ⎟ +i⎜ ⎟ ≡ −G , (VIII.21)
⎝ 0 1⎠ ⎝ 0 ϕ ⎠

⎛ ψ 1ψ 1† 0 ⎞ ⎛ G1 0 ⎞
where G = −⎜ ⎟≡⎜ , (VIII.22)
⎜ 0 ψ 2ψ 2† ⎟ ⎝ 0 G2 ⎟⎠
⎝ ⎠

G1 = − ( −ivF ∂ x + ∂τ − vF k F + iϕ1 ) ,
−1
and (VIII.23)
G2 = − ( ivF ∂ x + ∂τ − vF k F + iϕ 2 ) ,
−1
(VIII.24)

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-7 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

we find that the Green functions G1 and G2 satisfy the following equations:

( −ivF ∂ x + ∂τ − vF k F + iϕ1 ) G1( x,τ ) = (D1 + iϕ1 ) G1( x,τ ) = −δ ( x ) δ (τ ) , (VIII.25)


( ivF ∂ x + ∂τ − vF k F + iϕ2 ) G2( x,τ ) = (D2 + iϕ2 ) G2( x,τ ) = −δ ( x ) δ (τ ) . (VIII.26)

If we take ϕ1 = ϕ 2 = 0 , we obtain the free fermion propagators G10 and G20 in a frozen background of boson
fields, which satisfy the following equations:

( −ivF ∂ x + ∂τ − vF k F ) G10( x,τ ) = −δ ( x ) δ (τ ) , (VIII.27)


( ivF ∂ x + ∂τ − vF k F ) G20( x,τ ) = −δ ( x ) δ (τ ) . (VIII.28)

After Fourier transformation, we have

1 1
G10( k , ωn ) = = , (VIII.29)
iωn − vF ( k − k F ) iωn − ε 1( k )
1 1
G20( k , ωn ) = = . (VIII.30)
iωn − vF ( − k − k F ) iωn − ε 2( k )

Restoring the spectral cutoff α, the free fermion Green function G10( x,τ ) becomes

i k x − i ωn τ
∞ dk 1 e
G10( x,τ ) = ∫
−∞ 2π β
∑ iω − vF ( k − k F )
e
−α ( k − k F )

ωn n
− i ωn τ
∞ dk 1 e
=∫
−∞ 2π
ei k x e
−α ( k − k F )

β
∑ iω − vF ( k − k F )
ωn n

( )
f vF ( k − k F ) exp ⎡⎣ − vF ( k − k F )τ ⎤⎦

dk − vF ( k − k F )τ 0 dk
e(
kF −α k − k F i k + k F ) x −α k
(for β vF k F 1) ≈∫ ei k x e e =∫ e e − vF k τ
−∞ 2π −∞ 2π
ei k F x 1
= , (VIII.31)
2π ix − vFτ + α
and
ei k F x 1 ei k F x 1
G10( x, t ) = i = . (τ ↔ it ) (VIII.32)
2π ix − ivF t + α 2π x − vF t − iα

The pole x = vF t in EQ. (VIII.32) corresponds to classical right-moving waves. Similarly, the free fermion
Green function for left-moving waves is

e − i kF x 1 e− i kF x 1
G20 ( x, τ ) = and G20 ( x, t ) = − , (τ ↔ it ) . (VIII.33)
2π −ix − vFτ − α 2π x + vF t + iα

Next, with finite interactions so that ϕ j ≠ 0, ( j = 1, 2 ) , the Green functions satisfy the equations

(D j )
+ iϕ j G j ( x,τ ; x′, τ ′ ) = −δ ( x − x′ ) δ (τ − τ ′ ) , ( j = 1, 2 ) . (VIII.34)

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-8 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

If x ≠ x′ and τ ≠ τ ′ , the left side of EQ. (VIII.34) becomes 0, which leads to

( x ,τ ) DjG j ( x ,τ ) ⎛ G j ( x,τ ; x′,τ ′, ϕ j ) ⎞


∫( x′,τ ′) ∫( x′,τ ′) ⎜ G ( x − x′, τ − τ ′ ) ⎟⎟ = −i ⎣ Φ j ( x, τ , ϕ j ) − Φ j ( x , τ , ϕ j ) ⎦ .
= −i ϕj ⇒ ln ⎜ ⎡ ′ ′ ⎤ (VIII.35)
Gj ⎝ j0 ⎠

Hence, for Gj0 being the free fermion propagator, the Green function Gj with ϕ j ≠ 0 becomes

( ) ( ).
( )
− i Φ j x ,τ ;ϕ j + i Φ j x′,τ ′;ϕ j
G j x,τ ; x′, τ ′; ϕ j = G j 0 ( x − x′,τ − τ ′ ) e (VIII.36)

Inserting EQ. (VIII.36) back to the differential equations in EQ. (VIII.34) and using EQs. (VIII.27) and
(VIII.28), we obtain the differential equations for the phases Φj of the Green functions Gj:

−i ( −ivF ∂ x + ∂τ ) Φ1( x, τ ; ϕ1 ) = −iϕ1( x, τ ) , (VIII.37)


−i ( ivF ∂ x + ∂τ ) Φ 2( x,τ ; ϕ 2 ) = −iϕ 2( x,τ ) . (VIII.38)

Given the Fourier transformation of Φ1 and ϕ 1:

1 dk
∑∫

Φ1( x, τ ) = Φ1( k , ωn ) e
i k x − i ωn τ
, (VIII.39)
β ωn
−∞

1 dk
∑∫

ϕ1( x, τ ) = ϕ1( k , ωn ) ei k x −i ωn τ , (VIII.40)
β ωn
−∞

we find
ϕ1( k , ωn ) ϕ 2( k , ωn )
Φ1( k , ωn ) = − , Φ 2( k , ωn ) = − . (VIII.41)
iωn − vF k iωn + vF k

The physical significance of the phases Φj is that they specify the Green functions Gj in the bosonic
field configuration (ϕ1,ϕ2). It is worth noting that in reality the zero interaction solutions to the Green
functions must break down because in one dimension, fluctuations and interactions are very strong. Thus, the
physical observable Green functions are given by:

(ϕ*, ϕ )
∫ Dϕ Dϕ G e
* Seff

G ϕ ≡
j
≡ Zϕ−1 ∫ Dϕ * Dϕ G j e
Seff (ϕ*, ϕ ) , (VIII.42)
j
S (ϕ , ϕ ) *

∫ Dϕ Dϕ e
* eff

S (ϕ , ϕ ) *
Zϕ ≡ ∫ Dϕ Dϕ e * eff
, (VIII.43)

( )
and S eff ϕ * , ϕ satisfies EQ. (VIII.19):

1
( ) { ( )} + Tr {ln (D
β
+ iϕ )} .
L

g∫ ∫
S eff ϕ * , ϕ = − dτ dx ϕ *ϕ + Tr ln D1 + iϕ * 2 (VIII.19)
0 0

In the non-interacting limit, the action becomes

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-9 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

2
S 0 = ∑ Tr ln (D j ) . { } (VIII.44)
j =1

( )
To evaluate S eff ϕ * , ϕ , we first consider the terms ∑ j
{ }
Tr ln (D j + iϕ j ) . Noting that (D j + iϕ j )

( )
is related to the Green function G j x,τ ; x′,τ ′; ϕ j via EQ. (VIII.34), and that taking the trace corresponds to
evaluating ln (D j + iϕ j ) in the x′ → x and τ ′ → τ limit, we write

⎛ D j + iϕ j ⎞
ln (D j + iϕ j ) = ln (D j ) + ln ⎜ ⎟,
⎝ Dj ⎠
⎛ D j + iϕ j ⎞ dλ
= − iϕ j ∫ d λ G j ( x,τ ; x′→ x, τ ′→τ ; ϕ j λ ) .
1 1
and ln ⎜ ⎟ = iϕ j ∫0 (VIII.45)
⎝ Dj ⎠ D j + iϕ j λ 0

Taking τ ′ = τ and x′ = x + η where η → 0+ and using EQs. (VIII.31) and (VIII.33), we have

± i k F ( x − x′)
e 1 e ∓ i k Fη 1
G j 0( x,τ ; x′= x + η ,τ ) = ± =∓ =∓ , (VIII.46)
2π i ( x − x′ ) 2π iη 2π iη

where the upper (lower) sign corresponds to j = 1 (j = 2). Moreover, the phase difference in EQ. (VIII.36)
becomes
∂Φ j
−i Φ j ( x,τ ; ϕ j λ ) + i Φ j ( x + η ,τ ; ϕ j λ ) = iη . (VIII.47)
∂x

Consequently, by inserting EQs. (VIII.46) and (VIII.47) into EQ. (VIII.36) and symmetrizing η, we obtain:

1⎛ −1 iη ( ∂Φ1 ∂x ) 1 −iη ( ∂Φ1 ∂x ) ⎞ 1 ⎛ ∂Φ1 ⎞


lim G1( x,τ ; x + η , τ ; ϕ1λ ) = ⎜ lim e + lim e ⎟ =− ⎜ ⎟, (VIII.48)
η →0 2 ⎝ η →0+ 2π iη η →0 − 2π iη
⎠ 2π ⎝ ∂x ⎠
1⎛ 1 iη ( ∂Φ2 ∂x ) −1 −iη ( ∂Φ2 ∂x ) ⎞ 1 ⎛ ∂Φ 2 ⎞
lim G2( x, τ ; x + η ,τ ; ϕ1λ ) = ⎜ lim e + lim e ⎟ = 2π ⎜ ∂x ⎟ . (VIII.49)
η →0 2 ⎝ η →0+ 2π iη η → 0 − 2π iη
⎠ ⎝ ⎠

( )
Collecting all terms for S eff ϕ * , ϕ = S eff (ϕ1 , ϕ 2 ) and using EQs. (VIII.41), (VIII.45), (VIII.48) and
(VIII.49), we find that

1 ⎧ ⎛ D1 + iϕ * ⎞ ⎫ ⎧ ⎛ D + iϕ ⎞ ⎫
( )
β L

S eff ϕ * , ϕ − S0 = −
g 0 ∫ 0
dτ dx ϕ *ϕ + Tr ⎨ln ⎜
⎩ ⎝ D1 ⎠ ⎭
⎟ ⎬ + Tr ⎨ln ⎜ 2
⎩ ⎝ D2 ⎠ ⎭
⎟⎬

1 β i 1 β ⎛ ∂Φ1 ∂Φ 2 ⎞
= − ∫ dτ ∫ dx ϕ1ϕ 2 +
L
∫ d λ ∫ dτ ∫ dx ⎜ λϕ1
L
− λϕ 2 ⎟
g 0 0 2π 0 0 0
⎝ ∂x ∂x ⎠
1 β ⎡1 dk i ( k x −ω τ ) ⎤ ⎡ 1 dk i ( k x −ω τ ) ⎤
= − ∫ dτ ∫ dx ⎢ ∑ ∫ 1 ϕ1( k1 , ωn1 ) e 1 n1 ⎥ ⎢ ∑ ∫ 2 ϕ 2( k2 , ωn 2 ) e 2 n 2 ⎥
L

g 0 0
⎣ β ωn1 2π ⎦ ⎣ β ωn 2 2π ⎦

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-10 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

i β ⎡1 dk 1 dk ( ⎛ ϕ1 k1′, ωn′1 ) ⎞ i ( k1′x −ωn′ 1τ ) ⎤


⎤⎡ ′
∑ ∫ 2π ϕ ( k , ω ) e (
i k x −ω τ )
⎥⎢ ∑∫
L
+
4π ∫
0
dτ ∫
0
dx ⎢
⎣β ωn 1
1
1 1 n1
β ′ 2π
ik ′ ⎜ −
⎦ ⎣ ωn 1
1

iω ′ ⎝
n1

n1
− vF k1′ ⎠
⎟e ⎥

1
1

i β ⎡1 dk ⎤⎡1 dk ′ ⎛ ϕ ( k ′ , ω′ ) ⎞ ⎤
∑ ∫ 2π2 ϕ2( k2 , ωn 2 ) ei ( − k2 x−ωn 2τ ) ⎥ ⎢ β ∑′ ∫ 2π2 ( −ik2′ ) ⎜ − iω2 ′ 2+ v nk2 ′ ⎟ ei ( − k2 x −ωn 2τ ) ⎥
L

4π ∫ ∫
′ ′
+ dτ dx ⎢
0 0
⎣β ωn 2 ⎦ ⎣ ωn 2 ⎝ n2 F 2 ⎠ ⎦
1 1 1 1 dk ⎡ ϕ ( k , ω ) ϕ ( − k , −ω ) ϕ ( k , ω ) ϕ ( − k , −ω ) ⎤
[ϕ ( k , ω ) ϕ ( −k , −ω )] +
dk
=−
g β
∑ ∫ 2π
1
4π β
n ∑ ∫2

k ⎢
iω − v k
n

iω + v k

1 n 1 n 2 n 2 n

ωn ωn ⎣ n F n F ⎦
1 1 1
[ϕ ( k , ω ) ϕ ( −k , −ω )] − ∑ ∫ A ( k , ω ) ϕ ( k , ω ) ϕ ( −k , −ω )
dk dk
≡−
g β
∑ ∫ 2π
1
β
n

2 n 1 n 1 n 1 n
ωn ωn

1 dk

β
∑ ∫ 2π
A ( k , ω ) ϕ ( k , ω ) ϕ ( − k , −ω ) ,
2 n 2 n 2 n
(VIII.50)
ωn

(k 4π ) (k 4π )
where A1( k , ωn ) = − and A2( k , ωn ) = . (VIII.51)
iωn − vF k iωn + vF k

In addition, from EQ. (VIII.41) the phase in EQ. (VIII.42) can be expressed by

1 dk ⎡ ei ( k x −ωn τ ) − ei ( k x′−ωn τ ′) ⎤
i Φ1( x,τ ; ϕ1 ) − i Φ1( x′, τ ′; ϕ1 ) = −i
β
∑ ∫ 2π ϕ ( k , ω ) 1 n ⎢
iωn − vF k

ωn ⎢⎣ ⎥⎦
1 dk
≡ −i
β
∑ ∫ 2π
ϕ ( k , ω ) J ( k , ω ; x, τ , x′, τ ′ ) ,
1 n 1 n
ωn

1 dk 1
= −i
β
∑ ∫ 2π 2
⎡⎣ϕ1( k , ωn ) J1( k , ωn ; x, τ , x′, τ ′ ) + ϕ1( − k , −ωn ) J1*( k , ωn ; x,τ , x′,τ ′ ) ⎤⎦ .(VIII.52)
ωn

Hence, from EQs. (VIII.42) and (VIII.50) – (VIII.52) also noting that ϕ1( − k , −ωn ) = ϕ 2( k , ωn ) , the
expectation value of G1 becomes

1 i ⎡Φ1( x ,τ ,ϕ1 ) − Φ1( x′,τ ′,ϕ1 ) ⎦⎤ Seff (ϕ1 , ϕ2 )


G1 ϕ =
Zϕ ∫ Dϕ1Dϕ2 G10 e ⎣ e

1 ⎡ 1 dk ⎧ 1 ⎫ ⎤
= ∫ Dϕ1Dϕ2 G10 exp ⎢⎣ − β ∑ ∫ 2π ⎨⎩ϕ 1
ϕ 2 + ϕ1 A1ϕ 2 + ϕ 2 A2ϕ1 +
i
2
(ϕ J
1 1
+ ϕ 2 J1* ) ⎬ + S0 ⎥ . (VIII.53)
Zϕ ω n
g ⎭ ⎦

1
Introducing D −1 ≡ + A1 + A2 , the exponent in G1 ϕ can be rewritten into
g

1 dk ⎧⎛ i ⎞ ⎛ i ⎞ D ⎫
∑ ∫ 2π ⎨⎜⎝ ϕ
2
S0 − 1
+ DJ1* ⎟ D −1 ⎜ ϕ 2 + DJ1 ⎟ + J1 ⎬ ,
β ωn ⎩ 2 ⎠ ⎝ 2 ⎠ 4 ⎭

so that after integrating out ϕ1 and ϕ2, we obtain

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-11 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

1 ⎛ 1 dk D ⎞
∑ ∫ 2π J1 ⎟ ≡ G10 ( x − x′, τ − τ ′ ) exp ⎡⎣ −Q( x, τ , x′,τ ′ ) ⎤⎦ ,
2
G1 ϕ = G10 Zϕ exp⎜ − (VIII.54)
Zϕ ⎝ β ωn 4 ⎠
where
1 1 ⎡ 2 ⎤
2 (
1 − cos [ k ( x − x′ ) − ω (τ − τ ′ )]) ⎥
dk dk
∑ ∫ 2π ∑ ∫ 2π
2
Q( x, τ , x′, τ ′ ) ≡ D J1 ≡ D⎢ (VIII.55)
4β 4β ⎢⎣ ωn + ( vF k )
2 n
ωn ωn ⎥⎦

is analogous to the Debye-Waller factor in Bragg diffraction due to thermal fluctuations. In addition, from
EQ. (VIII.51) we have

1 k ⎛1 1 ⎞ 1 k ⎛ 2v F k ⎞
D −1 = − ⎜ − ⎟ = − ⎜⎜ ⎟
g 4π ⎝ iωn − vF k iωn + vF k ⎠ g 4π ( iωn ) − ( vF k ) ⎟
2 2
⎝ ⎠
1 ⎛ ( iωn ) − ( vF k ) − ( vF k ) ( g 2π vF ) ⎞ 1 ⎛ ( iωn ) − ( vF k ) (1 + 2 g ) ⎞
2 2 2 2 2

= ⎜ ⎟≡ ⎜ ⎟
g⎜ ( ) ( ) ⎟ g⎜ ( ) ( ) ⎟
2 2 2 2
⎝ iω n
− v F
k ⎠ ⎝ iω n
− v F
k ⎠
1 ⎛ ( iωn ) − ( uk ) ⎞
2 2

≡ ⎜ ⎟, (VIII.56)
g ⎜ ( iωn ) − ( vF k ) ⎟
2 2
⎝ ⎠

where g ≡ ( g 4π vF ) and u 2 ≡ vF2 (1 + 2 g ) , so that

g dk ⎡⎣1 − cos ( k x − ωnτ ) ⎤⎦


Q ( x, τ ) = ∑ ∫ 2π . (VIII.57)
ωn2 + ( uk )
2
2β ωn

We further note that the physical significance of u corresponds to the velocity of the bosonic mode.

In the case of equal time propagator, we have τ = 0 in EQ. (VIII.57),

⎧ 1
dk ⎪ ⎛ 1 ⎞ ⎪⎫
1
⎟ ⎬ [1 − cos ( k x )]
g
Q ( x, 0 ) = − ⎨ ∑⎜
2 ∫ 2π ⎪ 2ε β ω iω − εk

iωn + ε k ⎠ ⎭
⎩ k n ⎝ n ⎪
⎧ 1 ⎛
dk ⎪ 1 1 ⎞ ⎪⎫
⎜ βε k − − βε k ⎟ ⎬ [1 − cos ( k x )] ,
g
2 ∫ 2π ⎪ 2ε
= ⎨ (VIII.58)
⎩ k ⎝ e −1 e − 1 ⎠⎭ ⎪

where uk ≡ εk, and we have used one of the following relations (for bosons):

1 e
iωnη
1 ⎛ π ( 2n + 1) ⎞
lim
β
∑ iω −x
= βx
+1
⎜ for fermions, ωn = β ⎟,
η →0 +
ωn n
e ⎝ ⎠
iωnη
1 e 1 ⎛ 2π n ⎞
lim
β
∑ iω −x
=− βx
−1
⎜ for bosons, ωn = β ⎟ . (VIII.59)
η →0 +
ωn n
e ⎝ ⎠

At T = 0, the first term in EQ. (VIII.58) contributes to k < 0 and the second term contributes to k > 0, so that

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-12 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

g⎧ 0 dk ( −1) ∞ dk 1 ⎫
Q ( x, 0 ) = ⎨ ∫−∞ [1 − cos ( k x )] + ∫0 [1 − cos ( k x )]⎬
2 ⎩ 2π 2uk 2π 2uk ⎭
g 2 ⎧ ∞ ⎡1 − cos ( k x ) ⎤ −Λk ⎫
=
4π 2u ⎩ ∫0
⎨ dk ⎢ ⎥ e ⎬ ≡ 2ν H ( x ) , (VIII.60)
⎣ k ⎦ ⎭
where

⎧ ∞ ⎡1 − cos ( k x ) ⎤ −Λk ⎫ g
H ( x ) ≡ ⎨ ∫ dk ⎢ ⎥e ⎬ and ν≡ ,
0
⎩ ⎣ k ⎦ ⎭ 8π u

and Λ−1 represents cutoff momentum transfer in collision. Noting that

∂H ( x )
∂x
= {∫
0

dk sin ( kx ) e −Λk = ⎜ } ⎛ x ⎞
2 2 ⎟
⎝ x +Λ ⎠
⇒ H ( x) =
1
2
ln ⎜
⎛ x2 + Λ2 ⎞
⎝ Λ
2 ⎟,

we obtain
ν
⎛ x2 + Λ2 ⎞
Q( x, 0 ) = ln ⎜ 2 ⎟ . (VIII.61)
⎝ Λ ⎠
Therefore,

i k F ( x − x′ ) ν
e ⎛ Λ2 ⎞
G1 ( x − x′, 0 ) = ⎜⎜ ⎟ . (VIII.62)
ϕ
2π [i ( x − x′ ) + α ] ⎝ ( x − x′ ) + Λ ⎟⎠
2 2

In the absence of interaction so that g = 0 and ν = 0, EQ. (VIII.62) recovers the form of the free propagator.
The extra factor in EQ. (VIII.62) in the presence of finite interaction represents the particle-hole “cloud” that
an electron drags along as it moves. The cloud is associated with bosonic excitations that prevent coherent
motion of electrons in a one-dimensional system. Specifically, the propagator G1 ϕ reflects the singular
nature of the forward scattering in one dimension while the propagator G2 ϕ
represents that of the back
scattering.

Next, we relax the equal time propagator condition and consider a more general function Q( x,τ ≠ 0 )
so that from EQ. (VIII.57)

dk ⎧
⎪ 1 ⎛ 1 1 ⎞ ⎫⎪
⎟ ⎬ [1 − cos ( k x − ωnτ )]
g
Q ( x, τ ) = −
2u ∫ 2π ⎩
⎨ ∑ ⎜ iω −
⎪ 2k β ωn ⎝ n
− uk iωn + uk ⎠ ⎭⎪
g 1
{−n ( uk ) [1 − cos ( k x + iukτ )] + n ( −uk ) [1 − cos ( k x − iukτ )]} ,
∞ dk
2u 2π ∫
=− B B (VIII.63)
−∞ k

and the boson distribution function nB ( uk ) in the T → 0 limit is given by

nB ( uk ) = −1 ( k < 0), nB ( −uk ) = −1 ( k > 0),


=0 ( k > 0) ; =0 ( k < 0) .

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-13 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

Defining X ± ≡ x ± iuτ and introducing a cutoff momentum Λ−1, we rewrite EQ. (VIII.63) into the following:

g 1
e −Λk {[1 − cos ( k X + )] + [1 − cos ( kX − )]}
∞ dk
Q ( x, τ ) =
2u 2π ∫ 0 k
g ⎡ ( X +2 + Λ 2 )( X −2 + Λ 2 ) ⎤ ⎡ ( X +2 + Λ 2 )( X −2 + Λ 2 ) ⎤
= ln ⎢ ⎥ = ν ln ⎢ ⎥. (VIII.64)
8π u ⎣⎢ Λ4 ⎦⎥ ⎢⎣ Λ4 ⎦⎥
Hence, the corresponding Green function becomes
ν
⎡ Λ4 ⎤
( Gν )ϕ = Gν 0 ⎢ 2 2 ⎥
, (VIII.65)
⎢⎣ ( X + + Λ )( X − + Λ ) ⎥⎦
2 2

which contains branch-cut singularities for finite ν and is the same for both left- and right-moving modes.

To examine whether the Fermi surface discontinuity (Zk) survives under finite interaction in one-
dimension, we want to evaluate the particle distribution function in momentum space, nk, which is directly
related to the Fourier transform of the equal time Green function G(x,0):

nk = 1 − ∫ dx e −i k x G ( x, 0 ) . (VIII.66)

Using EQ. (VIII.61) and ignoring the coefficient α during integration:

ei ( kF − k ) x ⎛ Λ 2 ⎞ sgn ( k − k F ) ∞ sin ( k − k F x ) ⎛ Λ 2 ⎞
ν ν
−i ∞
G ( x, 0 ) =
∫ dx e 2π ∫−∞ ∫0 dx
−i k x
dx ⎜ 2 2 ⎟
= ⎜ x2 + Λ2 ⎟
x ⎝ x +Λ ⎠ π x ⎝ ⎠
sgn ( k − k F )
=
π
{Λ k − k F
a1 (ν , Λ k − k F ) + ( Λ k − k F )

a2 (ν , Λ k − k F )} , (VIII.67)

where a1 and a2 are smooth functions of ν and Λ k − k F . [For further details, you may refer to D. K. D. Lee
and Y. Chen, J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 21, 4155 (1988).] In the event that Λ k − k F 1 and 2ν < 1, EQ.
(VIII.67) may be approximated by

sgn ( k − k F )
(Λ k − k )

∫ dx e
−i k x
G ( x, 0 ) ≈ a2 (ν , Λ k − k F ) .
π
F

Consequently, although nk is non-analytic at kF, Zk = 0 at kF and the system is not a Fermi liquid. Therefore,
Luttinger liquid is a quantum field in a different universality class from the Fermi liquid.

The non-Fermi liquid behavior of Luttinger liquid is due to large quantum fluctuations of bosons that
destroy the coherent propagation of fermions. In general, in three dimensions, quantum fluctuations are
unimportant at all temperatures, and thermal fluctuations are important near a phase transition temperature (T
~ Tc). In two dimensions, quantum fluctuations are still unimportant at all temperatures, whereas thermal
fluctuations are important at all finite temperatures T > 0. In one dimension, however, both quantum and
thermal fluctuations are always important at all temperatures T ≥ 0 , and the quantum fluctuations destroy
Fermi liquid characteristics. On the other hand, we have shown that under interaction in one dimension, there
is a free bosonic mode propagating coherently with a velocity u = vF (1 + 2 g ) . This bosonic mode in the
1/ 2

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-14 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

spinless case is associated with plasmons. On the other hand, the bosonic excitations in one dimension
become even more interesting when we restore spin indices in the Hamiltonian. In the following we shall
show that in a Luttinger liquid we have spin and charge separation.

The total Hamiltonian (H) consists of the non-interaction Hamiltonian (H0) and the interacting
Hamiltonian (HI), and HI includes different interaction strengths among parallel and anti-parallel spins:

2
H 0 = ∫ dx ∑∑ψ †j σ ( x )( ∓ ivF ∂ x − vF k F )ψ j σ ( x ) ,
L
(VIII.68)
0
j =1 σ

( ) ( )
L
H I = ∫ dx g ρ1↑ ρ 2↑ + ρ1↓ ρ 2↓ + g ⊥ ρ1↑ ρ 2↓ + ρ1↓ ρ 2↑ . (VIII.69)
0

The charge and spin densities may be defined in terms of ρ jσ (j = 1, 2) as follows:

ρ j = ρ j↑ + ρ j↓ , (charge density) (VIII.70)


σ j = ρ j↑ − ρ j↓ . (spin density) (VIII.71)

We may also define new coupling constants ( g ρ , gσ ) :

1
gρ =
2
(g + g⊥ ,) (VIII.72)

1
gσ =
2
(g − g⊥ ,) (VIII.73)

so that the interaction Hamiltonian becomes

( ) ∑
L L
H I = ∫ dx g ρ ρ1 ρ 2 + gσ σ 1σ 2 = ∫ dx gνν 1ν 2 , (VIII.74)
0 0
ν = ρ ,σ

and its contribution to the partition function becomes

⎡ 1 β ⎤ ⎡ 1 β ⎛ ϕν*ϕν ⎞⎤
∏ ∫0 dτ ∫ dx gνν 1ν 2 ⎥ = ∏ ∫ Dϕν* Dϕν exp ⎢ − ∫ dτ ∫
L L
exp ⎢ − dx ⎜ + iϕν*ν 1 + iϕνν 2 ⎟ ⎥ . (VIII.75)
ν = ρ ,σ ⎣ β 0
⎦ ν = ρ ,σ ⎣ β
0 0
⎝ gν ⎠⎦

Hence, we need separate spin and charge bosons to decouple the interaction given in EQ. (VIII.75). Similar
to our previous discussion of spinless fermions, the right and left-moving Green functions are related to the
non-interacting Green functions by the following expression:

(
G j = G j 0 exp ⎡⎣ −i Φ j ρ + σ Φ j σ − Φ′j ρ − σ Φ′j σ ⎤⎦ , ) (VIII.76)

where the phase factors are given by

1 dk ϕ jν ( k , ων )
∑ ∫ 2π e (
i ± k x −ων τ )
Φ jν ( x, τ ) = − . (VIII.77)
β ων iων ∓ vF k

Just as in the spinless case, the effective action becomes

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-15 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

1 β ϕν*ϕν 1 β ⎛ ∂Φ1ν ∂Φ 2ν ⎞
Seff − S0 = − ∑ ∑
β∫
dτ ∫ dx
4π ∫
dτ ∫ dx ⎜ ϕ1ν
L L
+ − ϕ 2ν ⎟ (VIII.78)
ν = ρ ,σ
0 0
gν ν = ρ ,σ
0 0
⎝ ∂x ∂x ⎠

so that we may treat the spin and charge terms separately. Fourier transforming each sector as in the spinless
case, we find that the second term in EQ. (VIII.78) is

1 dk

β
∑ ∫ 2π ⎡⎣ Dρ−1ϕ1ρ ( k , ωn ) ϕ1ρ ( − k , −ωn ) + Dσ−1ϕ1σ ( k , ωn ) ϕ1σ ( − k , −ωn ) ⎤⎦ , (VIII.79)
ωn

where
⎞ 1 ⎛ ( iων ) − ( uν k ) ⎞
2 2
−1 1 k ⎛ 1 1
Dν ≡ − ⎜ − ⎟≡ ⎜ 2 ⎟
, (VIII.80)
gν 4π ⎝ iων − vF k iων + vF k ⎠ gν ⎜⎝ ( iων ) − ( vF k ) ⎟⎠
2


and uν2 ≡ vF2 (1 + 2 gν ) , gν ≡ . (VIII.81)
4π vF

In general, the velocities of the charge and spin sectors are different if the corresponding interaction
strengths are different. That is, uσ ≠ u ρ if gσ ≠ g ρ , implying that the coherent propagation of the spin and
charge sectors become separate in a Luttinger liquid. We also note that the exact ground state of a Luttinger
liquid depends on the specific interaction coefficients gν for a given model. Some known examples of the
ground state and the corresponding field operators include the following:

charge density wave (CDW): OCDW ( x ) = ∑ψ +†,σ ( x )ψ − ,σ ( x ) ;


σ

spin density wave (SDW): OSDW ( x ) = ∑ σ ψ +†,σ ( x )ψ − ,σ ( x ) ;


σ

singlet superconductor (SS): OSS ( x ) = ∑ ψ +†,σ ( x )ψ −†,−σ ( x ) ;


σ

triplet superconductor (TS): OTS ( x ) = ∑ ψ +†,σ ( x )ψ −†,σ ( x ) .


σ

Moreover, the correlation function R(x) of a Luttinger liquid is of the general form:

( )
− ⎡⎣ 2 − α O K ρ , Kσ ⎤⎦
R ( x ) ∼ O †( x ) O ( 0 ) ∼ x , (VIII.82)

where the Kρ (> 0) and Kσ (> 0) are the correlation length exponents for charge and spin sectors, respectively,
and the exponent 0 < αO < 2 is specified by the field operator O and is also dependent on the interaction
coefficients gν of a given model. We further note that the dependence of the correlation length given inEQ.
(VIII.82) implies that there is only quasi-long range order in Luttinger liquids. In addition, there are simple
relations between the exponent αO and the correlation exponents Kρ and Kσ. For instance, the following
relations hold for CDW, SDW, SS and TS:

α CDW = α SDW = 2 − Kσ − K ρ , (VIII.83)


α SS = 2 − Kσ − K ρ−1 , (VIII.84)

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-16 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part VIII: Breakdown of Fermi-Liquid Theory & The Luttinger Liquids
Field Theory

α TS = 2 − Kσ−1 − K ρ−1 . (VIII.85)

Generally, for a given model Hamiltonian, we only need to compute one dimensionless number Kρ to
know the character of the ground state of a Luttinger liquid. For example, if we find that Kρ > 1, then we
have αSS > αCDW, implying that the singlet superconductivity state is more stable than the charge density
wave. On the other hand, for Kρ < 1 we find αSS < αCDW, so that the charge density wave becomes a more
favorable ground state than singlet superconductivity. In the interest of time, we shall not proceed further
here with detail derivations of specific Luttinger liquids.

Further Readings

1. S. Tomonoga, Prog. Theor. Phys. 5, 544 (1950).


2. J. M. Luttinger, J. Math. Phys. 4, 1154 (1963).
3. A. Luther and V. J. Emery, Phys. Rev. Lett. 33, 589 (1974).
4. F. D. M. Haldane, J. Phys. C: Solid State Phys. 12, 4791 (1979); ibid. 14, 2585 (1981).
5. J. Sólyom, Adv. Phys. 28, 201 (1979).
6. D. K. K. Lee and Y. Chen, J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 21, 4155 – 4171 (1988).
7. S. Doniach and E. H. Sondheimer, “Green Functions for Solid State Physicists”, Imperial College Press
(1998), Chapter 11.

Nai-Chang Yeh VIII-17 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part IX: Interacting Bosons & Superfluidity
Field Theory

PART IX. Interacting Bosons & Superfluidity


Thus far you have learnt mostly the low-energy excitations of fermion systems that obey the exclusion
principle and have a ground state consisting of a filled Fermi sea. In contrast to fermions, the ground state of
an ideal bose system consists of all particles in one single-particle mode with lowest energy. Therefore, the
low-energy excitations and the corresponding perturbation theory of an interacting bose system are very
different from those of fermions, which are topics of our investigation in Part IX. Specifically, we begin in
Part IX.1 with reformulating the many-body description for the ground and excitation states of bosons at T =
0, followed by discussions of the corresponding perturbation theory, diagrammatic analysis and Feynman
rules for bosons in Part IX.2. An application of the formalism to weakly interacting bosons is described in
Part IX.3, and the formalism is further generalized to T > 0 in Part IX.4. Finally, in Part IX.5, we discuss the
phenomena of superfluidity in liquid 4He, known as a quantum liquid of interacting bosons. Recent
realization of Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) in cold atoms will be left to Part X.

IX.1. Basic Formalism for Interacting Bosons at T = 0

The reason why the usual form of perturbation theory does not apply to bosons can be understood by
the following consideration. For a non-interacting system of N bosons, the ground state consists of all
particles in the lowest energy mode and is given by the expression:

Φ 0( N ) = N , 0, 0, … . (IX.1)

Specifically, if we confine the non-interacting bosons within a volume Ω with periodic boundary conditions,
the ground state acquires zero momentum. Now if we apply the creation and annihilation operators a0† and a0
to the ground state, we find the following relations:

a0 Φ 0( N ) = N 1/ 2 N − 1, 0, 0,… = N 1/ 2 Φ 0( N − 1) ,
a0† Φ 0( N ) = ( N + 1) N + 1, 0, 0, … = ( N + 1) Φ 0( N + 1) .
1/ 2 1/ 2
(IX.2)

Clearly neither operators can annihilate the ground state, so that our prescriptions for separating operators
into purely creation and destruction parts in the case fermions fail completely for bosons, which makes the
application of Wick’s theorem to bosons much more complicated. The way around this problem encountered
with the definitions of a0† and a0 is to introduce new operators as follows:

ξ0 ≡ Ω−1/ 2 a0 , ξ0† ≡ Ω−1/ 2 a0† , (IX.3)

so that the new operators satisfy the relations:

⎡⎣ξ 0 , ξ 0† ⎤⎦ = Ω −1 , (IX.4)
1/ 2
⎛N⎞
ξ 0 Φ 0( N ) =⎜ ⎟ Φ 0( N − 1) , (IX.5)
⎝Ω⎠
1/ 2
⎛ N +1⎞
ξ 0† Φ 0( N ) = ⎜ ⎟ Φ 0( N + 1) . (IX.6)
⎝ Ω ⎠

Nai-Chang Yeh IX-1 ITAP (July 2009)


Advanced Condensed Matter Part IX: Interacting Bosons & Superfluidity
Field Theory
From EQ. (IX.4) it is clear that the commutator of the new operators vanishes in the thermodynamic limit
where N → ∞, Ω → ∞, ( N Ω ) → constant. Thus, we may treat the operators ξ 0† and ξ0 as c-numbers as first
suggested by Bogoliubov [N. N. Bogoliubov, J. Phys. (USSR) 11, 23 (1947)], as long as we only consider
states with a finite fraction of the particles occupying the zero-momentum mode, known as the condensate.
Clearly this approximation does not consider the possibility of fluctuations in the occupation number of the
condensate.

The expressions given in EQs. (IX.4) – (IX.6) are based on an implicit assumption that the bosons
form an ideal bose gas. In the presence of interactions among the bosons, we expect that the occupation
number of the zero-momentum mode is reduced to N0 < N, so that the ground-state expectation value
becomes

Φ 0 ξ 0†ξ 0 Φ 0 = ( N 0 Ω ) ≡ n0 < n ≡ ( N Ω ) . (IX.7)

Nonetheless, the Bogoliubov replacement is still applicable to the interacting system as long as N0 is still a
significant fraction of N. Hence, we may define the boson field operator as follows:

ψ ( x ) = ξ 0 + ∑ Ω −1/ 2 ei k i x ak ≡ ξ 0 + ϕ ( x ) = n1/0 2 + ϕ ( x ) , (IX.8)


k ≠0

where the operator ϕ (x) has no zero-momentum components, and ξ0 is a c-number. The separation of the
boson field operator into two parts clearly modifies the Hamiltonian in a fundamental way. Specifically, the
potential energy can be expressed in terms of ϕ (x) and ξ0 (= n01/ 2 ):
7
1
Vˆ = ∫ d 3 x d 3 x′ ψ †( x )ψ †( x′ ) V ( x − x′ )ψ ( x′ )ψ ( x ) ≡ E0 + ∑ Vˆj , (IX.9)
2 j =1

where the eight distinct parts in EQ. (IX.9) are given by:
1
E0 = n02 ∫ d 3 x d 3 x′ V ( x − x′ ) , (IX.10)
2
1
Vˆ1 = n0 ∫ d 3 x d 3 x′ V ( x − x′ ) ϕ ( x′ ) ϕ ( x ) , (IX.11)
2
1
Vˆ2 = n0 ∫ d 3 x d 3