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Beyond Particles: Unparticles in Strongly Correlated Electron Matter

  • Phillips, Philip W.
Published Article
Publication Date
Dec 02, 2014
Submission Date
Dec 02, 2014
DOI: 10.1142/9789814704090_0005
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I am concerned in these lectures with the breakdown of the particle concept in strongly correlated electron matter. I first show that the standard procedure for counting particles, namely Luttinger's theorem, breaks down anytime pole-like excitations are replaced by ones that have a divergent self-energy. Such a breakdown obtains in electronic systems whose pole-like excitations do not extend to the edge of the Brillouin zone, as in Fermi arcs in the cuprates. Since any non-trivial infrared dynamics in strongly correlated electron matter must be controlled by a critical fixed point, unparticles are the natural candidate to explain the presence of charged degrees of freedom that have no particle content. The continuous mass formulation of unparticles is recast as an action in anti de Sitter space. Such an action serves as the generating functional for the propagator. This mapping fixes the scaling dimension of the unparticle to be $d_U=d/2+\sqrt{d^2+4}/2$ and ensures that the corresponding propagator has zeros with $d$ the spacetime dimension of the unparticle field. The general {\it dynamical} mechanism by which bulk operators, such as the Pauli term, couple to the scaling dimension of the boundary operator and thereby lead to a vanishing of the spectral weight at zero energy is reviewed in the context of unparticles and zeros. The analogue of the BCS gap equations with unparticles indicates that the transition temperature increases as the attractive interaction strength decreases, indicating that unparticles are highly susceptible to a superconducting instability.

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