Application of quantum field theory to condensed matter physics

  • Thread starter chris_183
  • Start date
  • #1
15
0
i've read that quantum field theory can be applied to condensed matter physics but i don't understand how: quantum field theory is the union of SR with QM but how is SR related to condensed matter physics? i understand that quantum field theory would be useful because it can describe many-particle systems but i've read about it being applied to the thermodynamics of solids at temperatures near absolute zero - how could SR possibly be related to this?
someone please help me understand :smile:
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
176
0
Through my shallow understanding, they are linked through Entropy-Information Theory.
I might be wrong though.
 
  • #3
Haelfix
Science Advisor
1,951
214
Most of modern condensed matter physics is field theory, and of course the former has greatly advanced understanding of the latter (for instance the Higgs mechanism was independantly found by condensed matter theorists). They simply take the nonrelativistic limit in most cases.

Its useful b/c ultimately its a formalism to deal with the many body problem.
 
  • #4
ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
35,847
4,664
i've read that quantum field theory can be applied to condensed matter physics but i don't understand how: quantum field theory is the union of SR with QM but how is SR related to condensed matter physics? i understand that quantum field theory would be useful because it can describe many-particle systems but i've read about it being applied to the thermodynamics of solids at temperatures near absolute zero - how could SR possibly be related to this?
someone please help me understand :smile:
As Haelfix has stated, it is most widely used in the treatment of many-body physics. The best introduction to it is Mattuck's book "A Guide to Feynman Diagrams in the Many-Body Problem".

All QFT need not be relativistic, or at least, not dealing with relativistic effects, in condensed matter physics.

Zz.
 
  • #5
8
0
what does the SR mean?
 
  • #7
980
2
i've read that quantum field theory can be applied to condensed matter physics but i don't understand how: quantum field theory is the union of SR with QM but how is SR related to condensed matter physics? i understand that quantum field theory would be useful because it can describe many-particle systems but i've read about it being applied to the thermodynamics of solids at temperatures near absolute zero - how could SR possibly be related to this?
someone please help me understand :smile:
As people have pointed out, QFT doesn't really have anything to do with special relativity. It is fundamentally the study of fields, from a quantum point of view. These field *can* be relativistic, and currently QFT really the only mainstream accepted way to do quantum mechanics in a relativistic manner. However, nothing constrains it to that arena.

Most frequently in condensed matter, we approximate some macroscopic system as a set of interacting fields. For instance, lattices can be approximated as an elastic continuum for the purposes of looking at phonons. However, due to the real intrinsic lower bound on the scale of the system, the theory has a frequency cut-off --- something which is very general in condensed matter field theory.
 

Related Threads on Application of quantum field theory to condensed matter physics

Replies
8
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
8K
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
4K
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
7K
Replies
10
Views
13K
Top