Lindhard RPA Dielectric Function Electron Gas

In summary, the dielectric function of a gas of free electrons with a homogeneous positive background is often described using the Lindhard or Random Phase Approximation (RPA). The function is dependent on both frequency (omega) and wavevector (k), but becomes non-analytic at the point where omega equals 0 and k equals 0. This behavior is due to the existence of gapless excitations at the Fermi surface. The different limits of taking omega to 0 before k or vice versa have an impact on the response of the electrons, with the former allowing for more time for the electrons to adjust to the field. This also changes when considering factors such as scattering and band structure. The k = 0 current has a
  • #1
DrDu
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The longitudinal dielectric function of a gas of free electrons (+ homogeneous positive background) is often described in the Lindhard- or Random Phase Approximation (RPA).
The dielectric function depends on both frequency omega and wavevector k. However, it is non-analytic at the point omega=0, k=0. Namely its value depends on how the constant ratio of omega/k is chosen in the limit omega to 0. What is the physics behind this behaviour?
 
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  • #2
The singular structure comes from the existence of gapless excitations at the Fermi surface. Is this answer too brief/trivial for what you were looking for?
 
  • #3
Dear Physics Monkey,

Too brief yes, too trivial no. I was thinking the following: when taking the limit omega to 0 before k to 0 (static screening) the electrons have all the time of the world to adjust to the field. In the other limit ( k to 0 before omega to 0) they would have to move with too high velocity over too large a distance.
I also think that the latter limit changes drastically if scattering/band structure is to be included.
 
  • #4
This is also the basic picture I have. In the case of k going to zero first, one knows a lot about the response of the free gas because the k = 0 current is basically the momentum. Even if you include electron-electron interactions the k = 0 current has a simple structure dictated by momentum conservation. This is another way to understand how the k = 0 finite omega result is special. Of course, this changes as you say once one introduces band structure or non-translation invariant scattering (like impurities) etc.
 

What is the Lindhard RPA Dielectric Function for an Electron Gas?

The Lindhard RPA (Random Phase Approximation) Dielectric Function for an Electron Gas is a mathematical model used to describe the behavior of an electron gas in a solid material.

How is the Lindhard RPA Dielectric Function calculated?

The Lindhard RPA Dielectric Function is calculated using the response of an electron gas to an external electric field. This response is determined by solving the quantum mechanical equations of motion for the electrons in the gas.

What is the significance of the Lindhard RPA Dielectric Function in materials science?

The Lindhard RPA Dielectric Function is an important tool for understanding the optical and electronic properties of materials, as it describes the behavior of electrons in a solid material under the influence of an external electric field. It is used in the study of various phenomena such as plasmons, excitons, and surface effects.

What are the limitations of the Lindhard RPA Dielectric Function?

The Lindhard RPA Dielectric Function is based on certain simplifying assumptions, such as the assumption of a homogeneous electron gas and the neglect of electron-electron interactions. These limitations may affect the accuracy of the results, particularly in systems with strong electron correlations.

Can the Lindhard RPA Dielectric Function be applied to all materials?

No, the Lindhard RPA Dielectric Function is most applicable to simple metals and semiconductors. It may not accurately describe the behavior of electrons in more complex materials, such as strongly correlated systems or materials with significant electron-electron interactions.

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