Nonlinear quantum critical transport and the Schwinger mechanism for a superfluid-Mott-insulator transition of bosons

A G Green, S L Sondhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Scaling arguments imply that quantum-critical points exhibit universal nonlinear responses to external probes. We investigate the origins of such nonlinearities in transport, which is especially problematic since the system is necessarily driven far from equilibrium. We argue that for a wide class of systems the new ingredient that enters is the Schwinger mechanism-the production of carriers from the vacuum by the applied field-which is then balanced against a scattering rate that is itself set by the field. We show by explicit computation how this works for the case of the symmetric superfluid-Mott insulator transition of bosons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267001
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume95
Issue number26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2005

Keywords

  • NONZERO-TEMPERATURE TRANSPORT
  • CRITICAL-POINTS
  • FILMS
  • ATOMS

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