Describing particle coupling in condensed matter

June 22, 2012
Describing particle coupling in condensed matter
© Thinkstock

The seemingly countless recent discoveries and predictions of particle physics are spurred by increasingly sophisticated mathematical theories and predictions. European researchers made important contributions to descriptions of quantum particle interactions heretofore technically inaccessible with potential impact on a number of fields in physics and mathematics.

By the mid 1960s, scientists had realised that the simple model of all matter being composed of protons, electrons and neutrons could not explain the plethora of new particles being discovered.

Most scientists now agree that the so-called Standard Model of Particle Physics with its roots in those discoveries is currently the best description of the .

According to the Standard Model, everything in the Universe is described by 12 fundamental matter particles, collectively called fermions (six and six leptons) and four fundamental force particles, collectively called bosons (among them the elusive ), that govern them.

When it comes to matter particles, quarks exist only in groups whereas leptons can exist individually in nature. Quarks are held together by the ‘strong’ force particle (among the four fundamental forces) aptly called ‘gluon’.

Quantum chromodynamics (QCD) is the (guage field) theory of particle physics that describes the strong interactions of quarks and gluons.

Mathematical descriptions of strongly coupled gauge theories at finite density and low energy, such as those related to QCD, are currently inaccessible due to technical difficulties. However, they are of critical importance to fields from nuclear physics to condensed matter physics, where condensed matter includes systems in the solid and liquid phases as well as more exotic entities.

EU researchers working on the ‘Strongly coupled gauge theories at finite density’ (FD HOLOG) project set out to apply holographic techniques to study the regimes of gauge theories such as QCD that have not been previously described.

Scientists developed a new classification of certain gravitational systems allowing fast computation of transport coefficients (related to the kinetics of particle motion) particularly important in systems such as the Bose-Einstein condensate, and demonstrated the first application to the physics of strange metals.

In addition, they studied dimensionally reduced large-N theories (reducing higher-dimension systems to lower-dimension ones more tractable mathematically) to construct relevant equations for QCD-like theories with one compactified direction and including boundary conditions on fermions.

FD HOLOG results could have important impact on a variety of fields in and particle physics related to coupling of particles at finite densities.

Explore further: MIT physicist to describe strange world of quarks, gluons

Related Stories

Glasgow scientists predict mass of new particle

January 26, 2010

( -- A team of physicists from the University of Glasgow has predicted the mass of a new particle which would help explain one of the fundamental forces of the universe.

Testing technicolor physics

May 6, 2011

( -- As the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) ramps up the rate and impact of its collisions, physicists hope to witness the emergence of the Higgs boson, an anticipated, but as-yet-unseen, fundamental particle that ...

Hunting the unseen

July 15, 2011

A better knowledge about the composition of sub-atomic particles such as protons and neutrons has sparked conjecture about, as yet, unseen particles. A tool based on theoretical calculations that could aid the search for ...

Physicists closing in on the elusive Higgs boson

August 17, 2011

Scientists at a meeting in Grenoble, France, recently stoked speculation that physicists at the world's biggest particle accelerator may soon provide a first look at the elusive Higgs boson - the final piece of evidence needed ...

BaBar experiment data hint at cracks in the Standard Model

June 18, 2012

( -- Recently analyzed data from the BaBar experiment may suggest possible flaws in the Standard Model of particle physics, the reigning description of how the universe works on subatomic scales. The data from BaBar, ...

Recommended for you


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.