Describing particle coupling in condensed matter

Jun 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: Sensitive detection method may help impede illicit nuclear trafficking

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Testing technicolor physics

May 06, 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 ...

Glasgow scientists predict mass of new particle

Jan 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.

Hunting the unseen

Jul 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 ...

Physicists closing in on the elusive Higgs boson

Aug 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 ...

Recommended for you

Device turns flat surface into spherical antenna

Apr 14, 2014

By depositing an array of tiny, metallic, U-shaped structures onto a dielectric material, a team of researchers in China has created a new artificial surface that can bend and focus electromagnetic waves ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

CERN: World-record current in a superconductor

In the framework of the High-Luminosity LHC project, experts from the CERN Superconductors team recently obtained a world-record current of 20 kA at 24 K in an electrical transmission line consisting of two ...

Glasses strong as steel: A fast way to find the best

Scientists at Yale University have devised a dramatically faster way of identifying and characterizing complex alloys known as bulk metallic glasses (BMGs), a versatile type of pliable glass that's stronger than steel.

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...