Quantum-fluctuation-induced collisions and subsequent excitation gap of an elastic string between walls

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Abstract

An elastic string embedded between rigid walls is simulated by means of the density-matrix renormalization group. The string collides against the walls owing to the quantum-mechanical zero-point fluctuations. Such a "quantum entropic" interaction has come under thorough theoretical investigation in the context of the stripe phase observed experimentally in doped cuprates. We found that the excitation gap opens in the form of an exponential singularity ΔE∼exp(-Ad°) (d=wall spacing) with the exponent σ=0.6(3), which is substantially smaller than the mean-field value σ=2. That is, the excitation gap is much larger than that anticipated from mean field, suggesting that the string is subjected to a robust pinning potential due to the quantum collisions. This feature supports Zaanen's "order out of disorder" mechanism, which would be responsible for the stabilization of the stripe phase.

Original languageEnglish
Article number184501
Pages (from-to)1845011-1845015
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume66
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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