Final PhD Oral Examination (Thesis Title: “Peierls Bipolarons and Localization in Solid-State and Molecular Systems")
Physics and Astronomy
In this thesis, I investigate the behavior of particles dressed by quantum field excitations and random interactions.
First I consider two-carrier states in the Peierls model describing the modulation of the particle hopping due to lattice distortions. I compute the spectral response using the Momentum Average approximation. Combining accurate numerical techniques and analytical arguments, I provide a complete picture of the Peierls bipolarons. It is found that polarons bind into strongly bound yet light bipolarons in the singlet sector, even at large values of the electron-phonon coupling strength. At finite electron fillings, these bipolarons may condense into a high-Tc superconductor. On the other hand, phonons mediate a repulsive interaction in the triplet sector, or equivalently (in one dimension), between two hard-core particles. In this case, the ground-state dimers bound by sufficiently attractive bare interactions exhibit two sharp transitions, one of which is the first known example of a self-trapping transition at the two-carrier level. In both cases, phonons mediate unusual pair-hopping effective interactions between the carriers. I further study some aspects of the excited spectrum for the two hard-core particles, a situation relevant to ultracold quantum simulators. It is found that the repulsive phonon-mediated interaction binds a repulsive bipolaron embedded in the excited spectrum.
I then turn to the study of quenched randomness in an ultracold molecular plasma. I argue that the quenched ultracold plasma presents an experimental platform for studying quantum many-body physics of disordered systems in the long-time and finite energy-density limits. I analyze an experiment that quenches a plasma of nitric oxide to an ultracold system of Rydberg molecules, ions and electrons that exhibits a long-lived state of arrested relaxation. The qualitative features of this state fail to conform with classical models. I develop a microscopic quantum description for the arrested phase based on an effective many-body spin Hamiltonian that includes both dipole-dipole and van der Waals interactions. This effective model appears to offer a way to envision the essential quantum disordered non-equilibrium physics of this system.
This thesis thus examines the quantum many-body response in interacting systems coupled to bosonic fields or in disordered environments.