Impurity quantum phase transitions

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Matthias Vojta - , Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Author)


Recent work is reviewed on continuous quantum phase transitions in impurity models, both with fermionic and bosonic baths - these transitions are interesting realizations of boundary critical phenomena at zero temperature. The models with fermion bath are generalizations of the standard Kondo model, with the common feature that Kondo screening of the localized spin can be suppressed due to competing processes. The models with boson bath are related to the spin-boson model of dissipative two-level systems, where the interplay between tunneling and friction results in multiple phases. The competition inherent to all models can generate unstable fixed points associated with quantum phase transitions, where the impurity properties undergo qualitative changes. Interestingly, certain impurity transitions feature both lower-critical and upper-critical "dimensions" and allow for epsilon-type expansions. Results are presented for a number of observables, obtained by both analytical and numerical renormalization group techniques, and connections made to experiments.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1807-1846
Number of pages40
JournalPhilosophical magazine
Issue number13-14
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2006
Externally publishedYes


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