Quantum Phase Transitions Paperback – 17 Dec 2009
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'This is a very interesting book on the new topic of quantum phase transitions. The book is clearly written and contains an extensive list of references. There have been excellent review articles in the last few years in this area … However a well written book like this, which starts from the basic material and reviews in a comprehensive way all the recent literature on the subject, is very useful for both the expert and the newcomer who wants to be introduced into this exciting area. The book is a timely contribution to the research literature and is strongly recommended to all researchers in physics and other related areas.' Dr A. Vourdas, Contemporary Physics
'A huge collection of theoretical observations and experimental facts united in this book by the Quantum Phase Transitions concept makes it attractive for reading.' Zentralblatt für Mathematik und ihre Grenzgebiete Mathematics Abstracts
The first book to describe in detail the fundamental changes that can occur in the macroscopic nature of matter at zero temperature due to small variations in a given external parameter. Both experimental and theoretical results are presented.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If I am not mistaken, this is currently the only book dealing exclusive with the subject of quantum phase transition.
A basic recurring theme is: at T=0 you have a critical point and two (quantum) phases on two sides. Add a little temperature, and you gets a few thermally-excited quasiparticles above the ground state on either side of the critical point. Except when you are immediately above the critical point, where the quasiparticle picture breaks down.
Sachdev systematically treats each model in the same way. First he would establish the behaviors of the two zero-T phases, and then discuss the finite-T region where the physics can be described by quasiparticles, and finally treat the quantum critical regime. Having a unifying structure makes grasping the concept easier.
That said, Sachdev does assume a very good foundation in QFT. It is commonplace in the book where he just defines an action, states that he is going to integrate out such-and-such, and then slaps the end result on you straightaway. You will have a really hard time making sense of what he wrote if you have just finished the standard one-year sequence of QFT.
(If you can do most of the problems in Peskin/Schoeder without refering to the book or your notes, you are good to go.)
Bottom line: be prepared for many omitted derivations and missing steps. Four stars, still. At least Sachdev provides a coherent direction, and I have seen books much more incomprehensible.
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