The manner in which states of some quantum systems become effectively classical is of great significance for the foundations of quantum physics, as well as for problems of practical interest such as quantum engineering. In the past two decades it has become increasingly clear that many (perhaps all) of the symptoms of classicality can be induced in quantum systems by their environments. Thus decoherence is caused by the interaction in which the environment in effect monitors certain observables of the system, destroying coherence between the pointer states corresponding to their eigenvalues. This leads to environment-induced superselection or einselection, a quantum process associated with selective loss of information. Einselected pointer states are stable. They can retain correlations with the rest of the universe in spite of the environment. Einselection enforces classicality by imposing an effective ban on the vast majority of the Hilbert space, eliminating especially the flagrantly nonlocal "Schrodinger-cat states." The classical structure of phase space emerges from the quantum Hilbert space in the appropriate macroscopic limit. Combination of einselection with dynamics leads to the idealizations of a point and of a classical trajectory. In measurements, einselection replaces quantum entanglement between the apparatus and the measured system with the classical correlation. Only the preferred pointer observable of the apparatus can store information that has predictive power. When the measured quantum system is microscopic and isolated, this restriction on the predictive utility of its correlations with the macroscopic apparatus results in the effective "collapse of the wave packet." The existential interpretation implied by einselection regards observers as open quantum systems, distinguished only by their ability to acquire, store, and process information. Spreading of the correlations with the effectively classical pointer states throughout the environment allows one to understand "classical reality" as a property based on the relatively objective existence of the einselected states. Effectively classical pointer states can be "found out" without being re-prepared, e.g, by intercepting the information already present in the environment. The redundancy of the records of pointer states in the environment (which can be thought of as their "fitness" in the Darwinian sense) is a measure of their classicality. A new symmetry appears in this setting. Environment-assisted invariance or envariance sheds new light on the nature of ignorance of the state of the system due to quantum correlations with the environment and leads to Born's rules and to reduced density matrices, ultimately justifying basic principles of the program of decoherence and einselection.
Complex networks describe a wide range of systems in nature and society. Frequently cited examples include the cell, a network of chemicals linked by chemical reactions, and the Internet, a network of routers and computers connected by physical links. While traditionally these systems have been modeled as random graphs, it is increasingly recognized that the topology and evolution of real networks are governed by robust organizing principles. This article reviews the recent advances in the field of complex networks, focusing on the statistical mechanics of network topology and dynamics. After reviewing the empirical data that motivated the recent interest in networks, the authors discuss the main models and analytical tools, covering random graphs, small-world and scale-free networks, the emerging theory of evolving networks, and the interplay between topology and the network's robustness against failures and attacks.
Quantum cryptography could well be the first application of quantum mechanics at the single-quantum level. The rapid progress in both theory and experiment in recent years is reviewed, with emphasis on open questions and technological issues.
Since the subject of traffic dynamics has captured the interest of physicists, many surprising effects have been revealed and explained. Some of the questions now understood are the following: Why are vehicles sometimes stopped by "phantom traffic jams" even though drivers all like to drive fast? What are the mechanisms behind stop-and-go traffic? Why are there several different kinds of congestion, and how are they related? Why do most traffic jams occur considerably before the road capacity is reached? Can a temporary reduction in the volume of traffic cause a lasting traffic jam? Under which conditions can speed limits speed up traffic? Why do pedestrians moving in opposite directions normally organize into lanes, while similar systems "freeze by heating"? All of these questions have been answered by applying and extending methods from statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics to self-driven many-particle systems. This article considers the empirical data and then reviews the main approaches to modeling pedestrian and vehicle traffic. These include microscopic (particle-based), mesoscopic (gas-kinetic), and macroscopic (fluid-dynamic) models. Attention is also paid to the formulation of a micro-macro link, to aspects of universality, and to other unifying concepts, such as a general modeling framework for self-driven many-particle systems, including spin systems. While the primary focus is upon vehicle and pedestrian traffic, applications to biological or socio-economic systems such as bacterial colonies, flocks of birds, panics, and stock market dynamics are touched upon as well.
This article reviews the current status of lattice-dynamical calculations in crystals, using density-functional perturbation theory, with emphasis on the plane-wave pseudopotential method. Several specialized topics are treated, including the implementation for metals, the calculation of the response to macroscopic electric fields and their relevance to long-wavelength vibrations in polar materials, the response to strain deformations, and higher-order responses. The success of this methodology is demonstrated with a number of applications existing in the literature,
This article reviews the generalization of field theory to space-time with noncommuting coordinates, starting with the basics and covering most of the active directions of research. Such theories are now known to emerge from limits of M theory and string theory and to describe quantum Hall states. In the last few years they have been studied intensively, and many qualitatively new phenomena have been discovered, on both the classical and the quantum level.
The fundamental physical properties of doped LaMnO3, generically termed "manganites," and much of the underlying physics, were known more than 40 years ago. This article first reviews progress made at that time, the concept of double exchange in particular, and points out the missing elements that have led to a massive resurgence of interest in these and related materials. More recent research is then described, treating first the ground states that emerge as divalent atoms are substituted for trivalent La. A wide range of ground states appear, including ferromagnetic metals, orbital- and charge-ordered antiferromagnets, and more complex stripe and spin-glass states. Because of the interest in so-called colossal magnetoresistance that occurs in the ferromagnetic/metallic composition range, a section is devoted to reviewing the atypical properties of that phase. Next the high-temperature phase is examined, in particular, evidence for the formation of self-trapped small polarons and the importance of Jahn-Teller coupling ia this process. The transitions between the high-temperature polaronic phase and the ferromagnetic and charge-ordered states are treated in a fourth section. In each section, the authors stress the competition among charge, spin, and lattice coupling and review the current state of theoretical understanding. They conclude with some comments on the impact that research on these materials has on our understanding of doped oxides and other strongly correlated electronic materials.
After they have interacted, quantum particles generally behave as a single nonseparable entangled system. The concept of entanglement plays an essential role in quantum physics. We have performed entanglement experiments with Rydberg atoms and microwave photons in a cavity and tested quantum mechanics in situations of increasing complexity. Entanglement resulted either from a resonant exchange of energy between atoms and the cavity field or from dispersive energy shifts affecting atoms and photons when they were not resonant. With two entangled particles (two atoms or one atom and a photon), we have realized new versions of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen situation. The detection of one particle projected the other, at a distance, in a correlated state. This process could be viewed as an elementary measurement, one particle being a "meter" measuring the other. We have performed a "quantum nondemolition" measurement of a single photon, which we detected repeatedly without destroying it. Entanglement is also essential to understand decoherence, the process accounting for the classical appearance of the macroscopic world. A mesoscopic superposition of states ("Schrodinger cat") gets rapidly entangled with its environment, losing its quantum coherence. We have prepared a Schrodinger cat made of a few photons and studied the dynamics of its decoherence, in an experiment which constitutes a glimpse at the quantum/classical boundary. We have also investigated entanglement as a resource for the processing of quantum information. By using quantum two-state systems (qubits) instead of classical bits of information, one can perform logical operations exploiting quantum interferences and taking advantage of the properties of entanglement. Manipulating as qubits atoms and photons in a cavity, we have operated a quantum gate and applied it to the generation of a complex three-particle entangled state. We finally discuss the perspectives opened by these experiments for further fundamental studies.
Quantum-state engineering, i.e., active control over the coherent dynamics of suitable quantum-mechanical systems, has become a fascinating prospect of modern physics. With concepts developed in atomic and molecular physics and in the context of NMR, the field has been stimulated further by the perspectives of quantum computation and communication. Low-capacitance Josephson tunneling junctions offer a promising way to realize quantum bits (qubits) for quantum information processing, The article reviews the properties of these devices and the practical and fundamental obstacles to their use. Two kinds of device have been proposed, based on either charge or phase (flux) degrees of freedom. Single- and two-qubit quantum manipulations can be controlled by gate voltages in one case and by magnetic fields in the other case. Both kinds of device can be fabricated with present technology. In flux qubit devices, an important milestone, the observation of superpositions of different flux states in the system eigenstates, has been achieved. The Josephson charge qubit has even demonstrated coherent superpositions of states readable in the time domain. There are two major problems that must be solved before these devices can be used for quantum information processing. One must have a long phase coherence time, which requires that external sources of dephasing be minimized. The review discusses relevant parameters and provides estimates of the decoherence time. Another problem is in the readout of the final state of the system. This issue is illustrated with a possible realization by a single-electron transistor capacitively coupled to the Josephson device, but general properties of measuring devices are also discussed. Finally, the review describes how the basic physical manipulations on an ideal device can be combined to perform useful operations.
The cubic complex Ginzburg-Landau equation is one of the most-studied nonlinear equations in the physics community. It describes a vast variety of phenomena from nonlinear waves to second-order phase transitions, from superconductivity, superfluidity, and Bose-Einstein condensation to liquid crystals and strings in field theory. The authors give an overview of various phenomena described by the complex Ginzburg-Landau equation in one, two, and three dimensions from the point of view of condensed-matter physicists. Their aim is to study the relevant solutions in order to gain insight into nonequilibrium phenomena in spatially extended systems.
The author presents a tutorial review of some ideas that are basic to our current understanding of the phenomenon of Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) in the dilute atomic alkali gases, with special emphasis on the case of two or more coexisting hyperfine species. Topics covered include the definition of and conditions for BEC in an interacting system, the replacement of the true interatomic potential by a zero-range pseudopotential, the time-independent and time-dependent Gross-Pitaevskii equations, superfluidity and rotational properties, the Josephson effect and related phenomena, and the Bogoliubov approximation.
A relatively new class of materials has been found in which the basic assumption of Landau Fermi-liquid theory-that at low energies the electrons in a metal should behave essentially as a collection of weakly interacting particles-is violated. These "non-Fermi-liquid" systems exhibit unusual temperature dependences in their low-temperature properties, including several examples in which the specific heat divided by temperature shows a singular log T temperature dependence over more than two orders of magnitude, from the lowest measured temperatures in the milliKelvin regime to temperatures over 10 K. These anomalous properties, with their often pure power-law or logarithmic temperature dependences over broad temperature ranges and inherent low characteristic energies, have attracted active theoretical interest from the first experimental report in 1991. This article first describes the various theoretical approaches to trying to understand the source of strong temperature- and frequency-dependent electron-electron interactions in non-Fermi-liquid systems. It then discusses the current experimental body of knowledge, including a compilation of data on non-Fermi-liquid behavior in over 50 systems. The disparate data reveal some interesting correlations and trends and serve to point up a number of areas where further theoretical and experimental work is needed.
This article describes the variational and fixed-node diffusion quantum Monte Carlo methods and how they may be used to calculate the properties of many-electron systems. These stochastic wave-function-based approaches provide a very direct treatment of quantum many-body effects and serve as benchmarks against which other techniques may be compared. They complement the less demanding density-functional approach by providing more accurate results and a deeper understanding of the physics of electronic correlation in real materials. The algorithms are intrinsically parallel, and currently available high-performance computers allow applications to systems containing a thousand or more electrons. With these tools one can study complicated problems such as the properties of surfaces and defects, while including electron correlation effects with high precision. The authors provide a pedagogical overview of the techniques and describe a selection of applications to ground and excited states of solids and clusters.
The understanding of fluid turbulence has considerably progressed in recent years. The application of the methods of statistical mechanics to the description of the motion of fluid particles, i.e., to the Lagrangian dynamics, has led to a new quantitative theory of intermittency in turbulent transport. The first analytical description of anomalous scaling laws in turbulence has been obtained. The underlying physical mechanism reveals the role of statistical integrals of motion in nonequilibrium systems. For turbulent transport, the statistical conservation laws are hidden in the evolution of groups of fluid particles and arise from the competition between the expansion of a group and the change of its geometry. By breaking the scale-invariance symmetry, the statistically conserved quantities lead to the observed anomalous scaling of transported fields. Lagrangian methods also shed new light on some practical issues, such as mixing and turbulent magnetic dynamo.
Quantum mechanics and information theory are among the most important scientific discoveries of the last century. Although these two areas initially developed separately, it has emerged that they are in fact intimately related. In this review the author shows how quantum information theory extends traditional information theory by exploring the limits imposed by quantum, rather than classical, mechanics on information storage and transmission. The derivation of many key results differentiates this review from the usual presentation in that they are shown to follow logically from one crucial property of relative entropy. Within the review, optimal bounds on the enhanced speed that quantum computers can achieve over their classical counterparts are outlined using information-theoretic arguments. In addition, important implications of quantum information theory for thermodynamics and quantum measurement are intermittently discussed. A number of simple examples and derivations, including quantum superdense coding, quantum teleportation, and Deutsch's and Grover's algorithms, are also included.
For about 20 years, it has been the prevailing view that there can be no metallic state or metal-insulator transition in two dimensions in zero magnetic field. In the last several years, however. unusual behavior suggestive of such a transition has been reported in a variety of dilute two-dimensional electron and hole systems. The physics behind these observations is at present not understood. The authors review and discuss the main experimental findings and suggested theoretical models,
This article reviews the current knowledge and understanding of the interstellar medium of our galaxy. The author first presents each of the three basic constituents-ordinary matter, cosmic rays, and magnetic fields-of the interstellar medium, with emphasis on their physical and chemical properties as inferred from a broad range of observations. The interaction of these interstellar constituents, both with each other and with stars, is then discussed in the framework of the general galactic ecosystem.
Straddling the traditional realms of the planets and the stars, objects below the edge of the main sequence have such unique properties, and are being discovered in such quantities, that one can rightly claim that a new field at the interface of planetary science and astronomy is being born. This article extends the previous review of Burrows and Liebert (1993) and describes the essential elements of the theory of brown dwarfs and giant planets. It discusses their evolution, atmospheric composition, and spectra, including the new spectroscopic classes L and T. Particular topics which are important for an understanding of the spectral properties include the effects of condensates, clouds, molecular abundances, and atomic opacities. Moreover, it discusses the distinctive features of these extrasolar giant planets that are irradiated by a central primary, in particular, their reflection spectra, albedos, and transits. Overall, the theory explains the basic systematics of substellar-mass objects over three orders of magnitude in mass and age, and a factor of 30 in temperature.
A long-standing limitation of first-principles calculations of substitutional alloy phase diagrams is the difficulty in accounting for lattice vibrations. A survey of the theoretical and experimental literature seeking to quantify the effect of lattice vibrations on phase stability indicates that they can be significant. Typical vibrational entropy differences between phases are of the order of 0.1 to 0.2k(B)/atom, which is comparable to the typical values of configurational entropy differences in binary alloys (at most 0.693k(B)/atom). This article presents the basic formalism underlying ab initio phase diagram calculations, along with the generalization required to account for lattice vibrations. The authors review the various techniques allowing the theoretical calculation and the experimental determination of phonon dispersion curves and related thermodynamic quantities, such as vibrational entropy or free energy. A clear picture of the origin of vibrational entropy differences between phases in an alloy system is presented that goes beyond the traditional bond counting and volume change arguments. Vibrational entropy change can be attributed to the changes in chemical bond stiffness associated with the changes in bond length that take place during a phase transformation. This so-called "bond stiffness vs bond length'' interpretation both summarizes the key phenomenon driving vibrational entropy changes and provides a practical tool to model them.