Influence-functional theory for a heavy particle in a Fermi gas

L. Bönig, K. Schönhammer, W. Zwerger

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We use Feynmans influence-functional theory to study the quantum dynamics of a heavy particle moving in a free Fermi gas with arbitrary average velocity. A semiclassical expansion yields a nonlinear Langevin equation with the exact friction coefficient as derived in an earlier publication. The fluctuations around a steady state far from equilibrium are due to a nonclassical state-dependent noise term and can be described by a diffusion constant. In the limit of zero average velocity, the Einstein relation is fulfilled for arbitrary temperatures. For finite velocities the diffusion around the steady state is different in longitudinal and transverse directions and can be expressed in terms of the transport cross section and a diffusion cross section. In the case where the frictional force exhibits a maximum as a function of velocity and thus an unstable branch for v>vc, the longitudinal diffusion constant diverges on approaching vc from below. Numerical results for the noise spectrum and the temperature and velocity dependence of the diffusion constants are presented for simple repulsive interaction potentials in one and three dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-860
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


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