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Authors: Linden, Ulrich
Title: Energy estimates for the two-dimensional Fermi polaron
Issue Date: 2017 Dissertation 105
Abstract: This thesis is concerned with the quantum mechanical system of a single particle interacting with an ideal gas of identical fermions by point interaction. In the physics literature this system is often referred to as Fermi polaron. We investigate the two-dimensional Fermi polaron. Unlike the one-dimensional case, point interactions in two or three dimensions cannot be implemented as perturbation of the quadratic form of the Laplacian. Either they are obtained as self-adjoint extensions of the Laplacian restricted to functions that vanish when the coordinates of two particles coincide, or they are constructed by a suitable limiting process. Choosing the second approach, a many-body operator with two-particle point interaction has firstly been rigorously defined by Dell'Antonio, Figari and Teta. We consider the Fermi polaron confined to a box with periodic boundary conditions and we identify a broad class of regularization schemes that approximate the Hamiltonian of the Fermi polaron as limit operator in the strong resolvent sense. The Hamiltonian is not given by a closed form, which could be conveniently used in standard variational principles. We establish a novel variational principle that characterizes all bound states, i.e. all energy eigenstates below the bottom of the spectrum of the kinetic energy. This variational principle turns out to be very useful for the following purposes. The ground state of the Fermi polaron is expected to be well approximated by the polaron and the molecule ansatz in the regime of weak and strong coupling between the impurity and the Fermi gas, respectively. In the physics literature, these two classes of trial states are used for variational computations with the (ultraviolet) regularized Hamiltonian. Although the implicit expressions for the minimal energy of both classes allow for the removal of the ultraviolet cutoff, it remains unclear whether the results are upper bounds to the ground state energy of the Fermi polaron. We show that the minimization of energy over polaron and molecule trial states can be reformulated in a natural way with the help of our variational principle. By doing so, the classes of trial states simplify considerably, and since there is no reference to regularized quantities, we can prove that the expressions for the polaron and the molecule energy in the physics literature are indeed upper bounds to the ground state energy of the Fermi polaron. As a further application of the variational principle, we prove analytically that to first order in a particle-hole expansion the molecule ansatz yields a better approximation to the ground state energy than the polaron ansatz if the coupling between the impurity and the Fermi gas is strong enough. So far, this had only been done numerically. The concluding chapter is devoted to the derivation of a lower bound to the ground state energy of the Fermi polaron in two-dimensional space. We show that the ground state energy can be bounded from below by a quantity that does not depend on the number of fermions in the Fermi gas. This result is correct under the assumption that the ratio of the mass of the impurity and the mass of a fermion exceeds 1.225. We also present a method which might yield a similar result for lower mass ratios. This method gives an estimate for the quadratic form of the regularized Hamiltonian in position space representation. In this connection, we present an inequality that bounds a singular potential of a two-dimensional Fermi gas depending only on the minimal distance between two fermions by the kinetic energy of the Fermi gas uniformly in the number of fermions. This inequality also applies to a potential with singularity 1/r^2, for which the Hardy inequality does not hold in two dimensions. Therefore, the full antisymmetry of the wave function has to be taken into account.
Appears in Collections:08 Fakultät Mathematik und Physik

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