Quantum continuum mechanics in a strong magnetic field

Physical Review B 84, 245118 (2011)

Quantum continuum mechanics in a strong magnetic field

S. Pittalis, G. Vignale, I. V. Tokatly

We extend a recent formulation of quantum continuum mechanics [ J. Tao et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 103 086401 (2009)] to many-body systems subjected to a magnetic field. To accomplish this, we propose a modified Lagrangian approach, in which the motion of infinitesimal volume elements of the system is referred to the “quantum convective motion” that the magnetic field produces already in the ground state of the system. In the linear approximation, this approach results in a redefinition of the elastic displacement field u, such that the particle current j contains both an electric displacement and a magnetization contribution: j=j0+n0∂tu+∇×(j0×u), where n0 and j0 are the particle density and the current density of the ground state and ∂t is the partial derivative with respect to time. In terms of this displacement, we formulate an “elastic approximation” analogous to the one proposed in the absence of magnetic field. The resulting equation of motion for u is expressed in terms of ground-state properties, the one-particle density matrix and the two-particle pair-correlation function, and in this form it neatly generalizes the equation obtained for vanishing magnetic field.

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