Persistent currents from Berry's phase in mesoscopic systems

Loss, D. and Goldbart, P. M.. (1992) Persistent currents from Berry's phase in mesoscopic systems. Physical Review B, Vol. 45, H. 23. pp. 13544-13561.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5254800

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The quantum orbital motion of electrons in mesoscopic normal-metal rings threaded by a magnetic flux produces striking interference phenomena such as persistent currents due to the Aharonov-Bohm effect. Similarly, when a quantum spin adiabatically follows a magnetic field that rotates slowly in time, the phase of its state vector acquires an additional contribution known as the Berry phase. We explore the combination of these two quantum phenomena by examining the interplay between orbital and spin degrees of freedom for a charged spin-1/2 particle moving in a mesoscopic ring embedded in a classical, static inhomogeneous magnetic field, i.e., a texture. As a consequence of its orbital motion through the texture, the spin experiences, via the Zeeman interaction, a varying magnetic field. This results in a Berry - or geometric - phase, leading to persistent (i.e., equilibrium) currents of charge and spin. These mesoscopic phenomena are related to (but should be distinguished from) the conventional persistent currents that result from magnetic flux through a ring. We develop a path-integral approach to decouple the orbital and spin motion and, by using an adiabatic approximation, we compute the equilibrium expectation values of the persistent charge and spin currents and the magnetization. We find that the persistent currents depend on the texture in a striking manner through a geometric phase (related to a surface area characterizing the texture) and a geometric vector (related to the projections of this area). In the special case of a cylindrically symmetric texture we use a spectrum obtained by Kuratsuji and lida to obtain exact results that confirm, independently, the validity of the path-integral approach in the adiabatic limit. We discuss the connection between the geometric vector and quantum-mechanical correlations, and examine quantum fluctuations and the zero-point energy.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Physik > Physik > Theoretische Physik Mesoscopics (Loss)
UniBasel Contributors:Loss, Daniel
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Institute of Physics
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:25
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:48

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