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Collective Classical and Quantum Fields: in Plasmas, Superconductors, Superfluid 3he, and Liquid Crystals

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Hagen Kleinert

This is an introductory book dealing with collective phenomena in many-body systems. A gas of bosons or fermions can show oscillations of density in various ways. These are described by different combinations of field variables. Especially delicate is the competition of these variables. In superfluid 3He, for example, the atoms can be attracted to each other by molecular forces, whereas they are repelled from each other at short distance due to a hardcore repulsion. The attraction gives rise to Cooper pairs, and the repulsion is overcome by paramagnon oscillations. The combination is what finally led to the discovery of superfluidity in 3He. In general, the competition between various channels can most efficiently be studied by means of a classical version of the Hubbard-Stratonovich transformation. A gas of electrons is controlled by the interplay of plasma oscillations and pair formation. In a system of rod- or disc-like molecules, liquid crystals are observed with directional orientations that behave in unusual five-fold or seven-fold symmetry patterns. The existence of such a symmetry was postulated in 1975 by the author and K Maki. An aluminium material of this type was later manufactured by Dan Shechtman which won him the 2014 Nobel prize. The last chapter presents some solvable models, one of which was the first to illustrate the existence of broken supersymmetry in nuclei.