Understanding Quantum Phase Transitions: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Understanding Quantum Phase Transitions

1st Edition

Edited by Lincoln Carr

CRC Press

756 pages | 229 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781439802519
pub: 2010-11-02
SAVE ~$31.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429075629
pub: 2010-11-02
from $28.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Quantum phase transitions (QPTs) offer wonderful examples of the radical macroscopic effects inherent in quantum physics: phase changes between different forms of matter driven by quantum rather than thermal fluctuations, typically at very low temperatures. QPTs provide new insight into outstanding problems such as high-temperature superconductivity and display fundamental aspects of quantum theory, such as strong correlations and entanglement. Over the last two decades, our understanding of QPTs has increased tremendously due to a plethora of experimental examples, powerful new numerical methods, and novel theoretical understanding of previously intractable quantum many-body problems.

Understanding Quantum Phase Transitions organizes our current understanding of QPTs with an emphasis on examples from condensed matter physics. Bringing together 48 well known physicists involved with the theory and observation of QPTs, this unique work provides a thorough yet concise examination of the field. Each chapter takes readers through past discoveries right up through the latest research results, and then ends with open questions and unsolved problems.

  • Part I treats new concepts and directions in QPTs, from dynamics through dissipation and entanglement, and includes introductory material suitable for scientists new to the field.
  • Part II explores specific models, systems, and aspects of QPTs, including topological order, the Kondo lattice, the Jaynes-Cummings lattice, reduced dimensionality, finite-size effects and metastability, and QPTs in Bose-Einstein condensates.
  • Part III covers experiments motivated by a deeper understanding of QPTs, including quantum dots, 2D electron systems, frustrated lattices in molecular antiferromagnets, heavy fermions, and ultracold atoms in optical lattices.
  • Part IV presents advances in numerical methods used to study QPTs, including cluster Monte Carlo and the worm algorithm, matrix-product-state methods, and dynamical mean-field theory.
  • Part V looks at the relevance of QPTs beyond condensed-matter physics, including their occurrence in neutron stars, the quark-gluon plasma, cavity QED systems, and string theory.

Graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and professional scientists who seek a deep knowledge of QPTs will all find this book very useful. Researchers in the field will enhance their appreciation of the incredible breadth of the subject in chapters covering material outside their specialties.


Lincoln Carr has produced an epic survey of the current state of knowledge of quantum phase transitions which nicely complements the classic textbook by Subir Sachdev … a thorough overview of methods in current use and recent results.

—Keith Benedict, Contemporary Physics, May 2012

Table of Contents


Finite Temperature Dissipation and Transport Near Quantum Critical Points, Subir Sachdev

Dissipation, Quantum Phase Transitions, and Measurement, Sudip Chakravarty

Universal Dynamics Near Quantum Critical Points, Anatoli Polkovnikov and Vladimir Gritsev

Fractionalization and Topological Order, Masaki Oshikawa

Entanglement Renormalization: An Introduction, Guifré Vidal

The Geometry of Quantum Phase Transitions, Gerardo Ortiz


Topological Order and Quantum Criticality, Claudio Castelnovo, Simon Trebst, and Matthias Troyer

Quantum Criticality and the Kondo Lattice, Qimiao Si

Spin-Boson Systems: Dissipation and Light Phenomena, Karyn Le Hur

Topological Excitations in Superfluids with Internal Degrees of Freedom, Yuki Kawaguchi and Masahito Ueda

Quantum Monte Carlo Studies of the Attractive Hubbard Hamiltonian, Richard T. Scalettar and George G. Batrouni

Quantum Phase Transitions in Quasi-One-Dimensional Systems, Thierry Giamarchi

Metastable Quantum Phase Transitions in a One-Dimensional Bose Gas, Lincoln D. Carr, Rina Kanamoto, and Masahito Ueda


Quantum Phase Transitions in Quantum Dots, Ileana G. Rau, Sami Amasha, Yuval Oreg, and David Goldhaber-Gordon

Quantum Phase Transitions in Two-Dimensional Electron Systems, Alexander Shashkin and Sergey Kravchenko

Local Observables for QPTs in Strongly Correlated Systems, Eun-Ah Kim, Michael J. Lawler, and J.C. Davis

Molecular Quasi-Triangular Lattice Antiferromagnets, Reizo Kato and Tetsuaki Itou

Quantum Criticality and Superconductivity in Heavy Fermions, Philipp Gegenwart and Frank Steglich

Ultracold Bosonic Atoms in Optical Lattices, Immanuel Bloch

NUMERICAL SOLUTION METHODS FOR QUANTUM PHASE TRANSITIONS Worm Algorithm for Problems of Quantum and Classical Statistics, Nikolay Prokof ’ev and Boris Svistunov

Cluster Monte Carlo Algorithms for Dissipative QPTs, Philipp Werner and Matthias Troyer

Current Trends in Density Matrix Renormalization Group Methods, Ulrich Schollwöck

Simulations based on MPS and PEPS, Valentin Murg, Ignacio Cirac, and Frank Verstraete

Continuous-Time Monte Carlo Methods, Philipp Werner and Andrew J. Millis


Quantum Phase Transitions in Dense QCD, Tetsuo Hatsuda and Kenji Maeda

Quantum Phase Transitions in Coupled Atom-Cavity Systems, Andrew D. Greentree and Lloyd C. L. Hollenberg

Quantum Phase Transitions in Nuclei, Francesco Iachello and Mark A. Caprio

Quantum Critical Dynamics from Black Holes, Sean Hartnoll

About the Series

Condensed Matter Physics

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Quantum Theory
SCIENCE / Molecular Physics
SCIENCE / Solid State Physics