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Linear Response Theory

Author: Peter Hertel
Url: http://grk.physik.uni-osnabrueck.de/lecture/lrt.pdf
Format: Pdf
Category: Spectroscopy
Pages: 57
Clicks: 1303

Lectures on Theoretical Physics Linear Response Theory Peter Hertel University of Osnabrƒ uck, Germany The theory of linear response to perturbations of the equilibrium state, or linear response theory, is the subject of this series of lectures. Ordinary matter, if left alone, will sooner or later attain an equilibrium state. This equilibrium state depends on the temperature of the environment and on external parameters. External parameters may be the region of space within which a certain number of particles are conĜned, mechanical stress, or the strength of an external electric or magnetic Ĝeld. If temperature or the external parameters change slowly enough, the system can attain the new equilibrium state practically instantaneously, and we speak of a reversible process. On the other hand, if the external parameters vary so rapidly that the system has no chance to adapt, it remains away from equilibrium, and we speak of irreversibility. The most important application is optics. There is a medium which is exposed to an electromagnetic wave. The electric Ĝeld changes so rapidly that matter within a region of micrometer dimensions cannot react instantaneously, it responds with retardation. We shall work out the retarded response in linear approximation. There are quite a few general and important results which hold irrespective of a particular Hamiltonian, such as the Kramers-Kronig relations, the ∞uctuation- dissipation theorem, the second law of thermodynamics, and Onsager's relation. We discuss various electro- and magnetooptic eĈects, such as the Pockels eĈect, the Faraday eĈect, the Kerr eĈect, and the Cotton-Mouton eĈect. We also treat spatial dispersion, or optical activity and indicate how the theory is to be developed further in order to handle the non-linear response as well.

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