Zeitschrift für Physik A Hadrons and nuclei

, Volume 205, Issue 3, pp 249–271 | Cite as

Green's function approach to the quantum many-body theory of the solid state

  • Günther Meissner


TheGreen's function approach is used to develop a quantum many-body theory of the solid state which should work at low temperatures as well as in the neighbourhood of phase transition points. The theory is applicable also in those cases where the traditional expansion of the potential in powers of the atomic displacements is entirely inadequate (crystalline helium).

The starting point of our approach is the concept of broken symmetry since the invariance of the equilibrium ensemble under the continuous group of infinitesimal translations is reduced in a crystalline solid to the invariance under finite translations through a lattice vector. A homogeneous integral equation is derived which has nontrivial solutions in the crystalline state. By this equation it is shown that the umklapp phonons are the symmetry restoring collective modes expected due to a general theorem ofGoldstone. The single particle excitations and the structure of the Dyson mass operator in the crystalline state are discussed. It is further shown that the homogeneous Bethe-Salpeter equation for the linear response to an external disturbance possesses symmetry breaking solutions which are connected to the lattice dynamics of the solid state. These collective excitations (phonons) are exhibited in RPA and tight-binding approximation for monoatomic cubic crystals with a Bravais lattice in order to demonstrate how the present theory reproduces well-known results.


Crystalline State Collective Mode Collective Excitation Phase Transition Point Mass Operator 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Günther Meissner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Theoretische Physik der Universität TübingenDeutschland

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