Effective action approach for quantum phase transitions in bosonic lattices

Barry Bradlyn, Francisco Ednilson A. Dos Santos, Axel Pelster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on standard field-theoretic considerations, we develop an effective action approach for investigating quantum phase transitions in lattice Bose systems at arbitrary temperature. We begin by adding to the Hamiltonian of interest a symmetry breaking source term. Using time-dependent perturbation theory, we then expand the grand-canonical free energy as a double power series in both the tunneling and the source term. From here, an order parameter field is introduced in the standard way and the underlying effective action is derived via a Legendre transformation. Determining the Ginzburg-Landau expansion to first order in the tunneling term, expressions for the Mott insulator-superfluid phase boundary, condensate density, average particle number, and compressibility are derived and analyzed in detail. Additionally, excitation spectra in the ordered phase are found by considering both longitudinal and transverse variations of the order parameter. Finally, these results are applied to the concrete case of the Bose-Hubbard Hamiltonian on a three-dimensional cubic lattice, and compared with the corresponding results from mean-field theory. Although both approaches yield the same Mott insulator-superfluid phase boundary to first order in the tunneling, the predictions of our effective action theory turn out to be superior to the mean-field results deeper into the superfluid phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013615
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 5 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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