How to detect fluctuating stripes in the high-temperature superconductors

S. A. Kivelson, I. P. Bindloss, E. Fradkin, V. Oganesyan, J. M. Tranquada, A. Kapitulnik, C. Howald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses fluctuating order in a quantum disordered phase proximate to a quantum critical point, with particular emphasis on fluctuating stripe order. Optimal strategies are derived for extracting information concerning such local order from experiments, with emphasis on neutron scattering and scanning tunneling microscopy. These ideas are tested by application to two model systems - an exactly solvable one-dimensional (ID) electron gas with an impurity, and a weakly interacting 2D electron gas. Experiments on the cuprate high-temperature superconductors, which can be analyzed using these strategies are extensively reviewed. The authors adduce evidence that stripe correlations are widespread in the cuprates. They compare and contrast the advantages of two limiting perspectives on the high-temperature superconductor: weak coupling, in which correlation effects are treated as a perturbation on an underlying metallic (although renormalized) Fermi-liquid state, and strong coupling, in which the magnetism is associated with well-defined localized spins, and stripes are viewed as a form of micro phase separation. The authors present quantitative indicators that the latter view better accounts for the observed stripe phenomena in the cuprates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1201-1241
Number of pages41
JournalReviews of Modern Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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