Synopsis: Scarred graphene

Graphene is not just your everyday relativistic quantum playground; it may have ghostly chaotic features as well.
Synopsis figure
Illustration: L. Huang et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. (2009)

In the same way that scarring is a lingering reminder, quantum scarring harkens back to the classical world in a quantum scenario. Quantum scarring occurs in a quantum system that becomes chaotic in the classical limit and the “scars” are wave functions that gather around those classical paths that retrace themselves. This is perhaps counterintuitive, as one expects quantum wave functions to eschew the predictability of classical orbits.

Writing in Physical Review Letters, Liang Huang and colleagues at the Arizona State University, US, go a step further and ask if we should be able to see scarring in a relativistic quantum scenario, that is, one described by the Dirac, rather than the Schrödinger, equation. They consider this problem specifically in graphene, which has been called the prototypical bench-top relativistic quantum system. Due to its peculiar band structure, the charge carriers in graphene behave as relativistic particles with zero effective mass.

Huang et al. use a tight-binding calculation to study a confined geometry (a stadium-shaped quantum dot encompassing over 10,000 carbon atoms) both near and far from the relativistic limit, and under various confinement scenarios, and “see” the telltale imagery of scarring. This study should be tantalizing to researchers in both condensed matter transport as well as nonlinear dynamics. – Sami Mitra


Features

More Features »

Announcements

More Announcements »

Subject Areas

Nonlinear DynamicsGraphene

Previous Synopsis

Nonlinear Dynamics

Swinging and springing

Read More »

Next Synopsis

Atomic and Molecular Physics

Heteronuclear tango

Read More »

Related Articles

Synopsis: Nonmetallic Tin Behaves Like 3D Graphene
Graphene

Synopsis: Nonmetallic Tin Behaves Like 3D Graphene

By applying strain to a form of tin, researchers make it behave like a 3D analog of graphene. Read More »

Viewpoint: Searching for Order in Turbulent Flow
Fluid Dynamics

Viewpoint: Searching for Order in Turbulent Flow

The observation of ordered flow patterns in a weakly turbulent liquid may lead to new ways of predicting the evolution of turbulent flow. Read More »

Synopsis: Dirac Cones in Boron’s Version of Graphene
Materials Science

Synopsis: Dirac Cones in Boron’s Version of Graphene

A one-atom-thick sheet of boron atoms exhibits Dirac cones, marking the first time this electronic property has been found in a material lacking a graphene-like crystal structure.  Read More »

More Articles