Magnetic catalysis: A review

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Abstract

We give an overview of the magnetic catalysis phenomenon. In the framework of quantum field theory, magnetic catalysis is broadly defined as an enhancement of dynamical symmetry breaking by an external magnetic field. We start from a brief discussion of spontaneous symmetry breaking and the role of a magnetic field in its a dynamics. This is followed by a detailed presentation of the essential features of the phenomenon. In particular, we emphasize that the dimensional reduction plays a profound role in the pairing dynamics in a magnetic field. Using the general nature of underlying physics and its robustness with respect to interaction types and model content, we argue that magnetic catalysis is a universal and model-independent phenomenon. In support of this claim, we show how magnetic catalysis is realized in various models with short-range and long-range interactions. We argue that the general nature of the phenomenon implies a wide range of potential applications: from certain types of solid state systems to models in cosmology, particle and nuclear physics. We finish the review with general remarks about magnetic catalysis and an outlook for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-49
Number of pages37
JournalLecture Notes in Physics
Volume871
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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