P. 1
Quantum Theory of Condensed Matter

Quantum Theory of Condensed Matter

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01/07/2014

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We want to transform from spin-half operators to a fermionic description. In spin language, operators Sz

n and S±
n

obey the usual spin-half commutation relations. In the fermionic version, creation and annihilation operators c

n

and c

n satisfy{c

n,c

m}= δnm. It is natural to set

Sz

m = c

mcm1/2 nm1/2.

nc

n andS

nc

n. At anygivensite, everythingworksstraightforwardly:{S+

n ,S

n}=

1 = {cn,c

n}. But for pairs of operators at different sites there is a problem: spin operators at different sites
commute, while fermion operators anticommute.
The solution is provided by the Jordan-Wigner transformation, which reads

S+

l = c

leiπ

P

k

and S

l = e

P

k

c

l ,

(29)

where the factor eiπ

P

k

, which depends on the total number of fermions on sites to the left of l, is termed a
Jordan-Wigner string. To see that this transformation is indeed correct, consider ﬁrst the relations

c

meiπnm

=eiπnm

c

m

and cmeiπnm

=eiπnm

cm,

(30)

which can be veriﬁed by comparing matrix elements of the left and right sides of each equation in the basis of
fermion number eigenstates. Note also that

[c

m,eiπnl

] = 0

for m = l. Starting from S+

l S+

m and substituting for the spin operators using Eq. (29), we hence obtain S+

l S+

m =

(1)2

S+

mS+

l , where one factor of1 comes as indicated in Eq. (30) and the other arises from exchanging the

fermion operatorsc

l and c

m. It is straightforward to check in a similar way that the Jordan-Wigner transformation

also respects commutation of other pairs of the spin operatorsSz

, S+

and S

at different sites.

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