Magnetism of a degenerate electron gas

(Dated: April 21, 2012)


The energy eigen values for the N particle system is given in terms of the occupation numbers np,s by En =
p,s p,s np,s

In class we examined the magnetic properties of substances in the presence of a magnetic field when the the electrons are completely localized to individual atoms and the atoms have incomplete shells (i.e. they have have a net magnetic moment). However, this treatment is not valid for material where the electron wave functions are delocalized, such as metals. For these materials, the magnetic properties will arise mostly due to the conduction electrons which can be idealized as a degenerate electron gas. The contribution due to the nuclear intrinsic and orbital magnetic moments can be disregarded since they are orders of magnitude smaller than the electron counterparts. Qualitatively, we can identify two effects which will result in two distinct magnetic behaviors in the presence of an external magnetic field. The alignment of the electron spins parallel to the external field will increases the magnetic field resulting in a paramagnetic behavior (χ >0) known as Pauli paramagnetism, and the helical motion of electrons in quantized orbits around the direction of the external magnetic field will create a magnetic field apposing the external field resulting in a diamagnetic( χ <0 ) behavior known as Landau diamagnetism. In a physical substance these two effects will compete with each other, but in this paper we will treat them separately. If the spin-orbit interactions are negligible, the net magnetic behavior of the substance will be given by the sum of the two.


where Therefore En =

np,s = 0, 1


np,s = N

(np,+ + np,− ) np,+ = N+

p2 − µ0 B(N+ + N− ) 2m and



np,− = N−

The partition function for the N particle system will be given by

QN =
N+ =0

eµ0 βB(2N+ −N )
[np,+ ]



p2 np,+ p 2m

[np,− ]


p2 np,− p 2m

(6) where the second and third summations over all sets [np,+ ], [np,− ] restricted by = N+ and p np,+ np,− = N− = N − N+ respectively. p The partition function of a system of N spinless particles of mass m will be given by Q0 = N
[np ]



p2 n p p 2m

= e−βFN


The hamiltonian of a (non relativistic) electron in the presence of a magnetic field is given by H= eA 2 1 (P + ) − µ0 σ B 2m c (1)

e¯ h where µ0 (= 2mc ) is the intrinsic magnetic moment of the electrons, σ are the Pauli spin matrices, m is the electron mass, A is the vector potential and B is the magnetic field. In this section we will completely ignore the orbital motion of the electrons and consider the hamiltonian as

Where the sum is restricted by np = N and FN is Helmholtz free energy of the system of N spineless particles of mass m we can see that the second and third sums in equation (6) are just the partition functions of systems of spineless particles of electron mass containing N+ and N − N+ particles respectively.Therefore we can rewrite equation (6) as

QN = e−βµ0 BN
N+ =0

e2βµ0 BN+ Q0 + Q0 −N+ N N



p2 − µ0 σ B 2m


The eigen values of the the single particle energy states will be given by

By taking the natural logarithm of equation (8), dividing by N and substituting equation (7) we get ln ln QN = −βµ0 B + N
N β(2µ0 BN+ −FN+ −F(N −N+ ) ) N+ =0 e


p2 2m

µ0 B




e.r.r. thus N λ3 = V ∞ (−1)l−1 l=1 zl ln (23) (15) is given by The. using equations (17) and . KT F let ¯ (2N+ −N ) N =r (13) then ν( (1 − r)N (1 + r)N ) − ν( ) = 2µ0 B 2 2 It’s clear that unlike the case for atomic paramagnetism discussed in class for Pauli paramagnetism there is no saturation for low temperatures. Therefore. susceptibility (defined as χ = χ = M in the weak field limit.the Fermi energy( F ) is given by F (N ) = ( 3N 3 h2 )2 4πgV 2m Therefore for high temperature there is a Curie behavior.2 By neglecting the terms of order O( ln N ) the above equaN tion can be rewritten as (18) the fictitious chemical potential(ν) can be written in terms of the actual fermi energy as FN+ + F(N −N+ ) (πKT )2 ln QN 2N+ ) (19) ν(xN ) = F (2xN )(1 − = −βµ0 B+β max (µ0 B( − 1) − ) 12( f (2xN ))2 N N N (10) By taking the derivative of equation (19) w.t N+ and setting it to zero. Then N r ∂ν(xN ) N r ∂ν(xN ) ν( )+ |x=1/2 −ν( )+ |x=1/2 = 2µ0 B 2 2 ∂x 2 2 ∂x (14) r= 2µ0 B ∂ν(xN ) ∂x |x=1/2 ∂M ∂B ) zl ln (22) h (2πmT )1/2 is the thermal wavelength and z = for our fictitious spinless system with g = 1.e.t x at x = 1 we can obtain the extrema by taking the derivative of 2 and substituting it in equation (16) we obtain the expresthe LHS w. KT 1) the chemical F potential up to second order is given by µ(N ) = F (N )(1 − (πKT ) ) 12 2 f 2 (18) In this section we will considers the magnetic behavior of an electron gas in the presence of a magnetic field due to the orbital motion. Hence. completely ignoring electron spin. for small B we can taylor expand about r=0 and discarding the O(r2 ) terms. we get ¯ ¯ ν(N+ ) − ν(N − N+ ) = 2µ0 B (11) χ≈ 3N µ2 (πKT )2 0 (1 − ) 2V F 12 2 F 3N µ2 3nµ2 0 0 = 2V F 2 F (20) where ν(N ) is the chemical potential of a system N spinless electron mass fermions The magnetization per volume of the system is given by M= ¯ µ0 (2N+ − N ) V (12) 1 ). If we consider ¯ sion for magnetic susceptibility for a degenerate electron N+ as the value of N+ corresponding to the maximum gas in the weak field limit of equation (10). (17) LANDAUE DIAMAGNETISM and for low temperature (i. The susceptibility at T = 0 is given by χ0 = (21) we will solve this for low temperatures (i. the hamiltonian will be considered as H= 1 eA 2 (P + ) 2m c (26) For the fictitious spinless system g = 1 while for the actual system g = 2. There is a limiting value for susceptibility at T = 0 Now we will consider the susceptibility for a highly non degenerate electron gas(z 1) we know that for a fermi gas N λ3 = gV where λ = e µ T ∞ (−1)l−1 l=1 from equation (13) we see that for B=0 r=0. Thus B χ= V 2µ2 0 ∂ν(xN ) ∂x |x=1/2 N λ3 ≈z V xN λ3 ν(xN ) = KT ln V (24) (16) taking the derivative of equation (24) at x = 1 and sub2 stituting it in equation (16) gives the expression for the susceptibility at high temperature in the weak field limit χ= µ2 N µ2 n 0 = 0 KT V KT (25) we have derived in class that for a(non relativistic) Fermi gas .

Now we need to determine the the degeneracy of the energy levels. h This gives eB 2 1 2 1 2 ((¯ kx − h y) + Py ) + P H= 2m c 2m z (28) we get (kz h)2 ¯ 2m dkz ln (1 + e−β( kz =−∞ n=0 +2Bµ0 (n+ 1 )−µ) 2 ) The first term of equation (28) is just the Hamiltonian of a displaced Harmonic oscillator with angular frequency eB ωc = mC . in the above equation we have written down only the B dependent components The magnetic moment for unit volume of the system 1 is given by M = βV ∂ln Z Hence the weak field magnetic ∂B 1 susceptibility will be given by χ = βV B ∂ln Z ∂B Thus ln Z(B) = − V π(2m)3/2 (µ0 B)2 β 1/2 6h3 ey z ∞ e¯ B(j+1) h e¯ Bj h p2 mc ≤ 2m ≤ mc g= Lx Ly e¯ B h 2π 2 h c Lx Ly eB g= hc (31) χ=− where F1/2 (z) = This degeneracy corresponds the number of possible sites where the electron orbits can be centered at for a given energy. The Hamiltonian can now x be rewritten as H= eB 2 1 2 2 ((Px − y) + Py + Pz ) 2m c (27) where ln Z = kz → Lz 2π ∞ ∞ kz =−∞ ∞ dkz Therefore (kz h)2 ¯ 2m h + e¯ B (n+ 1 )−µ) mc 2 V eB 2πhc dkz ln (1 + e−β( kz =−∞ n=0 ) (34) where V = Lx Ly Lz if we substitute µ0 = V eB ln Z = 2πhc ∞ e¯ h 2mc ∞ It is clear that the Hamiltonian is independent of x. The phase space volume will give the degenaracy g= g= Lx Ly h2 dpdx 2πpdp from the substitution x = Bx it’s clear the first term is independent of B.e the hamiltonian commutes withit) . therefor it will have no contribution to the susceptibility and we will neglect it completely. B = B k) we can conveniently choose the vector potential(A) as A = −Byˆ.e.e. equation (35) can be written as ln Z = V eB ( 2πhc ∞ ∞ where N is a ”number operator” for the simple harmonic energy levels The eigen values will be given by n dx 0 −∞ ln(1 + e−β(2µ0 BxT − − 1 µ0 Bβ¯ h 12 ∞ −∞ eβ( (kz h)2 ¯ 2m −µ) )dkz dkz (¯ kz )2 h 2m 1 2 1 = p + ¯ ωc (n + ) h 2m z 2 −µ) (30) (37) ) +1 These energy levels are clearly degenerate since the eigen values are independent of the quantum number kx . ln Z = Lx Ly eB hc ∞ (40) (41) ln (1 + e−β( n=0 kz (kz h)2 ¯ 2m h 1 + e¯ B (n+ 2 )−µ) mc ) since 2 (33) F 3N h = ( 8πV ) 3 2m . For this purpose we will consider the xy dimensions as Lx × Ly . therefor Px must be conserved(i. µ0 B KT can use the Euler-Macluarin summation formula given by 1 f (j + ) 2 j=0 ∞ ∞ f (x) dx + −∞ 1 f (0) 24 (36) Thus. 2 h substituting y = β(¯ kz ) the second term becomes 2m y −1/2 dy +1 0 (38) where. Hence we can replace it by it’s Eigen value ¯ kx . Therefore we can write the Hamiltonian as H= 1 2 1 P + ¯ ωc (N + ) h 2m z 2 (29) (35) 1) we if we consider a weak magnetic field (i.3 If we consider a uniform magnetic field along the Z direcˆ tion(i. F 1 (z) ≈ 2(ln z) 2 and 2 ln z F ≈ β Thus at T = 0 the magnetic susceptibility in the weak field limit is given by χ0 = − 2π(2m)3/2 µ2 1/2 0 F 3h3 N µ0 nµ0 =− =− V2 F 2 F 2 ∞ y −1/2 dy ey 0 z +1 KT is a Fermi Dirac integral 1 Thus. The grand partition function for the system is given by Z= s π(2m)3/2 µ2 0 F1/2 (z) 3h2 β 1/2 (39) (1 + ze−β s ) (32) For low temperatures F 1.

Springer . 2002.4 This is precisely 1 the susceptibility due to Pauli para3 magnetism at T=0 Now we will consider the case when temperatures are high (i. Peragamon. We can use the expansion ln(1 + x) x. M. the weak field susceptibility is given by χ= M N µ2 nµ2 0 =− =− 0 B V 3T 3T (47) h where x = µ0 Bβ and λ = (2πmT )1/2 is the thermal wavelength The equilibrium number of particles (N) is given by Therefore for high temperatures it has a Curie behavior. . Statistical Mechanics.D. Thus. Pergamon Pathria R. x Huang K. New york.e when z 1). Statistical Mechanics. ∂lnZ z ∂ x zV N= 3 λ sinh(x) N =z thus M= N µ0 1 { − coth(x)} V x 1 (i. µ0 B (44) KT ) REFERENCES If the magnetic field is weak. John Wiley Landaue L. for the highly non degenerate case. Litshift E. Oxford. Statistical Mechanics. 3rd edition. for x 1. 1987.e. Quantum Mechanics.Oxford Schwabi F. . 2nd edition. equation (35) can be written as e¯ Bβ −1 h zV eB 2πm 1/2 ( ) {2sinh( )} ln Z = 2c h β 2mc (42) N≈ and M ≈− zV λ3 (45) N µ2 B 0 3T V (46) Hence.K. New york . the magnetic moment per unit volume will be given by 1 zµ0 xcosh(x) M= 3 { − } λ sinh(x) sinh2 (x) (43) So. 2nd edition. 1977 . 1972..

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful