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  Introduction to Anderson localization

+ 8 like - 0 dislike

I find Anderson's original paper too terse. I am looking for something that introduces me gently to the subject so that I can understand Anderson's paper and other literature. What references are out there that introduce Anderson localization? Anything will work for me: lecture notes, review papers, introductory papers ...

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-06-06 02:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user becko

asked Mar 21, 2013 in Resources and References by PKM2 (0 points) [ revision history ]
recategorized Jun 6, 2014 by dimension10

4 Answers

+ 6 like - 0 dislike

I do not know much about books on Anderson localization but there was a conference some time ago celebrating the $50$ years on the proposal by Anderson in which you can find many useful references. The list is here.

I can recommend you the course by van Tiggelen. He's quite an expert in this subject and Les Houches lectures tend to be very pedagogical.

There is also a book with the same title than the workshop but a bit more recent:

$50$ years of Anderson localization, E. Abrahams

The first chapter is written by P. W. Anderson himself.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-06-06 02:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user DaniH
answered Mar 21, 2013 by DaniH (60 points) [ no revision ]
I am reading something called "Localization of waves" by van Tiggelen. Are these the lectures? I have to say they seem more like a review than an introduction to the subject. It's full of references, which is good, but I was looking for something more like an introduction, textbook style.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-06-06 02:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user becko
Yes, I was refering to that ones. Perhaps, although is not specific to Anderson localization but closely related you can have a look to Mesoscopic Physics of Electrons and Photons or the books in the references below.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-06-06 02:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user DaniH
+ 5 like - 0 dislike

In addition to what has already been said I would add:

  1. The original paper is at this point historical; you are right to look for other sources.

  2. You should also read about weak localization and coherent backscattering which are closely related.

  3. A good reference is Chapter 5 of the 1st edition Electronic Transport in Mesoscopic Systems by S. Datta.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-06-06 02:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user Joshua Barr
answered Mar 22, 2013 by Joshua Barr (0 points) [ no revision ]
+ 5 like - 0 dislike

I found the best introduction to be simulation. The euclidean version of Anderson localization can be stated as follows--- a collection of particles diffuse on a 2-d or 3-d grid. Each particle has a probability per unit time of replicating, this probability is a random function of the position. For convenience of simulation, whenever a particle replicates, another particle is deleted, so that the total number stays fixed.

Then you can ask whether the cloud of particles spreads out to fill the whole space, or whether the cloud is localized in a little region forever. The naive pre-Anderson intution is that the particles will diffuse away from their initial position, but this intuition is totally wrong. A simple simulation shows you that in 3d, you get localization after a certain amount of randomness strength, a large cloud of particles never moves.

In this formulation, there is a direct analogy with a biological phenomenon--- the quasispecies of virus evolution. You can think of each particle as a virus, it's position is its DNA sequence, and the replication rate is the fitness of this sequence. No two individuals of the cloud of viral particles are likely to have the exact same sequence, the diffusion rate is the mutation rate, and there is likely to be one mutation in each replication (viral polymerase is crappy). The dimensionality of the space in this case is effectively infinite, but this is not a qualitative difference from 3d, three dimensions and infinite dimensions both have an Anderson transition.

The resulting localization of sequences is called the formation of an "Eigen quasispecies", and before modern sequencing, it was a controversial idea. The quasispecies of viral evolution is just the Anderson localization in analytic continuation to diffusion.

The biological analogy allows you to see how you can make the localized clump move around--- you can use a process of "bottlenecking". This means you artificially reduce the population to one (randomly chosen) particle, and let it fill out it's own cloud. The cloud is localized again, but likely with a somewhat different center. By repeating the process, you can see that evolution can proceed in viruses whenever there is an infection of a new individual by one or a few viral particles.

This simulation allows you to figure out all the important properties of the Anderson transition by yourself without consulting literature. The methods Anderson uses are also clarified, because Anderson is doing everything in perturbation theory using real-time quantum mechanics, not diffusion, where the process is less intuitive, because it is in amplitude, not in probability.

answered Jun 6, 2014 by Ron Maimon (7,730 points) [ no revision ]

Cool analogy, thanks for this nice answer Ron :-)

+ 3 like - 0 dislike

Take a look at the following

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-06-06 02:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user Vijay Murthy
answered Mar 21, 2013 by Vijay Murthy (90 points) [ no revision ]

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