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  Can one define wavefunction for Bogoliubov quasiparticle excitation in a superconductor?

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Wavefunction is essentially a single particle concept. It is easily extended to multiparticle system as follows- if one has say five electrons the wavefunction of this five electron state is any completely antisymmetric function of five coordinates which is square integrable in the five dimensional space. Given a five electron ket in fock space $|K\rangle$, its wavefunction is denoted as $\langle x_1 x_2 ...x_5|K\rangle$. But for a superconductor its effective Hamiltonian doesn't conserve the particle number. Then can one come up with any reasonable defination of a wavefunction for a single quasiparticle excitation of the superconductor over its ground state denoted by $\gamma_i^{\dagger} |G\rangle$ where $|G\rangle$ is superconducting groundstate composed of Cooper pairs and $\gamma_i^{\dagger}=\sum_k u_i^kc_k+v_i^kc_k^{\dagger}$ is Bogoliubov quasiparticle creation operator and $c's$ being electron operators and $u's$ and $v's$ being some complex numbers.

In Kitaev chain and it's solid state realisation one usually talks about Majorana fermion(Bogoliubov excitation) being localised at the two ends. How can one do that without a reasonable definition of wavefunction for superconducting states? The papers usually interpret eigenvectors of $H_{BdG}$ in coordinate space as representative wavefunctions. Is it justified?

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2015-02-15 12:14 (UTC), posted by SE-user Noob Rev B
asked Feb 14, 2015 in Theoretical Physics by Noob Rev B (10 points) [ no revision ]

1 Answer

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The localization of Majorana zero modes has a well-defined meaning: consider a Kitaev chain with two ends. Because of the zero modes, there are two nearly degenerate ground states, let us call them $|0\rangle$ and $|1\rangle$, which have opposite fermion parities. They are localized as "single-particle wavefunctions" in the following sense: if one computes the matrix element $\langle 1|c^\dagger(x)|0\rangle$ where $c^\dagger(x)$ is the creation operator for fermions, the result is an exponentially decaying function of $x$ away from the edge. This definition works even when the system is interacting. Intuitively it means that the weight for creating a single fermion excitation is localized near the edge, and in the bulk there is a finite gap to the single particle excitations.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2015-02-15 12:14 (UTC), posted by SE-user Meng Cheng
answered Feb 14, 2015 by Meng (550 points) [ no revision ]

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