Thermal Diffusivity and Chaos in Metals Without Quasiparticles

November 14, 2017

A schematic representation of the fact that the rate at which temperature perturbations diffuse along the boundary of a curved spacetime is related in a very simple way to properties of the black hole horizon in the interior of the spacetime.*

In the latest issue of Physical Review D, Mike Blake from MIT, Harvard physics postdoc Richard Davison, and Prof. Subir Sachdev describe their study of the thermal diffusivity DT in models of metals without quasiparticle excitations ("strange metals"). They show that in holographic models, the thermal conductivity is related solely to the gravitational metric near the horizon. As a consequence, the thermal diffusivity is simply related to the quantum chaotic properties of these models.

*See M. Blake, R.A. Davison, and S. Sachdev, "Thermal diffusivity and chaos in metals without quasiparticles ," Phys. Rev. D 96 (2017) DOI: