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Kondo effect in spin chains

Nicolas Laflorencie, Erik Sorensen and Ian Affleck

par Nicolas Laflorencie - 8 janvier 2008

The free electron Kondo problem can be described by a one-dimensional (1D) model because only the s-wave part of the electronic wave-function is affected by the Kondo coupling. Since only the spin degrees of freedom are involved in the Kondo interaction, and due to spin-charge separation in 1D, the universal low energy long distance physics of the Kondo model also arises when a magnetic impurity is coupled to the end of a gap-less antiferromagnetic J_1-J_2 spin-1/2 chain, where J_1(J_2) is the (next-)nearest neighbor coupling. Experimental realizations of such spin chain models are possible and using various analytical and numerical techniques, we present a detailed and quantitative comparison between the usual free electron Kondo model and such spin chain versions of the Kondo problem. For the gap-less J_1-J_2 spin chain two cases are studied, with zero next nearest neighbor coupling, J_2=0, and with a critical second neighbor coupling, J_2=J_2c. We first focus on the spin chain impurity model at J_2c 0.2412 where a bulk marginal coupling present in the spin chain model for J_2