Carlo W. J. Beenakker
This article focuses on applications of random matrix theory (RMT) to both classical optics and quantum optics, with emphasis on optical systems such as disordered wave guides and chaotic resonators. The discussion centres on topics that do not have an immediate analogue in electronics, either because they cannot readily be measured in the solid state or because they involve aspects (such as absorption, amplification, or bosonic statistics) that do not apply to electrons. The article first considers applications of RMT to classical optics, including optical speckle and coherent backscattering, reflection from an absorbing random medium, long-range wave function correlations in an open resonator, and direct detection of open transmission channels. It then discusses applications to quantum optics, namely: the statistics of grey-body radiation, lasing in a chaotic cavity, and the effect of absorption on the reflection eigenvalue statistics in a multimode wave guide.
Dave Higdon, Katrin Heitmann, Charles Nakhleh, and Salman Habib
This article focuses on the use of a Bayesian approach that combines simulations and physical observations to estimate cosmological parameters. It begins with an overview of the Λ-cold dark matter (CDM) model, the simplest cosmological model in agreement with the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and largescale structure analysis. The CDM model is determined by a small number of parameters which control the composition, expansion and fluctuations of the universe. The present study aims to learn about the values of these parameters using measurements from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Computationally intensive simulation results are combined with measurements from the SDSS to infer about a subset of the parameters that control the CDM model. The article also describes a statistical framework used to determine a posterior distribution for these cosmological parameters and concludes by showing how it can be extended to include data from diverse data sources.
Carlo W. J. Beenakker
This article discusses some applications of concepts from random matrix theory (RMT) to condensed matter physics, with emphasis on phenomena, predicted or explained by RMT, that have actually been observed in experiments on quantum wires and quantum dots. These observations range from universal conductance fluctuations (UCF) to weak localization, non-Gaussian thermopower distributions, and sub-Poissonian shot noise. The article first considers the UCF phenomenon, nonlogarithmic eigenvalue repulsion, and sub-Poissonian shot noise in quantum wires before analysing level and wave function statistics, scattering matrix ensembles, conductance distribution, and thermopower distribution in quantum dots. It also examines the effects (not yet observed) of superconductors on the statistics of the Hamiltonian and scattering matrix.
Sebastian Muller and Martin Sieber
This article examines the origins of the universality of the spectral statistics of quantum chaotic systems in the context of periodic orbit theory. It also considers interesting analogies between periodic orbit theory and the sigma model, along with related work on quantum graphs. The article first reviews some facts and definitions for classically chaotic systems in order to elucidate their quantum behaviour, focusing on systems with two degrees of freedom: one characterized by ergodicity and another by hyperbolicity. It then describes two semiclassical approximation techniques — Gutzwiller’s periodic orbit theory and a refined approach incorporating the unitarity of the quantum evolution — and highlights their importance in understanding universal spectral statistics, and how they are related to the sigma model. This is followed by an analysis of parallel developments for quantum graphs, which are relevant to quantum chaos.
This article focuses on chiral random matrix theories with the global symmetries of quantum chromodynamics (QCD). In particular, it explains how random matrix theory (RMT) can be applied to the spectra of the Dirac operator both at zero chemical potential, when the Dirac operator is Hermitian, and at non-zero chemical potential, when the Dirac operator is non-Hermitian. Before discussing the spectra of these Dirac operators at non-zero chemical potential, the article considers spontaneous symmetry breaking in RMT and the QCD partition function. It then examines the global symmetries of QCD, taking into account the Dirac operator for a finite chiral basis, as well as the global symmetry breaking pattern and the Goldstone manifold in chiral random matrix theory (chRMT). It also describes the generating function for the Dirac spectrum and applications of chRMT to QCD to gauge degrees of freedom.
This article discusses the link between matrix models and string theory, giving emphasis on topological string theory and the Dijkgraaf–Vafa correspondence, along with applications of this correspondence and its generalizations to supersymmetric gauge theory, enumerative geometry, and mirror symmetry. The article first provides an overview of strings and matrices, noting that the correspondence between matrix models and string theory makes it possible to solve both non-critical strings and topological strings. It then describes some basic aspects of topological strings on Calabi-Yau manifolds and states the Dijkgraaf–Vafa correspondence, focusing on how it is connected to string dualities and how it can be used to compute superpotentials in certain supersymmetric gauge theories. In addition, it shows how the correspondence extends to toric manifolds and leads to a matrix model approach to enumerative geometry. Finally, it reviews matrix quantum mechanics and its applications in superstring theory.
This article discusses the connection between large N matrix models and critical phenomena on lattices with fluctuating geometry, with particular emphasis on the solvable models of 2D lattice quantum gravity and how they are related to matrix models. It first provides an overview of the continuum world sheet theory and the Liouville gravity before deriving the Knizhnik-Polyakov-Zamolodchikov scaling relation. It then describes the simplest model of 2D gravity and the corresponding matrix model, along with the vertex/height integrable models on planar graphs and their mapping to matrix models. It also considers the discretization of the path integral over metrics, the solution of pure lattice gravity using the one-matrix model, the construction of the Ising model coupled to 2D gravity discretized on planar graphs, the O(n) loop model, the six-vertex model, the q-state Potts model, and solid-on-solid and ADE matrix models.