The low-temperature properties of a wide range of many-fermion systems spanning metals, quantum gases and liquids to nuclear matter are well understood within the framework of Landau’s theory of Fermi liquids. The low-energy physics of these systems is governed by interacting fermionic quasiparticles with momenta and energies near a Fermi surface in momentum space. Nonequilibrium properties are described by a kinetic equation for the distribution function for quasiparticles proposed by Landau. Quasiparticle interactions with other quasiparticles, phonons, or impurities lead to internal forces acting on a distribution of nonequilibrium quasiparticles, as well as collision processes that ultimately limit the transport of mass, heat, charge, and magnetization, as well as limiting the coherence times of quasiparticles. For Fermi liquids that are close to a second-order phase transition, e.g., Fermi liquids that undergo a superfluid transition, incipient Cooper pairs—long-lived fluctuations of the ordered phase—provide a new channel for scattering quasiparticles, as well as corrections to internal forces acting on the distribution of nonequilibrium quasiparticles. We develop the theory of quasiparticle transport for Fermi liquids in the vicinity of a BCS-type superfluid transition starting from Keldysh’s field theory for nonequilibrium, strongly interacting fermions. The leading corrections to Fermi-liquid theory for nonequilibrium quasiparticle transportmore »
Nonequilibrium phase transitions play a pivotal role in broad physical contexts, from condensed matter to cosmology. Tracking the formation of nonequilibrium phases in condensed matter requires a resolution of the long-range cooperativity on ultra-short timescales. Here, we study the spontaneous transformation of a charge-density wave in CeTe3from a stripe order into a bi-directional state inaccessible thermodynamically but is induced by intense laser pulses. With ≈100 fs resolution coherent electron diffraction, we capture the entire course of this transformation and show self-organization that defines a nonthermal critical point, unveiling the nonequilibrium energy landscape. We discuss the generation of instabilities by a swift interaction quench that changes the system symmetry preference, and the phase ordering dynamics orchestrated over a nonadiabatic timescale to allow new order parameter fluctuations to gain long-range correlations. Remarkably, the subsequent thermalization locks the remnants of the transient order into longer-lived topological defects for more than 2 ns.
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- Nature Communications
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