The Inhomogeneous Gaussian Free Field, with application to ground state correlations of trapped 1d Bose gases

Yannis Brun, Jérôme Dubail

SciPost Phys. 4, 037 (2018) · published 25 June 2018


Motivated by the calculation of correlation functions in inhomogeneous one-dimensional (1d) quantum systems, the 2d Inhomogeneous Gaussian Free Field (IGFF) is studied and solved. The IGFF is defined in a domain $\Omega \subset \mathbb{R}^2$ equipped with a conformal class of metrics $[{\rm g}]$ and with a real positive coupling constant $K: \Omega \rightarrow \mathbb{R}_{>0}$ by the action $\mathcal{S}[h] = \frac{1}{8\pi } \int_\Omega \frac{\sqrt{{\rm g}} d^2 {\rm x}}{K({\rm x})} \, {\rm g}^{i j} (\partial_i h)(\partial_j h)$. All correlations functions of the IGFF are expressible in terms of the Green's functions of generalized Poisson operators that are familiar from 2d electrostatics in media with spatially varying dielectric constants. This formalism is then applied to the study of ground state correlations of the Lieb-Liniger gas trapped in an external potential $V(x)$. Relations with previous works on inhomogeneous Luttinger liquids are discussed. The main innovation here is in the identification of local observables $\hat{O} (x)$ in the microscopic model with their field theory counterparts $\partial_x h, e^{i h(x)}, e^{-i h(x)}$, etc., which involve non-universal coefficients that themselves depend on position --- a fact that, to the best of our knowledge, was overlooked in previous works on correlation functions of inhomogeneous Luttinger liquids ---, and that can be calculated thanks to Bethe Ansatz form factors formulae available for the homogeneous Lieb-Liniger model. Combining those position-dependent coefficients with the correlation functions of the IGFF, ground state correlation functions of the trapped gas are obtained. Numerical checks from DMRG are provided for density-density correlations and for the one-particle density matrix, showing excellent agreement.

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Bethe Ansatz Correlation functions Density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) Density-density correlations Gaussian free fields Green's functions Lieb-Liniger model One-dimensional systems One-particle density matrix Poisson operators Spatially inhomogeneous systems Tomonaga-Luttinger liquids

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