Effective equilibrium theory of nonequilibrium quantum transport

Prasenjit Dutt, Jens Koch, Jong Han, Karyn Le Hur*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The theoretical description of strongly correlated quantum systems out of equilibrium presents several challenges and a number of open questions persist. Here, we focus on nonlinear electronic transport through an interacting quantum dot maintained at finite bias using a concept introduced by Hershfield [S. Hershfield, Phys. Rev. Lett. 70 2134 (1993)] whereby one can express such nonequilibrium quantum impurity models in terms of the system's Lippmann-Schwinger operators. These scattering operators allow one to reformulate the nonequilibrium problem as an effective equilibrium problem associated with a modified Hamiltonian. In this paper, we provide a pedagogical analysis of the core concepts of the effective equilibrium theory. First, we demonstrate the equivalence between observables computed using the Schwinger-Keldysh framework and the effective equilibrium approach, and relate Green's functions in the two theoretical frameworks. Second, we expound some applications of this method in the context of interacting quantum impurity models. We introduce a novel framework to treat effects of interactions perturbatively while capturing the entire dependence on the bias voltage. For the sake of concreteness, we employ the Anderson model as a prototype for this scheme. Working at the particle-hole symmetric point, we investigate the fate of the Abrikosov-Suhl resonance as a function of bias voltage and magnetic field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2963-2999
Number of pages37
JournalAnnals of Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Anderson model
  • Many-body theory
  • Nonequilibrium quantum transport
  • Schwinger-Keldysh formalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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