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VOLUME 90 | ISSUE 9 | PAGE 693
Contrasting Different Scenarios for the Quantum Critical Point
V. A. Khodel+*, J. W. Clark*, M. V. Zverev+
+Russian Research Centre Kurchatov Institute, 123182 Moscow, Russia
*McDonnell Center for the Space Science and Department of Physics,
Washington University, MO 63130, USA

PACS: 71.10.Hf, 71.27.+a
Competing scenarios for quantum critical points (QCPs) of strongly interacting Fermi systems signaled by a divergent density of states at zero temperature are contrasted. The conventional scenario, which enlists critical fluctuations of a collective mode and attributes the divergence to a coincident vanishing of the quasiparticle strength z, is shown to be incompatible with identities arising from conservation laws prevailing in the fermionic medium. An alternative scenario, in which the topology of the Fermi surface is altered at the QCP, is found to explain the non-Fermi-liquid thermodynamic behavior observed experimentally in Yb-based compounds close to the QCP. It is suggested that combination of the topological scenario with the theory of quantum phase transitions will provide a proper foundation for analysis of the extended QCP region.

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