, Volume 96, Issue 6, pp 397-404
Date: 10 Jan 2013

Nature of the quantum critical point as disclosed by extraordinary behavior of magnetotransport and the lorentz number in the heavy-fermion metal YbRh2Si2

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Abstract

Physicists are engaged in vigorous debate on the nature of the quantum critical points (QCP) governing the low-temperature properties of heavy-fermion metals. Recent experimental observations of the much-studied compound YbRh2Si2 in the regime of vanishing temperature incisively probe the nature of its magnetic-field-tuned QCP. The jumps revealed both in the residual resistivity ρ0 and the Hall resistivity R H, along with violation of the Wiedemann-Franz law, provide vital clues to the origin of such non-Fermi-liquid behavior. The empirical facts point unambiguously to association of the observed QCP with a fermion-condensation phase transition. Based on this insight, the resistivities ρ0 and R H are predicted to show jumps at the crossing of the QCP produced by application of a magnetic field, with attendant violation of the Wiedemann-Franz law. It is further demonstrated that experimentally identifiable multiple energy scales are related to the scaling behavior of the effective mass of the quasiparticles responsible for the low-temperature properties of such heavy-fermion metals.

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