Condensed Matter Physics, 2004, vol. 7, No. 3(39), p. 483-525, English

Title: Quantum kinetic theory of metal clusters in an intense electromagnetic field
Authors: M.Bonitz (Institut für Theoretische Physik und Astrophysik, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Leibnizstr. 15, 24098 Kiel, Germany; Department of Physics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-8440), J.W.Dufty (Department of Physics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-8440)

A quantum kinetic theory for weakly inhomogeneous charged particle systems is derived within the framework of nonequilibrium Green's functions. The results are of relevance for valence electrons of metal clusters as well as for confined Coulomb systems, such as electrons in quantum dots or ultracold ions in traps and similar systems. To be specific, here we concentrate on the application to metal clusters, but the results are straightforwardly generalized. Therefore, we first give an introduction to the physics of correlated valence electrons of metal clusters in strong electromagnetic fields. After a brief overview on the jellium model and the standard density functional approach to the ground state properties, we focus on the extension of the theory to nonequilibrium. To this end a general gauge-invariant kinetic theory is developed. The results include the equations of motion of the two-time correlation functions, the equation for the Wigner function and an analysis of the spectral function. Here, the concept of an effective quantum potential is introduced which retains the convenient local form of the propagators. This allows us to derive explicit results for the spectral function of electrons in a combined strong electromagnetic field and a weakly inhomogeneous confinement potential.

Key words: quantum statistical mechanics, charged clusters, laser-plasma interactions
PACS: 05.30.-d,36.40.Wa,52.38.-r

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