Theoretical Physics III
Prof. Dr. Dieter Vollhardt
Chair in Theoretical Physics
Center for Electronic Correlations and Magnetism
Theoretical Physics III
Institute of Physics
University of Augsburg
4A 408, EKM-Building
+49 - 821 - 598 - 3700
During 1971-1976 Dieter Vollhardt studied physics at the University of
Hamburg. From 1976 to 1979 he worked with Professor Kazumi Maki at the
University of Southern California in Los Angeles on the theory of
critical currents in superfluid Helium 3. This was also the topic of his Diploma
Thesis (1977) and his Doctoral Thesis (1979) at the University of
Hamburg. From 1979 to 1984 Dieter Vollhardt was Research Associate of
Professor Peter Wölfle, and from 1984 to 1987 a Heisenberg-Fellow of
the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, at the Max-Planck-Institute for
Physics and Astrophysics (Heisenberg-Institute) in Munich. During this
time he also stayed at various research institutions in the U.S., among
them, in 1983, the Institute for Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara,
and Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill. In 1984 he completed his
Habilitation at the Technical University of Munich. In 1987 Dieter
Vollhardt was appointed to the Chair in Theoretical Physics C, and became
Director at the Institute of Theoretical Physics, at the
RWTH Aachen University. Since 1996 he holds the
Chair in Theoretical Physics on Electronic
Correlations and Magnetism at the Institute of Physics of the
University of Augsburg.
Dieter Vollhardt's main areas of research are the theory of
electronic correlations and magnetism, e.g., the realistic
modelling of strongly correlated materials
(see Physics Today, March 2004, and Einstein Lecture, 2012), disordered
electronic systems, and normal and superfluid Helium 3. He is author (together with P. Wölfle, Karlsruhe) of the book The Superfluid Phases of Helium 3 (Dover Publications, 2013: Corrected, unabridged republication of the edition originally published by Taylor & Francis, 1990; with a new preface, 656 pages; Chapter 1 (Introduction)).
As the German representative in Commission C5 (Low
Temperatures) of the
International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) during 1999 - 2005 he contributed
to the book "Physics Now"
of the IUPAP published in 2004 which contains reviews of the state of the art in physics.
He is currently the spokesman of the DFG Research Unit FOR1346 Dynamical Mean-Field Approach with Predictive Power for Strongly Correlated Materials.
On the occasion of his 60th birthday the International
Workshop on Electronic Correlations in Models and Materials took
place in Augsburg in September 2011.
Areas of Current Research
Realistic modelling of strongly correlated electronic systems
We develop and apply the novel computational scheme LDA+DMFT to
explore the properties of electronically correlated materials from first principles.
LDA+DMFT is based on a combination of conventional methods for computing
electronic band structures, e.g., the local density approximation (LDA),
with the dynamical mean-field theory (DMFT) for correlated electron
Metal-insulator transitions in electronic systems
Phase transitions between metallic, non-metallic, magnetically ordered
and non-ordered states in correlated and/or disordered electronic
systems are investigated within dynamical mean-field theory (DMFT) together with
finite temperature quantum Monte-Carlo techniques,
the numerical renormalization group, and other techniques. Thereby the
influence of disorder, frustration and doping on the transitions is studied.
Microscopic theory of magnetism
We investigate the microscopic conditions for the stability of
long-range ordered magnetic states in strongly correlated insulators and
metals. A broad range of theoretical tools (exact analytic methods,
perturbation theory at weak and strong coupling, low and high
dimensions, variational procedures, quantum
Monte-Carlo calculations, numerical renormalization group, etc.) is
employed for this purpose.
Correlated electrons in nonequilibrium
The real-time dynamics of correlated electrons are studied using
dynamical mean-field-theory for nonequilibrium. This approach can be
used in particular to describe pump-probe experiments, in which the sample is
excited by a first laser pulse and analyzed with a second laser pulse
after a controlled time delay.
Correlated bosonic systems
The properties of correlated lattice bosons are investigated by means of
the newly developed bosonic dynamical mean-field theory (B-DMFT). In
this approach the dynamic coupling between normal and condensed bosons
is explicitly included.
Development of new theoretical methods
We develop analytical and numerical approaches for the non-perturbative
investigation of electronic correlation phenomena in quantum mechanical
Elektronische Korrelationen und Magnetismus: Eine Einführung (in German)
Strongly Correlated Materials: Insights from Dynamical Mean-Field Theory,
G. Kotliar and D. Vollhardt, Physics Today (March 2004)
Elektronische Korrelationen im Festkörper (in German), Physik Journal (August/September 2010)
Dynamical mean-field theory for correlated electrons, Annalen der Physik (Januar 2012) (pdf)
Investigations of correlated electron systems using the limit of high dimensions (1993)
Strong-coupling approaches to correlated fermions (1994)
Dynamical mean-field theory of electronic correlations in models and materials (2010)
From Gutzwiller Wave Functions to Dynamical Mean-Field Theory (2014)
Research topics / Selected publications