Thermal diffusivity and chaos in metals without quasiparticles

Mike Blake, Richard A. Davison, Subir Sachdev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


We study the thermal diffusivity DT in models of metals without quasiparticle excitations ("strange metals"). The many-body quantum chaos and transport properties of such metals can be efficiently described by a holographic representation in a gravitational theory in an emergent curved spacetime with an additional spatial dimension. We find that at generic infrared fixed points DT is always related to parameters characterizing many-body quantum chaos: the butterfly velocity vB and Lyapunov time τL through DT∼vB2τL. The relationship holds independently of the charge density, periodic potential strength, or magnetic field at the fixed point. The generality of this result follows from the observation that the thermal conductivity of strange metals depends only on the metric near the horizon of a black hole in the emergent spacetime and is otherwise insensitive to the profile of any matter fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106008
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Thermal diffusivity and chaos in metals without quasiparticles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this