Nonequilibrium transport and statistics of Schwinger pair production in Weyl semimetals

Szabolcs Vajna, Balázs Dóra, R. Moessner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


The nonequilibrium dynamics beyond the linear response of Weyl semimetals is studied after a sudden switching on of a dc electric field. The resulting current is a nonmonotonic function of time with an initial quick increase in polarization current followed by a power-law decay. Particle-hole creation à la Schwinger dominates for long times when the conduction current takes over the leading role with the total current increasing again. The conductivity estimated from a dynamical calculation within a generalized Drude picture agrees with the one obtained from Kubo's formula. The full distribution function of electron-hole pairs changes from Poissonian for short perturbations to a Gaussian in the long perturbation (Landau-Zener) regime. The vacuum persistence probability of high-energy physics manifests itself in a finite probability of no pair creation and no induced current at all times.

Original languageEnglish
Article number085122
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 13 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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