The Overlap Catastrophe
The Overlap Catastrophe is the name given to an interesting discovery made
by P.W. Anderson.
In a metal, the conduction electrons must be rearranged
when a quantum subsystem, say a defect,
changes state: the initial and final electron
ground-state wavefunctions are so different that the bath of conduction
electrons can force the subsystem to dissipate energy during each
transition, or even keep the transition from occuring. These conduction
electron effects are crucial to understanding the X-ray edge singularity,
the Kondo effect, tunneling in SQUIDS, and other interesting effects.
See P.W. Anderson Phys. Rev. Lett. 18,
Last modified: May 31, 1994
Ard Louis, email@example.com