Abstract:
This paper deals with the comparison between the strong Thomas-Fermi theory and the quantum mechanical ground state energy of a large atom confined to lowest Landau band wave functions. Using the tools of microlocal semiclassical spectral asymptotics we derive precise error estimates. The approach presented in this paper suggests the definition of a modified strong Thomas-Fermi functional, where the main modification consists in replacing the integration over the variables perpendicular to the magnetic field by an expansion in angular momentum eigenfunctions. The resulting DSTF theory is studied in detail in the second part of the paper.

Abstract:
This paper is divided into two parts. In the first one the von Weizs\"acker term is introduced to the Magnetic TF theory and the resulting MTFW functional is mathematically analyzed. In particular, it is shown that the von Weizs\"acker term produces the Scott correction up to magnetic fields of order $B \ll Z^2$, in accordance with a result of V. Ivrii on the quantum mechanical ground state energy. The second part is dedicated to gradient corrections for semiclassical theories of atoms restricted to electrons in the lowest Landau band. We consider modifications of the Thomas-Fermi theory for strong magnetic fields (STF), i.e. for $B \ll Z^3$. The main modification consists in replacing the integration over the variables perpendicular to the field by an expansion in angular momentum eigenfunctions in the lowest Landau band. This leads to a functional (DSTF) depending on a sequence of one-dimensional densities. For a one-dimensional Fermi gas the analogue of a Weizs\"acker correction has a negative sign and we discuss the corresponding modification of the DSTF functional.

Abstract:
We investigate the ground state energy of an electron coupled to a photon field. First, we regard the self-energy of a free electron, which we describe by the Pauli-Fierz Hamiltonian. We show that, in the case of small values of the coupling constant $\alpha$, the leading order term is represented by $2\pi^{-1} \alpha (\Lambda - \ln[1 + \Lambda])$. Next we put the electron in the field of an arbitrary external potential $V$, such that the corresponding Schr\"odinger operator $p^2 + V$ has at least one eigenvalue, and show that by coupling to the radiation field the binding energy increases, at least for small enough values of the coupling constant $\alpha$. Moreover, we provide concrete numbers for $\alpha$, the ultraviolet cut-off $\Lambda$, and the radiative correction for which our procedure works.

Abstract:
We look at an electron in the field of an arbitrary external potential $V$, such that the Schr\"odinger operator $p^2 + V$ has at least one eigenvalue, and show that by coupling to a quantized radiation field the binding energy increases, at least for small enough values of the coupling constant $\alpha$. Moreover, we provide concrete numbers for $\alpha$, the ultraviolet cut-off $\Lambda$, and the radiative correction for which our procedure works.

Abstract:
We consider an external potential, $-\lambda \phi$, due to one or more nuclei. Following the Dirac picture such a potential polarizes the vacuum. The polarization density as derived in physics literature, after a well known renormalization procedure, depends decisively on the strength of $\lambda$. For small $\lambda$, more precisely as long as the lowest eigenvalue, $e_1(\lambda)$, of the corresponding Dirac operator stays in the gap of the essential spectrum, the integral over the density vanishes. In other words the vacuum stays neutral. But as soon as $e_1(\lambda)$ dives into the lower continuum the vacuum gets spontaneously charged with charge $ 2e$. Global charge conservation implies that two positrons were emitted out of the vacuum, this is, a large enough external potential can produce electron-positron pairs. We give a rigorous proof of that phenomenon.

Abstract:
We consider a spatially homogeneous and isotropic system of Dirac particles coupled to classical gravity. The dust and radiation dominated closed Friedmann-Robertson-Walker space-times are recovered as limiting cases. We find a mechanism where quantum oscillations of the Dirac wave functions can prevent the formation of the big bang or big crunch singularity. Thus before the big crunch, the collapse of the universe is stopped by quantum effects and reversed to an expansion, so that the universe opens up entering a new era of classical behavior. Numerical examples of such space-times are given, and the dependence on various parameters is discussed. Generically, one has a collapse after a finite number of cycles. By fine-tuning the parameters we construct an example of a space-time which is time-periodic, thus running through an infinite number of contraction and expansion cycles.

Abstract:
We prove that the critical temperature for the BCS gap equation is given by $T_c = \mu (8/\pi e^{\gamma -2} + o(1)) e^{\pi/(2\sqrt \mu a)}$ in the low density limit $\mu\to 0$. The formula holds for a suitable class of interaction potentials with negative scattering length $a$ in the absence of bound states.

Abstract:
We derive upper and lower bounds on the critical temperature $T_c$ and the energy gap $\Xi$ (at zero temperature) for the BCS gap equation, describing spin 1/2 fermions interacting via a local two-body interaction potential $\lambda V(x)$. At weak coupling $\lambda \ll 1$ and under appropriate assumptions on $V(x)$, our bounds show that $T_c \sim A \exp(-B/\lambda)$ and $\Xi \sim C \exp(-B/\lambda)$ for some explicit coefficients $A$, $B$ and $C$ depending on the interaction $V(x)$ and the chemical potential $\mu$. The ratio $A/C$ turns out to be a universal constant, independent of both $V(x)$ and $\mu$. Our analysis is valid for any $\mu$; for small $\mu$, or low density, our formulas reduce to well-known expressions involving the scattering length of $V(x)$.

Abstract:
We present a review of recent work on the mathematical aspects of the BCS gap equation, covering our results of [arXiv:0801.4159] as well our recent joint work with Hamza and Solovej [arXiv:math-ph/0703086] and with Frank and Naboko [arXiv:0704.3564], respectively. In addition, we mention some related new results.

Abstract:
Starting from a formal Hamiltonian as found in the physics literature -- omitting photons -- we define a renormalized Hamiltonian through charge and mass renormalization. We show that the restriction to the one-electron subspace is well-defined. Our construction is non-perturbative and does not use a cut-off. The Hamiltonian is relevant for the description of the Lamb shift in muonic atoms.