Abstract:
Classically the interaction between light and matter is given by the Maxwell relations. These are briefly reviewed and will be used as a basis to discuss several techniques that are used in optical spectroscopy. We then discuss the quantum mechanical description of the optical conductivity based on the Kubo formalism. This is used as a basis to understand how strong correlation effects can be observed using optical techniques. We will discuss the use of sum rules in the interpretation of optical experiments. Finally, we describe the effect of including interactions between electronic and collective degrees of freedom on optical spectra.

Abstract:
We analyze optical spectra of high temperature superconductors using a minimal model of electrons coupled to bosons. We consider the marginal Fermi liquid theory and the spin fluctuation theory, as well as a histogram representation of the bosonic spectral density. We find that the two theories can both be used to describe the experimental data provided that we allow for an additional scattering channel with an energy of 55 meV.

Abstract:
We study experimentally and theoretically the Fano-shaped phonon peak at 1590 cm$^{-1}$ (0.2 eV) in the in-plane optical conductivity of pristine graphite. We show that the anomalously large spectral weight and the Fano asymmetry of the peak can be qualitatively accounted for by a charged-phonon theory. A crucial role in this context is played by the particle-hole asymmetry of the electronic $\pi$-bands.

Abstract:
A single band optical sum rule derived by Kubo can reveal a novel kind of superconducting state. It relies, however, on a knowledge of the single band contribution from zero to infinite frequency. A number of experiments over the past five years have used this sum rule; their data has been interpreted in support of 'kinetic energy-driven superconductivity'. However, because of the presence of unwanted interband optical spectral weight, they necessarily have to truncate their sum at a finite frequency. This work examines theoretical models where the impact of this truncation can be examined first in the normal state, and then in the superconducting state. The latter case is particularly important as previous considerations attributed the observed anomalous temperature dependence as an artifact of a non-infinite cutoff frequency. We find that this is in fact not the case, and that the sign of the corrections from the use of a non-infinite cutoff is such that the observed temperature dependence is even more anomalous when proper account is taken of the cutoff. On the other hand, in these same models, we find that the strong observed temperature dependence in the normal state can be attributed to the effect of a non-infinite cutoff frequency.

Abstract:
We find experimentally that the optical sheet conductance of graphite per graphene layer is very close to $(\pi/2)e^2/h$, which is the theoretically expected value of dynamical conductance of isolated monolayer graphene. Our calculations within the Slonczewski-McClure-Weiss model explain well why the interplane hopping leaves the conductance of graphene sheets in graphite almost unchanged for photon energies between 0.1 and 0.6 eV, even though it significantly affects the band structure on the same energy scale. The f-sum rule analysis shows that the large increase of the Drude spectral weight as a function of temperature is at the expense of the removed low-energy optical spectral weight of transitions between hole and electron bands.

Abstract:
An experimental study of the in-plane optical conductivity of (Pb$_{x}$,Bi$_{2-x}$)(La$_{y}$Sr$_{2-y}$)CuO$_{6+\delta}$ (Bi2201) is presented for a broad doping and temperature range. The in-plane conductivity is analyzed within a strong coupling formalism. We address the interrelationship between the optical conductivity ($\sigma(\omega)$), the single particle self energy, and the electron-boson spectral function. We find that the frequency and temperature dependence can be well described within this formalism. We present a universal description of optical, ARPES and tunneling spectra. The full frequency and temperature dependence of the optical spectra and single particle self-energy is shown to result from an electron-boson spectral function, which shows a strong doping dependence and weak temperature dependence.

Abstract:
Much attention has been given to a possible violation of the optical sum rule in the cuprates, and the connection this might have to kinetic energy lowering. The optical integral is composed of a cut-off independent term (whose temperature dependence is a measure of the sum rule violation), plus a cut-off dependent term that accounts for the extension of the Drude peak beyond the upper bound of the integral. We find that the temperature dependence of the optical integral in the normal state of the cuprates can be accounted for solely by the latter term, implying that the dominant contribution to the observed sum rule `violation' in the normal state is due to the finite cut-off. This cut-off dependent term is well modeled by a theory of electrons interacting with a broad spectrum of bosons.

Abstract:
We take advantage of the connection between the free carrier optical conductivity and the glue function in the normal state, to reconstruct from the infrared optical conductivity the glue-spectrum of ten different high-Tc cuprates revealing a robust peak in the 50-60 meV range and a broad con- tinuum at higher energies for all measured charge carrier concentrations and temperatures up to 290 K. We observe that the strong coupling formalism accounts fully for the known strong temperature dependence of the optical spectra of the high Tc cuprates, except for strongly underdoped samples. We observe a correlation between the doping trend of the experimental glue spectra and the critical temperature. The data obtained on the overdoped side of the phase diagram conclusively excludes the electron-phonon coupling as the main source of superconducting pairing.

Abstract:
We examine the redistribution of the in-plane optical spectral weight in the normal and superconducting state in tri-layer \bbb (Bi2223) near optimal doping ($T_c$ = 110 K) on a single crystal via infrared reflectivity and spectroscopic ellipsometry. We report the temperature dependence of the low-frequency integrated spectral weight $W(\Omega_c)$ for different values of the cutoff energy $\Omega_c$. Two different model-independent analyses consistently show that for $\Omega_c$ = 1 eV, which is below the charge transfer gap, $W(\Omega_c)$ increases below $T_c$, implying the lowering of the kinetic energy of the holes. This is opposite to the BCS scenario, but it follows the same trend observed in the bi-layer compound \bb (Bi2212). The size of this effect is larger in Bi2223 than in Bi2212, approximately scaling with the critical temperature. In the normal state, the temperature dependence of $W(\Omega_c)$ is close to $T^2$ up to 300 K.

Abstract:
We present detailed temperature dependent optical data on BaFe$_{2-x}$Co$_{x}$As$_{2}$ (BCFA), with x = 0.14, between 4 meV and 6.5 eV. We analyze our spectra to determine the main optical parameters and show that in this material the interband conductivity already starts around 10 meV. We determine the superfluid density to be 2.2 10^{7}$ cm^{-2}, which places optimally doped BFCA close to the Uemura line. Our experimental data shows clear signs of a superconducting gap with 2$\Delta_{1}$ = 6.2 $\pm$ 0.8 meV. In addition we show that the optical spectra are consistent with the presence of an additional band of strongly scattered carriers with a larger gap, 2$\Delta_{2}$ = 14 $\pm$ 2 meV.