Abstract:
We study the occurrence of SO(5) symmetry in the low-energy sector of two-chain Hubbard-like systems by analyzing the flow of the running couplings ($g$-ology) under renormalization group in the weak-interaction limit. It is shown that SO(5) is asymptotically restored for low energies for rather general parameters of the bare Hamiltonian. This holds also with inclusion of a next-nearest-neighbor hopping which explicitly breaks particle-hole symmetry provided one accounts for a different single-particle weight for the quasiparticles of the two bands of the system. The physical significance of this renormalized SO(5) symmetry is discussed.

Abstract:
We consider the projected SO(5) bosonic model introduced in order to connect the SO(5) theory of high-T$_c$ superconductivity with the physics of the Mott-insulating gap, and derive the corresponding effective functional describing low-energy degrees of freedom. At the antiferromagnetic-superconducting transition, SO(5) symmetry-breaking effects due to the gap are purely quantum mechanical and become irrelevant in the neighborhood of a possible finite-temperature multicritical point separating the normal from the antiferromagnetic and the superconducting phases. A difference in the magnon and hole-pair mobility always takes the system away from the SO(5)-symmetric fixed point towards a region of instability, and the phase transition between the normal and the two ordered phases becomes first order before merging into the antiferromagnetic-superconducting line. Quantum fluctuations at intermediate temperatures, while introducing symmetry-breaking terms in the case of equal mobilities, tend to cancel the symmetry-breaking effects in the case of different mobilities.

Abstract:
We study the interplay of correlations and disorder using an unrestricted Slave-Boson technique in real space. Within the saddle-point approximation, we find Friedel oscillations of the charge density in the vicinity of a nonmagnetic impurity, in agreement with numerical simulations. The corresponding amplitudes are suppressed by repulsive interactions, while attractive correlations lead to a charge-density-wave enhancement. In addition, we investigate the spatial dependence of the local magnetic moment and the formation of a magnetic state at the impurity site.

Abstract:
Scattering by a single impurity introduced in a strongly correlated electronic system is studied by exact diagonalization of small clusters. It is shown that an inert site which is spinless and unable to accomodate holes can give rise to strong resonant scattering. A calculation of the local density of state reveals that, for increasing antiferromagnetic exchange coupling, d, s and p-wave symmetry bound states in which a mobile hole is trapped by the impurity potential induced by a local distortion of the antiferromagnetic background successively pull out from the continuum.

Abstract:
We present results for the zero and finite temperature Drude weight D(T) and for the Meissner fraction of the attractive and the repulsive Hubbard model, as well as for the model with next nearest neighbor repulsion. They are based on Quantum Monte Carlo studies and on the Bethe ansatz. We show that the Drude weight is well defined as an extrapolation on the imaginary frequency axis, even for finite temperature. The temperature, filling, and system size dependence of D is obtained. We find counterexamples to a conjectured connection of dissipationless transport and integrability of lattice models.

Abstract:
The spin and charge excitations of the t--J ladder are studied by exact diagonalization techniques for several electron densities. The various modes are classified according to their spin (singlet or triplet excitations) and their parity under a reflection with respect to the symmetry axis along the chains and a finite size scaling of the related gaps is performed. At low doping, formation of hole pairs leads to a spin gap for all $J/t$ ratios. This phase is characterized by (at least) one vanishing energy mode {\it only} in the charge bonding channel when $K_x\rightarrow 0$ consistent with the existence of superconducting pairing correlations. At larger doping the spin gap disappears. Although the anti-bonding modes remain gapped, low energy $K_x\sim 0$ and $K_x\sim 2k_F$ spin and charge bonding modes are found consistent with a single band Luttinger scenario. At sufficient low electron density and above a critical value of J/t we also expect another phase of electron pairs with gapped spin excitations.

Abstract:
The effect of a magnetic (S=1/2) impurity coupled to a 2D system of correlated electrons (described by the t--J model) is studied by exact diagonalisations. It is found that, if the exchange coupling of the impurity with the neighboring spins is ferromagnetic or weakly antiferromagnetic, an extra hole can form bound states of different spatial symmetries with the impurity extending to a few lattice spacings. The binding energy is maximum when the impurity is completely decoupled (vacancy) and vanishes for an antiferromagnetic coupling exceeding $\sim 0.3 J$. Several peaks appear in the single hole spectral function below the lower edge of the quasiparticle band as signatures of the d-, s- and p-wave boundstates.

Abstract:
We investigate the charge- and spin dynamical structure factors for the 2D one-band Hubbard model in the strong coupling regime within an extension of the Dynamical Cluster Approximation (DCA) to two-particle response functions. The full irreducible two-particle vertex with three momenta and frequencies is approximated by an effective vertex dependent on the momentum and frequency of the spin/charge excitation. In the spirit of the DCA, the effective vertex is calculated with quantum Monte Carlo methods on a finite cluster. On the basis of a comparison with high temperature auxiliary field quantum Monte Carlo data we show that near and beyond optimal doping, our results provide a consistent overall picture of the interplay between charge, spin and single-particle excitations.

Abstract:
We study the low-temperature transport of a doped two-chain ladder system of interacting fermions in the presence of a barrier or of a low concentration of impurities. Above a certain value of the interaction, the conductance is suppressed, like for a single chain, despite the presence of dominant superconducting correlations. There is, however, a region of repulsive interaction where perfect transmission across the barrier occurs unlike the single-chain case. We provide a possible explanation for the temperature maximum of the resistivity in the normal state of \srca.

Abstract:
Recent reflectivity measurements provide evidence for a "violation" of the in-plane optical integral in the underdoped high-T_c compound Bi_2Sr_2CaCu_2O_{8+\delta} up to frequencies much higher than expected by standard BCS theory. The sum rule violation may be related to a loss of in-plane kinetic energy at the superconducting transition. Here, we show that a model based on phase fluctuations of the superconducting order parameter can account for this change of in-plane kinetic energy at T_c. The change is due to a transition from a phase-incoherent Cooper-pair motion in the pseudogap regime above T_c to a phase-coherent motion at T_c.