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Kinks and realistic impurity models in φ4-theory

    The φ4-theory is ubiquitous as a low-energy effective description of processes in all fields of physics, ranging from cosmology and particle physics to biophysics and condensed matter theory. The topological defects, or kinks, in this theory describe stable, particle-like excitations. In practice, these excitations will necessarily encounter impurities or imperfections in the background potential as they propagate. Here, we describe the interaction between kinks and various types of realistic impurity models. We find that realistic impurities behave qualitatively like the well-studied, idealized delta function impurities, but that significant quantitative differences appear in both the characteristics of localized impurity modes, and in the collision dynamics. We also identify a particular regime of kink-impurity interactions, in which kinks lose all of their kinetic energy upon colliding with an impurity.

    PACS: 11.10.Lm, 11.27.+d, 05.45.Yv, 03.50.−z


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