Ground state of a general electron-phonon Hamiltonian is a spin singlet

J. K. Freericks, Elliott H. Lieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The many-body ground state of a very general class of electron-phonon Hamiltonians is proven to contain a spin singlet (for an even number of electrons on a finite lattice). The phonons interact with the electronic system in two different ways; there is an interaction with the local electronic charge and there is a functional dependence of the electronic hopping Hamiltonian on the phonon coordinates. The phonon potential energy may include anharmonic terms, and the electron-phonon couplings and the hopping matrix elements may be nonlinear functions of the phonon coordinates. An attractive Hubbard-type on-site interaction may also be added. If the hopping Hamiltonian is assumed to have no phonon-coordinate dependence, then the ground state of a finite system is also shown to be unique, implying that there are no ground-state level crossings, and that the ground-state energy is an analytic function of the parameters in the Hamiltonian. In particular, in a finite system any self-trapping transition is a smooth crossover not accompanied by a nonanalytical change in the ground state. The spin-singlet theorem applies to the Su-Schrieffer-Heeger model and both the spin-singlet and uniqueness theorems apply to the Holstein and attractive Hubbard models as special cases. These results hold in all dimensionseven on a general graph without periodic lattice structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2812-2821
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Ground state of a general electron-phonon Hamiltonian is a spin singlet'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this