The "standard" theory of a normal metal consists of an effective electron band which interacts with phonons and impurities. The effects due to the electron-phonon interaction are often delineated within the Migdal approximation; the properties of many simple metals are reasonably well described with such a description. On the other hand, if the electron-phonon interaction is sufficiently strong, a polaron approach is more appropriate. The purpose of this paper is to examine to what degree the Migdal approximation is self-consistent, as the coupling strength increases. We find that changes in the electron density of states become significant for very large values of the coupling strength; however, there is no critical value, nor even a crossover regime where the Migdal approximation has become inconsistent. Moreover, the extent to which the electron band collapses is strongly dependent on the detailed characteristics of the phonon spectrum.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

metal, electron transport; elementary particle; molecular dynamics; phonon

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2003 American Physical Society (APS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2003