Weak ergodicity breaking from quantum many-body scars

Invited Talk

Speaker: Maksym Serbyn
When: Jun. 14 2018 09:00
Where: Erwin Schrödinger Saal

The statistical mechanics description of many-particle systems rests on the assumption of ergodicity, the ability of a system to explore all allowed configurations in the phase space. For quantum many-body systems statistical mechanics predicts the equilibration of highly excited non-equilibrium state towards a featureless thermal state. Hence, it is highly desirable to explore possible ways to avoid ergodicity in quantum systems. Many-body localization presents one generic mechanism for a strong violation of ergodicity relying on the presence of quenched disorder. In my talk I will discuss a different mechanism of the weak ergodicity breaking relevant for the experimentally realized Rydberg-atom quantum simulator[1]. This mechanism arises from the presence of special eigenstates in the many-body spectrum that are reminiscent of quantum scars in chaotic non-interacting systems[2]. In the single-particle case, quantum scars correspond to wave functions concentrated in the vicinity of unstable periodic classical trajectories. I will demonstrate that many-body scars appear in the Fibonacci chain, a model with a constrained local Hilbert space which can be realized by a Rydberg chain. The quantum scarred eigenstates are embedded throughout the otherwise thermalizing many-body spectrum but lead to direct experimental signatures, as I show for periodic recurrences that reproduce those observed in the experiment[1]. I will conclude with discussing a new opportunities for the creation of novel states with long-lived coherence in systems that are now experimentally realizable and possible generalizations of these results. [1] Bernien, H. et al., Nature 551, 579–584 (2017) [2] C. J. Turner, A. A. Michailidis, D. A. Abanin, M. Serbyn, Z. Papić, Nature Physics (2018), doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0137-5

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