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Thermal inclusions: how one spin can destroy a many-body localized phase

Anushya Chandran - BU

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
  11 p.m.–Noon

Location: Physics Building Room 3035
  Parking Information

Category: Seminar


Many-body localized (MBL) systems lie outside the framework of statistical mechanics, as they fail to equilibrate under their own quantum dynamics. This lack of equilibration has been experimentally observed in a number of different physical settings (cold atoms, ion traps, diamond NV centers) and allows the MBL phase to exhibit long-range orders forbidded in equilibrium.

While MBL phases have been essentially proven to exist in 1d systems, their existence and stability in higher dimensions remains controversial. I will begin by reviewing the effects of thermal inclusions and the argument for the instability of MBL in d>1. I will then introduce a simple central spin model as a model for a thermal inclusion embedded in a MBL phase in large d. We will show that a single spin is sufficient to thermalize N neighboring localized bits in the large-N limit at any nonzero interaction strength. We will further study the delocalization transition in detail and provide perturbative and numerical evidence for a heterogenous discontinuous transition in single-site observables. Our results support the arguments that the MBL phase in systems with quenched randomness is unstable in large d.

Additional Information: Colloquia & Seminars

Open to: General Public
Admission: Free
Sponsor: Physics and Astronomy

Contact Information:
Naveen Reddy