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Slow quantum thermalization and many-body revivals from mixed phase space
Physical Review X ( IF 12.211 ) Pub Date : 
A. A. Michailidis, C. J. Turner, Z. Papić, D. A. Abanin, and M. Serbyn

Relaxation of few-body quantum systems can strongly depend on the initial state when the system’s semiclassical phase space is , i.e., regions of chaotic motion coexist with regular islands. In recent years, there has been much effort to understand the process of thermalization in strongly interacting quantum systems that often lack an obvious semiclassical limit. Time-dependent variational principle (TDVP) allows to systematically derive an effective classical (nonlinear) dynamical system by projecting unitary many-body dynamics onto a manifold of weakly-entangled variational states. We demonstrate that such dynamical systems generally possess mixed phase space. When TDVP errors are small, the mixed phase space leaves a footprint on the exact dynamics of the quantum model. For example, when the system is initialized in a state belonging to a stable periodic orbit or the surrounding regular region, it exhibits persistent many-body quantum revivals. As a proof of principle, we identify new types of ``quantum many-body scars", i.e., initial states that lead to long-time oscillations in a model of interacting Rydberg atoms in one and two dimensions. Intriguingly, the initial states that give rise to most robust revivals are typically entangled states. On the other hand, even when TDVP errors are large, as in the thermalizing tilted-field Ising model, initializing the system in a regular region of phase space leads to surprising slowdown of thermalization. Our work establishes TDVP as a method for identifying interacting quantum systems with anomalous dynamics in arbitrary dimensions. Moreover, the mixed-phase space classical variational equations allow to find slowly-thermalizing initial conditions in interacting models. Our results shed light on a link between classical and quantum chaos, pointing towards possible extensions of classical Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser (KAM) theorem to quantum systems.
更新日期:2020-01-09

 

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