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Quantum Slow Relaxation and Metastability due to Dynamical Constraints

Lan, Z; Van Horssen, M; Powell, S; Garrahan, JP; (2018) Quantum Slow Relaxation and Metastability due to Dynamical Constraints. Physical Review Letters , 121 (4) , Article 040603. 10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.040603. Green open access

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Abstract

One of the general mechanisms that give rise to the slow cooperative relaxation characteristic of classical glasses is the presence of kinetic constraints in the dynamics. Here we show that dynamical constraints can similarly lead to slow thermalization and metastability in translationally invariant quantum many-body systems. We illustrate this general idea by considering two simple models: (i) a one-dimensional quantum analogue to classical constrained lattice gases where excitation hopping is constrained by the state of neighboring sites, mimicking excluded-volume interactions of dense fluids; and (ii) fully packed quantum dimers on the square lattice. Both models have a Rokhsar-Kivelson (RK) point at which kinetic and potential energy constants are equal. To one side of the RK point, where kinetic energy dominates, thermalization is fast. To the other, where potential energy dominates, thermalization is slow, memory of initial conditions persists for long times, and separation of timescales leads to pronounced metastability before eventual thermalization. Furthermore, in analogy with what occurs in the relaxation of classical glasses, the slow-thermalization regime displays dynamical heterogeneity as manifested by spatially segregated growth of entanglement.

Type: Article
Title: Quantum Slow Relaxation and Metastability due to Dynamical Constraints
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.040603
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.040603
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Electronic and Electrical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10065981
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