Europe/Lisbon — Online

Zlatko Papic

Zlatko Papic, University of Leeds
Quantum many-body scars: a new form of weak ergodicity breaking in constrained quantum systems

Recent experiments on large chains of Rydberg atoms [1] have demonstrated the possibility of realising one-dimensional, kinetically constrained quantum systems. It was found that such systems exhibit surprising signatures of non-ergodic dynamics, such as robust periodic revivals in global quenches from certain initial states. This weak form of ergodicity breaking has been interpreted as a manifestation of "quantum many-body scars" [2], i.e., the many-body analogue of unstable classical periodic orbits of a single particle in a chaotic stadium billiard. Scarred many-body eigenstates have been shown to exhibit a range of unusual properties which violate the Eigenstate Thermalisation Hypothesis, such as equidistant energy separation, anomalous expectation values of local observables and subthermal entanglement entropy. I will demonstrate that these properties can be understood using a tractable model based on a single particle hopping on the Hilbert space graph, which formally captures the idea that scarred eigenstates form a representation of a large $\operatorname{SU}(2)$ spin that is embedded in a thermalising many-body system. I will show that this picture allows to construct a more general family of scarred models where the fundamental degree of freedom is a quantum clock [3]. These results suggest that scarred many-body bands give rise to a new universality class of constrained quantum dynamics, which opens up opportunities for creating and manipulating novel states with long-lived coherence in systems that are now amenable to experimental study.

  1. H. Bernien et al., Nature 551, 579 (2017).
  2. C. J. Turner, A. A. Michailidis, D. A. Abanin, M. Serbyn, Z. Papic, Nat. Phys. 14, 745 (2018).
  3. Kieran Bull, Ivar Martin, and Z. Papic, Phys. Rev. Lett. 123, 030601 (2019).


Additional file


Projecto FCT UIDB/04459/2020.