In the first part of the Thesis we mostly concentrate on spectral properties of strongly correlated systems and on their equilibrium properties. This is accomplished by the general concept of imaginary-time dynamics which we apply to a number of different problems in which different strengths of this approach emerge. In Chapter 1 we introduce the formalism that allows for a connection between the quantum and the classical worlds. The connection is established by means of the imaginary-time quantum evolution which, under certain circumstances, is shown to be equivalent to a classical stochastic process. It is further shown that exact static and spectral properties of correlated systems can be obtained when this mapping is feasible. The relationship between the imaginary-time dynamics in different frameworks such as the path-integral and the perturbative one is also underlined. In Chapter 2 we present a specific implementation of the general ideas previously presented. In particular we introduced an extension to lattice systems of the Reptation Monte Carlo algorithm  which benefits of a sampling scheme based on directed updates. Specific improvements over the existing methodologies consist in the unbiased evaluation of the imaginary-time path integrals for bosons and a systematic scheme to improve over the Fixed-node approximation for fermions. Applications to the Hubbard and the Heisenberg models are presented. In Chapter 3 we demonstrate the application of the imaginary-time dynamics to the exact study of spectral properties. Subject of our attention is a highly anharmonic and correlated quantum crystal such as Helium 4 at zero temperature. Concerning this system, we have obtained the first ab-initio complete phonon dispersion in good agreement with neutron spectroscopy experiments. Moreover, we have also studied the density excitations of solid helium in a region of wave-vectors in between the collective (phonon) and the single-particle regimes, where the presence of residual coherence in the dynamics shows analogies between the highly anharmonic crystal and the superfluid phase. In Chapter 4 we introduce a novel method, based on the imaginary-time dynamics, to obtain unbiased estimates of fermionic properties. By means of this method and of a very accurate variational state, we provide strong evidence for the stability of a saturated ferromagnetic phase in the high-density regime of the two-dimensional infinite-U Hubbard model. By decreasing the electron density, we observe a discontinuous transition to a paramagnetic phase, accompanied by a divergence of the susceptibility on the paramagnetic side. This behavior, resulting from a high degeneracy among different spin sectors, is consistent with an infinite-order phase transition scenario. In Chapter 5 the use of imaginary-time dynamics in the context of finite-temperature response functions is highlighted. As an application, we study an intriguing quantum phase featuring both glassy order and Bose-Einstein condensation.  We introduce and validate a model for the role of geometrical frustration in the coexistence of off-diagonal long range order with an amorphous density profile. The exact characterization of the response of the system to an external density perturbation is what allows here to establish the existence of a spin-glass phase. The differences between such a phase and the otherwise insulating "Bose glasses" are further elucidated in the Chapter. In the second part of the Thesis we focus our attention on the dynamics of closed systems out of equilibrium. This is accomplished by both non-stochastic exact methods for the dynamics and the introduction of a novel time-dependent Variational Monte Carlo scheme. In Chapter 6 exact diagonalization schemes and renormalization-based methods for one-dimensional systems are introduced. We identify key phenomenological traits resulting from the many-body correlation in closed systems driven sufficiently away from equilibrium. We provide evidences that the dynamics of interacting lattice bosons away from equilibrium can be trapped into extremely long-lived inhomogeneous metastable states. The slowing down of incoherent density excitations above a threshold energy, much reminiscent of a dynamical arrest on the verge of a glass transition, is identified as the key feature of this phenomenon. In Chapter 7 we present an extension to dynamical properties of the Variational Quantum Monte Carlo method. This is accomplished by introducing a general class of time-dependent variational states which is based on the mapping of the many-body dynamics onto an instantaneous ground-state problem. The application of the method to the experimentally relevant quantum quenches of interacting bosons reveals the accuracy and the reliability of the introduced numerical scheme. We indeed obtain for the first time a consistent variational description of the approach to the equilibrium of local observables and underline the origin of the metastability and glassy behavior previously identified. In the very last part we draw our conclusions and show some possible paths for stimulating future research.
|Titolo:||Spectral and dynamical properties of strongly correlated systems|
|Data di pubblicazione:||28-ott-2011|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||8.1 PhD thesis|