In this work the role of disorder, interaction and temperature in the physics of quantum non-ergodic systems is discussed. I first review what is meant by thermalization in closed quantum systems, and how ergodicity is violated in the presence of strong disorder, due to the phenomenon of Anderson localization. I explain why localization can be stable against the addition of weak dephasing interactions, and how this leads to the very rich phenomenology associated with many-body localization. I also briefly compare localized systems with their closest classical analogue, which are glasses, and discuss their similarities and differences, the most striking being that in quantum systems genuine non ergodicity can be proven in some cases, while in classical systems it is a matter of debate whether thermalization eventually takes place at very long times. Up to now, many-body localization has been studies in the region of strong disorder and weak interaction. I show that strongly interacting systems display phenomena very similar to localization, even in the absence of disorder. In such systems, dynamics starting from a random inhomogeneous initial condition are non-perturbatively slow, and relaxation takes place only in exponentially long times. While in the thermodynamic limit ergodicity is ultimately restored due to rare events, from the practical point of view such systems look as localized on their initial condition, and this behavior can be studied experimentally. Since their behavior shares similarities with both many-body localized and classical glassy systems, these models are termed “quantum glasses”. Apart from the interplay between disorder and interaction, another important issue concerns the role of temperature for the physics of localization. In non-interacting systems, an energy threshold separating delocalized and localized states exist, termed “mobility edge”. It is commonly believed that a mobility edge should exist in interacting systems, too. I argue that this scenario is inconsistent because inclusions of the ergodic phase in the supposedly localized phase can serve as mobile baths that induce global delocalization. I conclude that true non-ergodicity can be present only if the whole spectrum is localized. Therefore, the putative transition as a function of temperature is reduced to a sharp crossover. I numerically show that the previously reported mobility edges can not be distinguished from finite size effects. Finally, the relevance of my results for realistic experimental situations is discussed.
|Titolo:||Ideal quantum glass transitions: many-body localization without quenched disorder?|
|Relatore/i esterni:||Mueller, Markus|
|Data di pubblicazione:||27-nov-2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||8.1 PhD thesis|