Quantum slow relaxation and metastability due to dynamical constraints

Lan, Zhihao and van Horssen, Merlijn and Powell, Stephen and Garrahan, Juan P. (2018) Quantum slow relaxation and metastability due to dynamical constraints. Physical Review Letters, 121 (4). 040603/1-040603/6. ISSN 1079-7114

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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 thermalisation 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 neighbouring 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, thermalisation is fast. To the other, where potential energy dominates, thermalisation is slow; memory of initial conditions persists for long times, and separation of timescales leads to pronounced metastability before eventual thermalisation. Furthermore, in analogy with what occurs in the relaxation of classical glasses, the slow-thermalisation regime displays dynamical heterogeneity as manifested by spatially segregated growth of entanglement.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Physics and Astronomy
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.040603
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2018 13:46
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2018 07:23
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/52856

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