Dissipation as a resource for constrained dynamics in open many-body quantum systems

Everest, Benjamin (2017) Dissipation as a resource for constrained dynamics in open many-body quantum systems. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis studies non-equilibrium open quantum systems where the dissipation is crucial to the achievement of novel physical regimes. We focus on atomic systems which allow for the coupling of a ground state to a Rydberg state, relying on the strong interactions between Rydberg atoms to produce the collective behaviour that we aim to investigate. For atoms in an optical lattice undergoing standard dissipation forms, e.g. loss and dephasing, we find these simple settings allow for the production of models contained in the non-equilibrium realm.

We start by looking at a system with engineered pair dissipation on a one-dimensional lattice. When the dissipation is strong relative to a tunnelling process it creates a quantum Zeno effect which projects the system onto a Zeno-subspace. This subspace is found to contain complexes which experience a binding due to the dissipation. The properties of these complexes are found to feature spin-orbit coupling and, in certain instances, a flat band.

We then study what kinetically constrained models (KCMs) can be reproduced in a lattice system. KCMs are models which typically feature trivial steady states, but a complex relaxation dynamics. These models appear in the fields of glasses and soft matter physics. We find a general framework for the consideration of a quantum Hamiltonian and a classical potential with strong dephasing noise. We then focus on a model mimicking volume excluded KCMs and find characteristic constrained behaviour, such as ergodicity breaking.

We apply this framework to the decay of a many-body localised state in an open system with interactions in which we find the decay to be classical in the two interaction limits. For weak interactions, it follows a stretched exponential form due to pair relaxation, while for strong interactions the decay follows a compressed exponential, now being modelled as an Avrami process due to the correlated relaxation. We also find that on-site loss only affects the strong interacting limit.

We then move on to the study of universal non-equilibrium behaviour in the directed percolation (DP) class. We consider on-site atomic loss and gain as a substitute for the standard decay channel. We show that this replaces the absorbing state with an enlarged absorbing space, leading to a loss of the DP transition at lower average densities. This class of DP-like systems has received little study, and we present a method of experimentally realising it in current set-ups.

We finish with a look at a quantum DP model, where we consider its quantum and classical limits. We find that the transition changes from first to second order as the system becomes more classical, featuring a bi-critical point. We then numerically demonstrate that the same transitions are visible in idealised and Rydberg models.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Lesanovsky, Igor
Benedict, K.A.
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC770 Nuclear and particle physics. Atomic energy. Radioactivity
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Physics and Astronomy
Item ID: 43375
Depositing User: Everest, Benjamin
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 11:01
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2017 22:50
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/43375

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