Volume 125, Number 2, January 2019
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||13 February 2019|
Dynamical quantum phase transitions: A brief survey
Max-Planck-Institut für Physik komplexer Systeme - Nöthnitzer Str. 38, 01187 Dresden, Germany
Received: 3 December 2018
Accepted: 29 January 2019
Nonequilibrium states of closed quantum many-body systems defy a thermodynamic description. As a consequence, constraints such as the principle of equal a priori probabilities in the microcanonical ensemble can be relaxed, which can lead to quantum states with novel properties of genuine nonequilibrium nature. In turn, for the theoretical description it is in general not sufficient to understand nonequilibrium dynamics on the basis of the properties of the involved Hamiltonians. Instead it becomes important to characterize time-evolution operators, which adds time as an additional scale to the problem. In this perspective article we summarize recent progress in the field of dynamical quantum phase transitions, which are phase transitions in time with temporal nonanalyticities in matrix elements of the time-evolution operator. These transitions are not driven by an external control parameter, but rather occur due to sharp internal changes generated solely by unitary real-time dynamics. We discuss the obtained insights on general properties of dynamical quantum phase transitions, their physical interpretation, potential future research directions, as well as recent experimental observations.
PACS: 64.60.Ht – Dynamic critical phenomena / 05.30.Rt – Quantum phase transitions / 03.65.Vf – Phases: geometric; dynamic or topological
© EPLA, 2019
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