Relaxation of dynamically prepared out-of-equilibrium initial states within and beyond linear response theory

Autor(en): Richter, Jonas
Lamann, Mats H.
Bartsch, Christian
Steinigeweg, Robin 
Gemmer, Jochen 
Stichwörter: CHAOS; Physics; Physics, Fluids & Plasmas; Physics, Mathematical; QUANTUM; STATISTICAL-MECHANICS; THERMALIZATION
Erscheinungsdatum: 2019
Volumen: 100
Ausgabe: 3
We consider a realistic nonequilibrium protocol, where a quantum system in thermal equilibrium is suddenly subjected to an external force. Due to this force, the system is driven out of equilibrium and the expectation values of certain observables acquire a dependence on time. Eventually, upon switching off the external force, the system unitarily evolves under its own Hamiltonian and, as a consequence, the expectation values of observables equilibrate towards specific constant long-time values. Summarizing our main results, we show that, in systems which violate the eigenstate thermalization hypothesis (ETH), this long-time value exhibits an intriguing dependence on the strength of the external force. Specifically, for weak external forces, i.e., within the linear response regime, we show that expectation values thermalize to their original equilibrium values, despite the ETH being violated. In contrast, for stronger perturbations beyond linear response, the quantum system relaxes to some nonthermal value which depends on the previous nonequilibrium protocol. While we present theoretical arguments which underpin these results, we also numerically demonstrate our findings by studying the real-time dynamics of two low-dimensional quantum spin models.
ISSN: 24700045
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.100.032124

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