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Title: Eigenstate Phase Transitions
Authors: Zhao, Bo
Advisors: Huse, David A
Contributors: Physics Department
Keywords: Eigenstate Phase Transitions
Subjects: Physics
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Phase transitions are one of the most exciting physical phenomena ever discovered. The understanding of phase transitions has long been of interest. Recently eigenstate phase transitions have been discovered and studied; they are drastically different from traditional thermal phase transitions. In eigenstate phase transitions, a sharp change is exhibited in properties of the many-body eigenstates of the Hamiltonian of a quantum system, but not the thermal equilibrium properties of the same system. In this thesis, we study two different types of eigenstate phase transitions. The first is the eigenstate phase transition within the ferromagnetic phase of an infinite-range spin model. By studying the interplay of the eigenstate thermalization hypothesis and Ising symmetry breaking, we find two eigenstate phase transitions within the ferromagnetic phase: In the lowest-temperature phase the magnetization can macroscopically oscillate by quantum tunneling between up and down. The relaxation of the magnetization is always overdamped in the remainder of the ferromagnetic phase, which is further divided into phases where the system thermally activates itself over the barrier between the up and down states, and where it quantum tunnels. The second is the many-body localization phase transition. The eigenstates on one side of the transition obey the eigenstate thermalization hypothesis; the eigenstates on the other side are many-body localized, and thus thermal equilibrium need not be achieved for an initial state even after evolving for an arbitrary long time. We study this many-body localization phase transition in the strong disorder renormalization group framework. After setting up a set of coarse-graining rules for a general one dimensional chain, we get a simple ``toy model'' and obtain an almost purely analytical solution to the infinite-randomness critical fixed point renormalization group equation. We also get an estimate of the correlation length critical exponent ν≈2.5.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Physics

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