49 research outputs found

    Topological degeneracy and pairing in a one-dimensional gas of spinless Fermions

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    We revisit the low energy physics of one dimensional spinless fermion liquids, showing that with sufficiently strong interactions the conventional Luttinger liquid can give way to a strong pairing phase. While the density fluctuations in both phases are described by a gapless Luttinger liquid, single fermion excitations are gapped only in the strong pairing phase. Smooth spatial Interfaces between the two phases lead to topological degeneracies in the ground state and low energy phonon spectrum. Using a concrete microscopic model, with both single particle and pair hopping, we show that the strong pairing state is established through emergence of a new low energy fermionic mode. We characterize the two phases with numerical calculations using the density matrix renormalization group. In particular we find enhancement of the central charge from c=1c=1 in the two Luttinger liquid phases to c=3/2c=3/2 at the critical point, which gives direct evidence for an emergent critical Majorana mode. Finally, we confirm the existence of topological degeneracies in the low energy phonon spectrum, associated with spatial interfaces between the two phases

    Measurement-Induced Phase Transitions in the Dynamics of Entanglement

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    We define dynamical universality classes for many-body systems whose unitary evolution is punctuated by projective measurements. In cases where such measurements occur randomly at a finite rate pp for each degree of freedom, we show that the system has two dynamical phases: `entangling' and `disentangling'. The former occurs for pp smaller than a critical rate pcp_c, and is characterized by volume-law entanglement in the steady-state and `ballistic' entanglement growth after a quench. By contrast, for p>pcp > p_c the system can sustain only area-law entanglement. At p=pcp = p_c the steady state is scale-invariant and, in 1+1D, the entanglement grows logarithmically after a quench. To obtain a simple heuristic picture for the entangling-disentangling transition, we first construct a toy model that describes the zeroth R\'{e}nyi entropy in discrete time. We solve this model exactly by mapping it to an optimization problem in classical percolation. The generic entangling-disentangling transition can be diagnosed using the von Neumann entropy and higher R\'{e}nyi entropies, and it shares many qualitative features with the toy problem. We study the generic transition numerically in quantum spin chains, and show that the phenomenology of the two phases is similar to that of the toy model, but with distinct `quantum' critical exponents, which we calculate numerically in 1+11+1D. We examine two different cases for the unitary dynamics: Floquet dynamics for a nonintegrable Ising model, and random circuit dynamics. We obtain compatible universal properties in each case, indicating that the entangling-disentangling phase transition is generic for projectively measured many-body systems. We discuss the significance of this transition for numerical calculations of quantum observables in many-body systems.Comment: 17+4 pages, 16 figures; updated discussion and results for mutual information; graphics error fixe

    Superconductivity near a ferroelectric quantum critical point in ultralow-density Dirac materials

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    The experimental observation of superconductivity in doped semimetals and semiconductors, where the Fermi energy is comparable to or smaller than the characteristic phonon frequencies, is not captured by the conventional theory. In this paper, we propose a mechanism for superconductivity in ultralow-density three-dimensional Dirac materials based on the proximity to a ferroelectric quantum critical point. We derive a low-energy theory that takes into account both the strong Coulomb interaction and the direct coupling between the electrons and the soft phonon modes. We show that the Coulomb repulsion is strongly screened by the lattice polarization near the critical point even in the case of vanishing carrier density. Using a renormalization group analysis, we demonstrate that the effective electron-electron interaction is dominantly mediated by the transverse phonon mode. We find that the system generically flows towards strong electron-phonon coupling. Hence, we propose a new mechanism to simultaneously produce an attractive interaction and suppress strong Coulomb repulsion, which does not require retardation. For comparison, we perform same analysis for covalent crystals, where lattice polarization is negligible. We obtain qualitatively similar results, though the screening of the Coulomb repulsion is much weaker. We then apply our results to study superconductivity in the low-density limit. We find strong enhancement of the transition temperature upon approaching the quantum critical point. Finally, we also discuss scenarios to realize a topological pp-wave superconducting state in covalent crystals close to the critical point

    Quantum Entanglement Growth Under Random Unitary Dynamics

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    Characterizing how entanglement grows with time in a many-body system, for example after a quantum quench, is a key problem in non-equilibrium quantum physics. We study this problem for the case of random unitary dynamics, representing either Hamiltonian evolution with time--dependent noise or evolution by a random quantum circuit. Our results reveal a universal structure behind noisy entanglement growth, and also provide simple new heuristics for the `entanglement tsunami' in Hamiltonian systems without noise. In 1D, we show that noise causes the entanglement entropy across a cut to grow according to the celebrated Kardar--Parisi--Zhang (KPZ) equation. The mean entanglement grows linearly in time, while fluctuations grow like (time)1/3(\text{time})^{1/3} and are spatially correlated over a distance (time)2/3\propto (\text{time})^{2/3}. We derive KPZ universal behaviour in three complementary ways, by mapping random entanglement growth to: (i) a stochastic model of a growing surface; (ii) a `minimal cut' picture, reminiscent of the Ryu--Takayanagi formula in holography; and (iii) a hydrodynamic problem involving the dynamical spreading of operators. We demonstrate KPZ universality in 1D numerically using simulations of random unitary circuits. Importantly, the leading order time dependence of the entropy is deterministic even in the presence of noise, allowing us to propose a simple `minimal cut' picture for the entanglement growth of generic Hamiltonians, even without noise, in arbitrary dimensionality. We clarify the meaning of the `velocity' of entanglement growth in the 1D `entanglement tsunami'. We show that in higher dimensions, noisy entanglement evolution maps to the well-studied problem of pinning of a membrane or domain wall by disorder

    Dynamics of entanglement and transport in 1D systems with quenched randomness

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    Quenched randomness can have a dramatic effect on the dynamics of isolated 1D quantum many-body systems, even for systems that thermalize. This is because transport, entanglement, and operator spreading can be hindered by `Griffiths' rare regions which locally resemble the many-body-localized phase and thus act as weak links. We propose coarse-grained models for entanglement growth and for the spreading of quantum operators in the presence of such weak links. We also examine entanglement growth across a single weak link numerically. We show that these weak links have a stronger effect on entanglement growth than previously assumed: entanglement growth is sub-ballistic whenever such weak links have a power-law probability distribution at low couplings, i.e. throughout the entire thermal Griffiths phase. We argue that the probability distribution of the entanglement entropy across a cut can be understood from a simple picture in terms of a classical surface growth model. Surprisingly, the four length scales associated with (i) production of entanglement, (ii) spreading of conserved quantities, (iii) spreading of operators, and (iv) the width of the `front' of a spreading operator, are characterized by dynamical exponents that in general are all distinct. Our numerical analysis of entanglement growth between weakly coupled systems may be of independent interest.Comment: 17 pages, 16 figure