A Physical Theory of Two-stage Thermalization

10/20/2023 10:00 am - 11:30 am
CMSA Room G10
Address: CMSA, 20 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA

Quantum Matter Seminar

Speaker: Cheryne Jonay (Stanford)

Title: A Physical Theory of Two-stage Thermalization

Abstract: One indication of thermalization time is subsystem entanglement reaching thermal values. Recent studies on local quantum circuits reveal two exponential stages with decay rates $r_1$ and $r_2$ of the purity before and after thermalization. We provide an entanglement membrane theory interpretation, with $r_1$ corresponding to the domain wall free energy. Circuit geometry can lead to $r_1 < r_2$, producing a “phantom eigenvalue”. Competition between the domain wall and magnon leads to $r_2 < r_1$ when the magnon prevails. However, when the domain wall wins, this mechanism provides a practical approach for measuring entanglement growth through local correlation functions.