Breaking ergodicity: quantum scars and regular eigenstates

10/16/2023 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
CMSA Room G10
Address: CMSA, 20 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA

Topological Quantum Matter Seminar

Speaker: Ceren Dag, Harvard

Title: Breaking ergodicity: quantum scars and regular eigenstates

Abstract: Quantum many-body scars (QMBS) consist of a few low-entropy eigenstates in an otherwise chaotic many-body spectrum and can weakly break ergodicity resulting in robust oscillatory dynamics. The notion of QMBS follows the original single-particle scars introduced within the context of quantum billiards, where scarring manifests in the form of a quantum eigenstate concentrating around an underlying classical unstable periodic orbit (UPO). A direct connection between these notions remains an outstanding problem. Here, we study a many-body spinor condensate that, owing to its collective interactions, is amenable to the diagnostics of scars. We characterize the system’s rich dynamics, spectrum, and phase space, consisting of both regular and chaotic states. The former are low in entropy, violate the Eigenstate Thermalization Hypothesis (ETH), and can be traced back to integrable effective Hamiltonians, whereas most of the latter are scarred by the underlying semiclassical UPOs, while satisfying ETH. We outline an experimental proposal to probe our theory in trapped spin-1 Bose-Einstein condensates. If time permits, I will also mention our latest efforts in introducing spatial dimension to this model with a true semiclassical limit, and how quantum scars persist to exist in a many-body system. Reference: arXiv 2306.10411, in peer review.