Critical Time Crystals in Dipolar Systems

Wen Wei Ho, Soonwon Choi, Mikhail D. Lukin, Dmitry A. Abanin

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105 Scopus citations


We analyze the quantum dynamics of periodically driven, disordered systems in the presence of long-range interactions. Focusing on the stability of discrete time crystalline (DTC) order in such systems, we use a perturbative procedure to evaluate its lifetime. For 3D systems with dipolar interactions, we show that the corresponding decay is parametrically slow, implying that robust, long-lived DTC order can be obtained. We further predict a sharp crossover from the stable DTC regime into a regime where DTC order is lost, reminiscent of a phase transition. These results are in good agreement with the recent experiments utilizing a dense, dipolar spin ensemble in diamond [Nature (London) 543, 221 (2017)NATUAS0028-083610.1038/nature21426]. They demonstrate the existence of a novel, critical DTC regime that is stabilized not by many-body localization but rather by slow, critical dynamics. Our analysis shows that the DTC response can be used as a sensitive probe of nonequilibrium quantum matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number010602
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 6 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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