Motivated by recent cold-atom experiments, we study the relaxation of spin helices in quantum XXZ spin chains. The experimentally observed relaxation of spin helices follows scaling laws that are qualitatively different from linear-response transport. We construct a theory of the relaxation of such spin helices, combining generalized hydrodynamics with diffusive corrections and a generalized form of the local density approximation. Although helices are far from local equilibrium, our hydrodynamic approach reproduces the experimentally observed relaxational dynamics and also predicts the late-time relaxation, which is outside the experimentally accessible timescales. In particular, our theory explains the existence of temporal regimes with apparent anomalous diffusion, as well as the asymmetry between positive and negative anisotropy regimes at short and intermediate times.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics