Many-body localization in a quasiperiodic system

Shankar Iyer, Vadim Oganesyan, Gil Refael, David A. Huse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

243 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent theoretical and numerical evidence suggests that localization can survive in disordered many-body systems with very high energy density, provided that interactions are sufficiently weak. Stronger interactions can destroy localization, leading to a so-called many-body localization transition. This dynamical phase transition is relevant to questions of thermalization in extended quantum systems far from the zero-temperature limit. It separates a many-body localized phase, in which localization prevents transport and thermalization, from a conducting ("ergodic") phase in which the usual assumptions of quantum statistical mechanics hold. Here, we present numerical evidence that many-body localization also occurs in models without disorder but rather a quasiperiodic potential. In one dimension, these systems already have a single-particle localization transition, and we show that this transition becomes a many-body localization transition upon the introduction of interactions. We also comment on possible relevance of our results to experimental studies of many-body dynamics of cold atoms and nonlinear light in quasiperiodic potentials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number134202
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume87
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 8 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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