Many body localized systems weakly coupled to baths

Rahul Nandkishore, Sarang Gopalakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


We consider what happens when a many body localized system is coupled to a heat bath. Unlike previous works, we do not restrict ourselves to the limit where the bath is large and effectively Markovian, nor to the limit where back action on the bath is negligible. We identify limits where the effect of the bath can be captured by classical noise, and limits where it cannot. We also identify limits in which the bath delocalizes the system, as well as limits in which the system localizes the bath. Using general arguments and dimensional analysis, we constrain the overall phase diagram of the coupled system and bath. Our analysis incorporates all the previously discussed regimes, and also uncovers a new intrinsically quantum regime that has not hitherto been discussed. We discuss baths that are themselves near a localization transition, or are strongly disordered but protected against localization by symmetry or topology. We also discuss situations where the system and bath have different dimensionality (the case of ‘boundary MBL’ and ‘boundary baths’). (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1600181
JournalAnnalen der Physik
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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