Periodically driven ergodic and many-body localized quantum systems

Pedro Ponte, Anushya Chandran, Z. Papić, Dmitry A. Abanin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

295 Scopus citations


We study dynamics of isolated quantum many-body systems whose Hamiltonian is switched between two different operators periodically in time. The eigenvalue problem of the associated Floquet operator maps onto an effective hopping problem. Using the effective model, we establish conditions on the spectral properties of the two Hamiltonians for the system to localize in energy space. We find that ergodic systems always delocalize in energy space and heat up to infinite temperature, for both local and global driving. In contrast, many-body localized systems with quenched disorder remain localized at finite energy. We support our conclusions by numerical simulations of disordered spin chains. We argue that our results hold for general driving protocols, and discuss their experimental implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-204
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Physics
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Many-body localization
  • Non-equilibrium dynamics
  • Periodically driven system
  • Thermalization


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