Phenomenology of fully many-body-localized systems

David A. Huse, Rahul Nandkishore, Vadim Oganesyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

699 Scopus citations


We consider fully many-body-localized systems, i.e., isolated quantum systems where all the many-body eigenstates of the Hamiltonian are localized. We define a sense in which such systems are integrable, with localized conserved operators. These localized operators are interacting pseudospins, and the Hamiltonian is such that unitary time evolution produces dephasing but not "flips" of these pseudospins. As a result, an initial quantum state of a pseudospin can in principle be recovered via (pseudospin) echo procedures. We discuss how the exponentially decaying interactions between pseudospins lead to logarithmic-in-time spreading of entanglement starting from nonentangled initial states. These systems exhibit multiple different length scales that can be defined from exponential functions of distance; we suggest that some of these decay lengths diverge at the phase transition out of the fully many-body-localized phase while others remain finite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number174202
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number17
StatePublished - Nov 13 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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