Spectral statistics in constrained many-body quantum chaotic systems

Sanjay Moudgalya, Abhinav Prem, David A. Huse, Amos Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


We study the spectral statistics of spatially extended many-body quantum systems with on-site Abelian symmetries or local constraints, focusing primarily on those with conserved dipole and higher moments. In the limit of large local Hilbert space dimension, we find that the spectral form factor K(t) of Floquet random circuits can be mapped exactly to a classical Markov circuit, and, at late times, is related to the partition function of a frustration-free Rokhsar-Kivelson (RK) type Hamiltonian. Through this mapping, we show that the inverse of the spectral gap of the RK Hamiltonian lower bounds the Thouless time tTh of the underlying circuit. For systems with conserved higher moments, we derive a field theory for the corresponding RK Hamiltonian by proposing a generalized height field representation for the Hilbert space of the effective spin chain. Using the field theory formulation, we obtain the dispersion of the low-lying excitations of the RK Hamiltonian in the continuum limit, which allows us to extract tTh. In particular, we analytically argue that in a system of length L that conserves the mth multipole moment, tTh scales subdiffusively as L2(m+1). We also show that our formalism directly generalizes to higher dimensional circuits, and that in systems that conserve any component of the mth multipole moment, tTh has the same scaling with the linear size of the system. Our work therefore provides a general approach for studying spectral statistics in constrained many-body chaotic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number023176
JournalPhysical Review Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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