Colloquium: Many-body localization, thermalization, and entanglement

D.A. Abanin, E. Altman, I. Bloch, M. Serbyn, Reviews of Modern Physics 91 (2019) 021001.

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Abstract
Thermalizing quantum systems are conventionallydescribed by statistical mechanics at equilib-rium. However, not all systems fall into this category, with many-body localization providinga generic mechanism for thermalization to fail in strongly disordered systems. Many-bodylocalized (MBL) systems remain perfect insulators at nonzero temperature, which do notthermalize and therefore cannot be describedusing statistical mechanics. This Colloquiumreviews recent theoretical and experimental advances in studies of MBL systems, focusing onthe new perspective provided by entanglement and nonequilibrium experimental probes suchas quantum quenches. Theoretically, MBL systems exhibit a new kind of robust integrability: anextensive set of quasilocal integrals of motion emerges, which provides an intuitive explanationof the breakdown of thermalization. A description based on quasilocal integrals of motion isused to predict dynamical properties of MBL systems, such as the spreading of quantumentanglement, the behavior of local observables, and the response to external dissipativeprocesses. Furthermore, MBL systems can exhibit eigenstate transitions and quantum ordersforbidden in thermodynamic equilibrium. An outline isgiven of the current theoretical under-standing of the quantum-to-classical transitionbetween many-body localized and ergodic phasesand anomalous transport in the vicinity of that transition. Experimentally, synthetic quantumsystems, which are well isolated from an external thermal reservoir, provide natural platforms forrealizing the MBL phase. Recent experiments with ultracold atoms, trapped ions, superconductingqubits, and quantum materials, in which different signatures of many-body localization have beenobserved, are reviewed. This Colloquium concludes by listing outstanding challenges andpromising future research directions.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2019-05-22
Journal Title
Reviews of Modern Physics
Volume
91
Issue
2
Article Number
021001
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Abanin DA, Altman E, Bloch I, Serbyn M. Colloquium: Many-body localization, thermalization, and entanglement. Reviews of Modern Physics. 2019;91(2):021001. doi:10.1103/revmodphys.91.021001
Abanin, D. A., Altman, E., Bloch, I., & Serbyn, M. (2019). Colloquium: Many-body localization, thermalization, and entanglement. Reviews of Modern Physics, 91(2), 021001. https://doi.org/10.1103/revmodphys.91.021001
Abanin, Dmitry A., Ehud Altman, Immanuel Bloch, and Maksym Serbyn. “Colloquium: Many-Body Localization, Thermalization, and Entanglement.” Reviews of Modern Physics 91, no. 2 (2019): 021001. https://doi.org/10.1103/revmodphys.91.021001.
D. A. Abanin, E. Altman, I. Bloch, and M. Serbyn, “Colloquium: Many-body localization, thermalization, and entanglement,” Reviews of Modern Physics, vol. 91, no. 2, p. 021001, 2019.
Abanin DA, Altman E, Bloch I, Serbyn M. 2019. Colloquium: Many-body localization, thermalization, and entanglement. Reviews of Modern Physics. 91(2), 021001.
Abanin, Dmitry A., et al. “Colloquium: Many-Body Localization, Thermalization, and Entanglement.” Reviews of Modern Physics, vol. 91, no. 2, APS Physics, 2019, p. 021001, doi:10.1103/revmodphys.91.021001.
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