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Journal Article

Dynamical quantum phase transitions in systems with continuous symmetry breaking


Weidinger,  Simon A.
IMPRS (International Max Planck Research School), Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Max Planck Society;


Heyl,  Markus
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Weidinger, S. A., Heyl, M., Silva, A., & Knap, M. (2017). Dynamical quantum phase transitions in systems with continuous symmetry breaking. Physical Review B, 96(13): 134313. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.96.134313.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-CC3B-5
Interacting many-body systems that are driven far away from equilibrium can exhibit phase transitions between dynamically emerging quantum phases, which manifest as singularities in the Loschmidt echo. Whether and under which conditions such dynamical transitions occur in higher-dimensional systems with spontaneously broken continuous symmetries is largely elusive thus far. Here, we study the dynamics of the Loschmidt echo in the three-dimensional O(N) model following a quantum quench from a symmetry-breaking initial state. The O(N) model exhibits a dynamical transition in the asymptotic steady state, separating two phases with a finite and vanishing order parameter, that is associated with the broken symmetry. We analytically calculate the rate function of the Loschmidt echo and find that it exhibits periodic kink singularities when this dynamical steady-state transition is crossed. The singularities arise exactly at the zero crossings of the oscillating order parameter. As a consequence, the appearance of the kink singularities in the transient dynamics is directly linked to a dynamical transition in the order parameter. Furthermore, we argue, that our results for dynamical quantum phase transitions in the O(N) model are general and apply to generic systems with continuous symmetry breaking.