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Journal Article

Logarithmic Spreading of Out-of-Time-Ordered Correlators without Many-Body Localization


Moessner,  Roderich
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Smith, A., Knolle, J., Moessner, R., & Kovrizhin, D. L. (2019). Logarithmic Spreading of Out-of-Time-Ordered Correlators without Many-Body Localization. Physical Review Letters, 123(8): 086602. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.086602.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-174B-E
Out-of-time-ordered correlators (OTOCs) describe information scrambling under unitary time evolution, and provide a useful probe of the emergence of quantum chaos. Here we calculate OTOCs for a model of disorder-free localization whose exact solubility allows us to study long-time behavior in large systems. Remarkably, we observe logarithmic spreading of correlations, qualitatively different to both thermalizing and Anderson localized systems. Rather, such behavior is normally taken as a signature of many-body localization, so that our findings for an essentially noninteracting model are surprising. We provide an explanation for this unusual behavior, and suggest a novel Loschmidt echo protocol as a probe of correlation spreading. We show that the logarithmic spreading of correlations probed by this protocol is a generic feature of localized systems, with or without interactions.