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Journal Article

Ergodicity Breaking Arising from Hilbert Space Fragmentation in Dipole-Conserving Hamiltonians


Verresen,  Ruben
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Sala, P., Rakovszky, T., Verresen, R., Knap, M., & Pollmann, F. (2020). Ergodicity Breaking Arising from Hilbert Space Fragmentation in Dipole-Conserving Hamiltonians. Physical Review X, 10(1): 011047. doi:10.1103/PhysRevX.10.011047.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-3EEC-C
We show that the combination of charge and dipole conservation-characteristic of fracton systems-leads to an extensive fragmentation of the Hilbert space, which, in turn, can lead to a breakdown of thermalization. As a concrete example, we investigate the out-of-equilibrium dynamics of one-dimensional spin-1 models that conserve charge (total S-z) and its associated dipole moment. First, we consider a minimal model including only three-site terms and find that the infinite temperature autocorrelation saturates to a finite value-showcasing nonthermal behavior. The absence of thermalization is identified as a consequence of the strong fragmentation of the Hilbert space into exponentially many invariant subspaces in the local S-z basis, arising from the interplay of dipole conservation and local interactions. Second, we extend the model by including four-site terms and find that this perturbation leads to a weak fragmentation: The system still has exponentially many invariant subspaces, but they are no longer sufficient to avoid thermalization for typical initial states. More generally, for any finite range of interactions, the system still exhibits nonthermal eigenstates appearing throughout the entire spectrum. We compare our results to charge and dipole moment-conserving random unitary circuit models for which we reach identical conclusions.