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Journal Article

Stark time crystals: Symmetry breaking in space and time


Kennes,  D. M.
Institut für Theorie der Statistischen Physik, RWTH Aachen, and JARA-FIT, Jülich Aachen Research Alliance and Fundamentals of Future Information Technology;
Theory Group, Theory Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
Center for Free-Electron Laser Science;

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Kshetrimayum, A., Eisert, J., & Kennes, D. M. (2020). Stark time crystals: Symmetry breaking in space and time. Physical Review B, 102(19): 195116. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.102.195116.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-7459-3
The compelling original idea of a time crystal has referred to a structure that repeats in time as well as in space, an idea that has attracted significant interest recently. While obstructions to realize such structures became apparent early on, focus has shifted to seeing a symmetry breaking in time in periodically driven systems, a property of systems referred to as discrete time crystals. In this work, we introduce Stark time crystals based on a type of localization that is created in the absence of any spatial disorder. We argue that Stark time crystals constitute a phase of matter coming very close to the original idea and exhibit a symmetry breaking in space and time. Complementing a comprehensive discussion of the physics of the problem, we move on to elaborating on possible practical applications, and we argue that the physical demands of witnessing genuine signatures of many-body localization in large systems may be lessened in such physical systems.