Observing complex bound states in the spin-1/2 Heisenberg XXZ chain using local quantum quenches

Physics – Condensed Matter – Strongly Correlated Electrons

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4+ pages, 5 figures. (Added affiliations)

Scientific paper

10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.077206

We consider the non-equilibrium evolution in the spin-1/2 XXZ Heisenberg chain for fixed magnetization after a local quantum quench. This model is equivalent to interacting spinless fermions. Initially an infinite magnetic field is applied to n consecutive sites and the ground state is calculated. At time t=0 the field is switched off and the time evolution of observables such as the z-component of spin is computed using the Time Evolving Block Decimation (TEBD) algorithm. We find that the observables exhibit strong signatures of linearly propagating spinon and bound state excitations. These persist even when integrability-breaking perturbations are included. Since bound states ("strings") are notoriously difficult to observe using conventional probes such as inelastic neutron scattering, we conclude that local quantum quenches are an ideal setting for studying their properties. We comment on implications of our results for cold atom experiments.

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