David Huse Princeton University
Quantum thermalization and many-body localization: some fundamentals of quantum statistical mechanics
Most physical systems that contain many interacting degrees of freedom that are excited to energies well above of the ground state do act as a “bath” or “reservoir” for their own subsystems and thus go to thermal equilibrium under the system’s own dynamics, without any coupling to an external environment. This fundamental and long-studied process is called “thermalization”, and has been an active subject of recent research on quantum many-body systems, motivated by atomic, condensed matter, and high energy physics. One class of systems that fail to thermalize are systems that are many-body localized (MBL), which is the interacting version of Anderson localization. Such MBL systems instead remain localized near their initial state. There is a novel dynamic quantum phase transition between many-body localization and thermalization. I will give an overview of these topics.
Video of the lecture