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Physics  2011 

Propagation of Disturbances in Degenerate Quantum Systems

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.84.035130

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Disturbances in gapless quantum many-body models are known to travel an unlimited distance throughout the system. Here, we explore this phenomenon in finite clusters with degenerate ground states. The specific model studied here is the one-dimensional J1-J2 Heisenberg Hamiltonian at and close to the Majumdar-Ghosh point. Both open and periodic boundary conditions are considered. Quenches are performed using a local magnetic field. The degenerate Majumdar-Ghosh ground state allows disturbances which carry quantum entanglement to propagate throughout the system, and thus dephase the entire system within the degenerate subspace. These disturbances can also carry polarization, but not energy, as all energy is stored locally. The local evolution of the part of the system where energy is stored drives the rest of the system through long-range entanglement. We also examine approximations for the ground state of this Hamiltonian in the strong field limit, and study how couplings away from the Majumdar-Ghosh point affect the propagation of disturbances. We find that even in the case of approximate degeneracy, a disturbance can be propagated throughout a finite system.


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