Universal equilibration dynamics of the Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev model

Soumik Bandyopadhyay1, Philipp Uhrich1, Alessio Paviglianiti1,2, and Philipp Hauke1

1Pitaevskii BEC Center, CNR-INO and Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Trento, Via Sommarive 14, Trento, I-38123, Italy
2International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), via Bonomea 265, 34136 Trieste, Italy

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Equilibrium quantum many-body systems in the vicinity of phase transitions generically manifest universality. In contrast, limited knowledge has been gained on possible universal characteristics in the non-equilibrium evolution of systems in quantum critical phases. In this context, universality is generically attributed to the insensitivity of observables to the microscopic system parameters and initial conditions. Here, we present such a universal feature in the equilibration dynamics of the Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev (SYK) Hamiltonian – a paradigmatic system of disordered, all-to-all interacting fermions that has been designed as a phenomenological description of quantum critical regions. We drive the system far away from equilibrium by performing a global quench, and track how its ensemble average relaxes to a steady state. Employing state-of-the-art numerical simulations for the exact evolution, we reveal that the disorder-averaged evolution of few-body observables, including the quantum Fisher information and low-order moments of local operators, exhibit within numerical resolution a universal equilibration process. Under a straightforward rescaling, data that correspond to different initial states collapse onto a universal curve, which can be well approximated by a Gaussian throughout large parts of the evolution. To reveal the physics behind this process, we formulate a general theoretical framework based on the Novikov–Furutsu theorem. This framework extracts the disorder-averaged dynamics of a many-body system as an effective dissipative evolution, and can have applications beyond this work. The exact non-Markovian evolution of the SYK ensemble is very well captured by Bourret–Markov approximations, which contrary to common lore become justified thanks to the extreme chaoticity of the system, and universality is revealed in a spectral analysis of the corresponding Liouvillian.

The modern description of matter hinges on the concept of universality. According to this principle, a system’s microscopic details become unimportant, allowing one to describe the behavior of vastly different systems by just a few parameters. For equilibrium matter, this has a rigorous theoretical basis in the form of the minimization of the free energy. Yet, despite decade-long efforts, the situation is much less firm for quantum systems out of equilibrium. Here, we provide a piece to the puzzle of out-of-equilibrium universality. Our focus is on a paradigm model for a particularly fascinating type of quantum matter called "holographic." Such matter is currently attracting great interest because it draws deep connections to well-known theories of gravity and because it is among the most chaotic systems possible in nature.

We find numerically that the dynamics of relevant physical observables becomes fully independent of microscopic details that define the initial conditions. To explain this unexpected universal behavior, we develop a theoretical framework that describes the isolated quantum model under study through methods that are typical of open systems that interact with an environment. This framework elucidates connections between the extreme chaotic behavior of the holographic quantum model and dissipative quantum systems.

This study opens an array of follow-up questions: In which other systems can we expect similar universal behavior? Can we extend the dissipative framework to other models? And is it possible to observe these effects in a real system in Nature or in the laboratory?

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[2] Debanjan Chowdhury, Antoine Georges, Olivier Parcollet, and Subir Sachdev, "Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev models and beyond: Window into non-Fermi liquids", Reviews of Modern Physics 94 3, 035004 (2022).

[3] Ceren B. Daǧ, Philipp Uhrich, Yidan Wang, Ian P. McCulloch, and Jad C. Halimeh, "Detecting quantum phase transitions in the quasistationary regime of Ising chains", Physical Review B 107 9, 094432 (2023).

[4] Jan C. Louw and Stefan Kehrein, "Thermalization of many many-body interacting Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev models", Physical Review B 105 7, 075117 (2022).

[5] Philipp Uhrich, Soumik Bandyopadhyay, Nick Sauerwein, Julian Sonner, Jean-Philippe Brantut, and Philipp Hauke, "A cavity quantum electrodynamics implementation of the Sachdev--Ye--Kitaev model", arXiv:2303.11343, (2023).

[6] Alessio Paviglianiti, Soumik Bandyopadhyay, Philipp Uhrich, and Philipp Hauke, "Absence of operator growth for average equal-time observables in charge-conserved sectors of the Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev model", Journal of High Energy Physics 2023 3, 126 (2023).

The above citations are from Crossref's cited-by service (last updated successfully 2024-02-27 09:10:04) and SAO/NASA ADS (last updated successfully 2024-02-27 09:10:05). The list may be incomplete as not all publishers provide suitable and complete citation data.