Physics colloquium with Julian Léonard on Many-body localization
Recent years have uncovered many fascinating phenomena in non-equilibrium quantum systems. A paradigmatic example is many-body localization, which describes the inhibition of motion of interacting particles in a disordered potential. A consequence of localization is that these systems do not reach equilibrium and show exotic entanglement dynamics – in contrast to thermal quantum systems, which follow the laws of classical statistical mechanics. Despite intensive research, many questions on many-body localization remain open, for instance, on the thermal-localized transition, and the stability against thermalizing perturbations.
In this talk I will present our recent studies on many-body localization. The experiments take place with neutral atoms in a one-dimensional optical lattice. Microscopic control over the individual atoms and lattice sites allows us to prepare, evolve, and locally read out arbitrary quantum states. We observe several key characteristics, including the localization properties, the entanglement dynamics, the critical behavior at the thermal-localized transition, and the stability at a clean-disorder interface. Our results provide a new perspective on entanglement formation in non-equilibrium systems, and they provide a starting point for further studies on thermalization in strongly correlated systems.
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Summer Colloquium Mini-Series