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Constraints, anyons, and finding (thermal) equilibrium

April 16, 2019 - 2:00pm
Fiona Burnell

The question of when, and how quickly, closed quantum systems reach thermal equilibrium has been the subject of considerable interest in recent years. Most of this effort has focused on systems with conventional excitations, such as Fermi gases and spin chains, for which it is known that generic closed quantum systems do thermalize under their own dynamics, though exceptions can occur, for example in the presence of sufficiently strong disorder. This talk will focus instead on systems with less conventional excitations, which arise naturally in the context of topologically ordered and strongly interacting systems. I will argue that generically, at finite temperature such systems do thermalize under their own dynamics. I will also discuss the impact of disorder, and when this can prevent thermalization. Finally, I will touch on how these strongly interacting systems approach equilibrium, and under what circumstances the strong interactions can lead to slower relaxation processes.  

Host: Tom Iadecola

Condensed Matter Theory Center website:

CMTC Conference Room (2205 Toll Physics Building)