Aspects of Non-Equilibrium Behavior in Isolated Quantum Systems

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Title: Aspects of Non-Equilibrium Behavior in Isolated Quantum Systems
Authors: Heveling, Robin
Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Jochen Gemmer
Thesis referee: Prof. Dr. Robin Steinigeweg
Abstract: Based on the publications [P1–P6], the cumulative dissertation at hand addresses quite diverse aspects of non-equilibrium behavior in isolated quantum systems. The works presented in publications [P1, P2] concern the issue of finding generally valid upper bounds on equilibration times, which ensure the eventual occurrence of equilibration in isolated quantum systems. Recently, a particularly compelling bound for physically relevant observables has been proposed. Said bound is examined analytically as well as numerically. It is found that the bound fails to give meaningful results in a number of standard physical scenarios. Continuing, publication [P4] examines a particular integral fluctuation theorem (IFT) for the total entropy production of a small system coupled to a substantially larger but finite bath. While said IFT is known to hold for canonical states, it is shown to be valid for microcanonical and even pure energy eigenstates as well by invoking the physically natural conditions of “stiffness” and “smoothness” of transition probabilities. The validity of the IFT and the existence of stiffness and smoothness are numerically investigated for various lattice models. Furthermore, this dissertation puts emphasis on the issue of the route to equilibrium, i.e., to explain the omnipresence of certain relaxation dynamics in nature, while other, more exotic relaxation patterns are practically never observed, even though they are a priori not disfavored by the microscopic laws of motion. Regarding this question, the existence of stability in a larger class of dynamics consisting of exponentially damped oscillations is corroborated in publication [P6]. In the same vein, existing theories on the ubiquity of certain dynamics are numerically scrutinized in publication [P3]. Finally, in publication [P5], the recently proposed “universal operator growth hypothesis”, which characterizes the complexity growth of operators during unitary time evolution, is numerically probed for various spin-based systems in the thermodynamic limit. The hypothesis is found to be valid within the limits of the numerical approach.
Subject Keywords: Non-Equilibrium Physics; Statistical Physics; Quantum Mechanics
Issue Date: 6-Sep-2022
License name: Attribution 3.0 Germany
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Type of publication: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Appears in Collections:FB06 - E-Dissertationen

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