Disorder in Quantum Many-Body Systems
Impurities, defects, and other types of imperfections are ubiquitous in realistic quantum many-body systems and essentially unavoidable in solid state materials. Often, such random disorder is viewed purely negatively as it is believed to prevent interesting new quantum states of matter from forming and to smear out sharp features associated with the phase transitions between them. However, disorder is also responsible for a variety of interesting novel phenomena that do not have clean counterparts. These include Anderson localization of single-particle wave functions, many-body localization in isolated many-body systems, exotic quantum critical points, and glassy ground-state phases. This brief review focuses on two separate but related subtopics in this field. First, we review under what conditions different types of randomness affect the stability of symmetry-broken low-temperature phases in quantum many-body systems and the stability of the corresponding phase transitions. Second, we discuss the fate of quantum phase transitions that are destabilized by disorder as well as the unconventional quantum Griffiths phases that emerge in their vicinity.
T. Vojta, "Disorder in Quantum Many-Body Systems," Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 233-252, Annual Reviews Inc., Mar 2019.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-conmatphys-031218-013433
National Science Foundation (U.S.)
Keywords and Phrases
Disorder; Griffiths phases; Griffiths singularities; Quantum phase transitions; Randomness; Rare regions; Symmetry breaking
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
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01 Mar 2019