Thursday, April 18, 2013

1304.4605 (Maksym Serbyn et al.)

Universal slow growth of entanglement in interacting strongly disordered

Maksym Serbyn, Z. Papić, Dmitry A. Abanin
Recent numerical work by Bardarson et. al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 017202 (2012)] revealed a slow, logarithmic in time, growth of entanglement entropy for initial product states in a putative many-body localized phase. We show that this surprising phenomenon results from dephasing due to exponentially small interaction-induced corrections to the eigenenergies of different states. For weak interactions, we find that the entanglement entropy grows as \xi ln (Vt/\hbar), where V is the interaction strength, and \xi is the single-particle localization length. The saturated value of the entanglement entropy at large times is determined by the participation ratios of the initial state over the eigenstates of the subsystem. The proposed mechanism is illustrated with numerical simulations of small systems. Our work shows that the logarithmic entanglement growth is a universal phenomenon characteristic of the many-body localized phase in any number of spatial dimensions, and reveals a broad hierarchy of dephasing time scales present in such a phase.
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