Emergence of spontaneous symmetry breaking in dissipative lattice systems

Wilming H, Kastoryano MJ, Werner AH, Eisert J (2017)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2017


Book Volume: 58

Article Number: 033302

Journal Issue: 3

DOI: 10.1063/1.4978328


A cornerstone of the theory of phase transitions is the observation that many-body systems exhibiting a spontaneous symmetry breaking in the thermodynamic limit generally show extensive fluctuations of an order parameter in large but finite systems. In this work, we introduce the dynamical analog of such a theory. Specifically, we consider local dissipative dynamics preparing an equilibrium steady-state of quantum spins on a lattice exhibiting a discrete or continuous symmetry but with extensive fluctuations in a local order parameter. We show that for all such processes, there exist asymptotically stationary symmetry-breaking states, i.e., states that become stationary in the thermodynamic limit and give a finite value to the order parameter. We give results both for discrete and continuous symmetries and explicitly show how to construct the symmetry-breaking states. Our results show in a simple way that, in large systems, local dissipative dynamics satisfying detailed balance cannot uniquely and efficiently prepare states with extensive fluctuations with respect to local operators. We discuss the implications of our results for quantum simulators and dissipative state preparation.

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How to cite


Wilming, H., Kastoryano, M.J., Werner, A.H., & Eisert, J. (2017). Emergence of spontaneous symmetry breaking in dissipative lattice systems. Journal of Mathematical Physics, 58(3). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4978328


Wilming, Henrik, et al. "Emergence of spontaneous symmetry breaking in dissipative lattice systems." Journal of Mathematical Physics 58.3 (2017).

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