Wednesday, April 10, 2013

1304.2402 (Anushya Chandran et al.)

On equilibration and coarsening in the quantum O(N) model at infinite

Anushya Chandran, Arun Nanduri, S. S. Gubser, S. L. Sondhi
The quantum O(N) model in the infinite $N$ limit is a paradigm for symmetry-breaking. Qualitatively, its phase diagram is an excellent guide to the equilibrium physics for more realistic values of $N$ in varying spatial dimensions ($d>1$). Here we investigate the physics of this model out of equilibrium, specifically its response to global quenches starting in the disordered phase. If the model were to exhibit equilibration, the late time state could be inferred from the finite temperature phase diagram. In the infinite $N$ limit, we show that not only does the model not lead to equilibration on account of an infinite number of conserved quantities, it also does \emph{not} relax to a generalized Gibbs ensemble consistent with these conserved quantities. Nevertheless, we \emph{still} find that the late time states following quenches bear strong signatures of the equilibrium phase diagram. Notably, we find that the model exhibits coarsening to a non-equilibrium critical state only in dimensions $d>2$, that is, if the equilibrium phase diagram contains an ordered phase at non-zero temperatures.
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