Anomalous thermalization and transport in disordered interacting Floquet systems

Sthitadhi Roy, Yevgeny Bar Lev, David J. Luitz

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Local observables in generic periodically driven closed quantum systems are known to relax to values described by periodic infinite temperature ensembles. At the same time, ergodic static systems exhibit anomalous thermalization of local observables and satisfy a modified version of the eigenstate thermalization hypothesis (ETH), when disorder is present. This raises the question, how does the introduction of disorder affect relaxation in periodically driven systems? In this work, we analyze this problem by numerically studying transport and thermalization in an archetypal example. We find that thermalization is anomalous and is accompanied by subdiffusive transport with a disorder dependent dynamical exponent. Distributions of matrix elements of local operators in the eigenbases of a family of effective time-independent Hamiltonians, which describe the stroboscopic dynamics of such systems, show anomalous departures from predictions of ETH signaling that only a modified version of ETH is satisfied. The dynamical exponent is shown to be related to the scaling of the variance of these distributions with system size.
Original languageEnglish
Article number060201
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number6
StatePublished - 7 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • cond-mat.dis-nn
  • cond-mat.quant-gas


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