Entanglement and thermodynamic entropy in a clean many-body-localized system

Devendra Singh Bhakuni, Auditya Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Whether or not the thermodynamic entropy is equal to the entanglement entropy of an eigenstate is of fundamental interest, and is closely related to the eigenstate thermalization hypothesis (ETH). However, this has never been exploited as a diagnostic tool in many-body- localized (MBL) systems. In this work, we perform this diagnostic test on a clean interacting system (subjected to a static electric field) that exhibits three distinct phases: integrable, non-integrable ergodic and non-integrable MBL. We find that in the non-integrable phase, the equivalence between the thermodynamic entropy and the entanglement entropy of individual eigenstates holds. In sharp contrast, in the integrable and non-integrable MBL phases, the entanglement entropy shows large eigenstate-to-eigenstate fluctuations, and differs from the thermodynamic entropy. Thus the non-integrable MBL phase violates ETH similar to an integrable system; however, a key difference is that the magnitude of the entanglement entropy in the MBL phase is significantly smaller than in the integrable phase, where the entanglement entropy is of the same order of magnitude as in the non-integrable phase, but with a lot of eigenstate-to-eigenstate fluctuations. Quench dynamics from an initial CDW state independently supports the validity of the ETH in the ergodic phase and its violation in the MBL phase.

Original languageEnglish
Article number255603
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number25
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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