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Defect formation beyond kibble-zurek mechanism and holography

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Chesler, PM 
García-García, AM 
Liu, H 


We study the dynamic after a smooth quench across a continuous transition from the disordered phase to the ordered phase. Based on scaling ideas, linear response and the spectrum of unstable modes, we develop a theoretical framework, valid for any second order phase transition, for the early-time evolution of the condensate in the broken phase. Our analysis unveils a novel period of non-adiabatic evolution after the system passes through the phase transition, where a parametrically large amount of coarsening occurs before a well-defined condensate forms. Our formalism predicts a rate of defect formation parametrically smaller than the Kibble-Zurek prediction and yields a criterion for the break-down of Kibble-Zurek scaling for sufficiently fast quenches. We numerically test our formalism for a thermal quench in a 2 + 1 dimensional holographic superfluid. These findings, of direct relevance in a broad range of fields including cold atom, condensed matter, statistical mechanism and cosmology, are an important step towards a more quantitative understanding of dynamical phase transitions.



hep-th, hep-th, cond-mat.quant-gas, cond-mat.stat-mech

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Physical Review X

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American Physical Society (APS)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/I004637/1)
We thank Laurence Yaffe for useful discussions. The work of P. M. C. is supported by the Fundamental Laws Initiative of the Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature at Harvard University. The work of H. L. is partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under Cooperative Research Agreement No. DE-FG0205ER41360. A. M. G.-G. was supported by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Grant No. EP/I004637/1; Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Grant No. PTDC/FIS/111348/2009; and a Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant No. PIRG07-GA-2010-268172.