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Coexistence of localization and transport in many-body two-dimensional Aubry-André models

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Whether disordered and quasiperiodic many-body quantum systems host a long-lived localized phase in the thermodynamic limit has been the subject of intense recent debate. While in one dimension, substantial evidence for such a many-body localized (MBL) phase exists, the behavior in higher dimensions remains an open puzzle. In disordered systems, for instance, it has been argued that rare regions may lead to thermalization of the whole system through a mechanism dubbed avalanche instability. In quasiperiodic systems, however, rare regions are altogether absent and the fate of a putative many-body localized phase has hitherto remained largely unexplored. In this work, we investigate the localization properties of two many-body quasiperiodic models, which are two-dimensional generalizations of the Aubry-André model. By studying numerically the out-of-equilibrium dynamics of large systems, we find very long-lived localization on experimentally relevant time scales. Surprisingly, we also observe large-scale transport along deterministic lines of weak potential, which appear in the investigated quasiperiodic models. Our results demonstrate that quasiperiodic many-body systems have the remarkable and counter-intuitive capability of exhibiting coexisting localization and transport properties - a phenomenon reminiscent of the behavior of supersolids. Our findings are of direct experimental relevance and can be tested, for instance, using state-of-the-art cold atomic systems.



5108 Quantum Physics, 51 Physical Sciences

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Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics

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American Physical Society
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/M007065/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/P034616/1)
EPSRC (EP/T028580/1)
EPSRC (EP/V062654/1)