Universal features of quantum critical dynamics beyond the Kibble-Zurek mechanism
This event is part of the Biophysics/Condensed Matter Seminar Series.
When a quantum phase transition is crossed in finite time, critical slowing down leads to the breakdown of adiabatic dynamics and the formation of topological defects. The average density of defects scales with the quench rate following a universal power-law predicted by the Kibble-Zurek mechanism. We analyze the full counting statistics of kinks and report the exact kink number distribution in the transverse-field quantum Ising model. Kink statistics is described by the Poisson binomial distribution with all cumulants exhibiting a universal power-law scaling with the quench rate. In the absence of finite-size effects, the distribution approaches a normal one, a feature that is expected to apply broadly in systems described by the Kibble-Zurek mechanism. It will be argued that the number distribution of topological defects is actually universal in any system obeying the Kibble-Zurek mechanism.