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Metastable discrete time-crystal resonances in a dissipative central spin system

Cabot, Albert; Carollo, Federico; Lesanovsky, Igor


Albert Cabot

Federico Carollo


We consider the nonequilibrium behavior of a central spin system where the central spin is periodically reset to its ground state. The quantum-mechanical evolution under this effectively dissipative dynamics is described by a discrete-time quantum map. Despite its simplicity this problem shows surprisingly complex dynamical features. In particular, we identify several metastable time-crystal resonances. Here the system does not relax rapidly to a stationary state but undergoes long-lived oscillations with a period that is an integer multiple of the reset period. At these resonances the evolution becomes restricted to a low-dimensional state space within which the system undergoes a periodic motion. Generalizing the theory of metastability in open quantum systems, we develop an effective description for the evolution within this long-lived metastable subspace and show that in the long-time limit a nonequilibrium stationary state is approached. Our study links to timely questions concerning emergent collective behavior in the "prethermal"stage of a dissipative quantum many-body evolution and may establish an intriguing link to the phenomenon of quantum synchronization.


Cabot, A., Carollo, F., & Lesanovsky, I. (2022). Metastable discrete time-crystal resonances in a dissipative central spin system. Physical Review B, 106(13), Article 134311.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 13, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 27, 2022
Publication Date Oct 1, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 1, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 2, 2022
Journal Physical Review B
Print ISSN 2469-9950
Electronic ISSN 2469-9969
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 106
Issue 13
Article Number 134311
Public URL
Publisher URL


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