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Discrete time crystals in the absence of manifest symmetries or disorder in open quantum systems

Gambetta, F.?M.; Carollo, F.; Marcuzzi, M.; Garrahan, J.?P.; Lesanovsky, I.


F.?M. Gambetta

F. Carollo


We establish a link between metastability and a discrete time-crystalline phase in a periodically driven open quantum system. The mechanism we highlight requires neither the system to display any microscopic symmetry nor the presence of disorder, but relies instead on the emergence of a metastable regime. We investigate this in detail in an open quantum spin system, which is a canonical model for the exploration of collective phenomena in strongly interacting dissipative Rydberg gases. Here, a semiclassical approach reveals the emergence of a robust discrete time-crystalline phase in the thermodynamic limit in which metastability, dissipation, and interparticle interactions play a crucial role. We perform numerical simulations in order to investigate the dependence on the range of interactions, from all to all to short ranged, and the scaling with system size of the lifetime of the time crystal.


Gambetta, F., Carollo, F., Marcuzzi, M., Garrahan, J., & Lesanovsky, I. (2019). Discrete time crystals in the absence of manifest symmetries or disorder in open quantum systems. Physical Review Letters, 122(1), Article 015701.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 13, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 8, 2019
Publication Date Jan 11, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 10, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 10, 2019
Journal Physical Review Letters
Print ISSN 0031-9007
Electronic ISSN 1079-7114
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 122
Issue 1
Article Number 015701
Keywords General Physics and Astronomy
Public URL
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