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Absorbing state phase transition with competing quantum and classical fluctuations

Marcuzzi, Matteo; Buchhold, Michael; Diehl, Sebastian; Lesanovsky, Igor


Michael Buchhold

Sebastian Diehl


Stochastic processes with absorbing states feature examples of non-equilibrium universal phenomena. While the classical regime has been thoroughly investigated in the past, relatively little is known about the behavior of these non-equilibrium systems in the presence of quantum fluctuations. Here we theoretically address such a scenario in an open quantum spin model which in its classical limit undergoes a directed percolation phase transition. By mapping the problem to a non-equilibrium field theory, we show that the introduction of quantum fluctuations stemming from coherent, rather than statistical, spin-flips alters the nature of the transition such that it becomes first-order. In the intermediate regime, where classical and quantum dynamics compete on equal terms, we highlight the presence of a bicritical point with universal features different from the directed percolation class in low dimension. We finally propose how this physics could be explored within gases of interacting atoms excited to Rydberg states.


Marcuzzi, M., Buchhold, M., Diehl, S., & Lesanovsky, I. (2016). Absorbing state phase transition with competing quantum and classical fluctuations. Physical Review Letters, 116(24),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 13, 2016
Publication Date Jun 17, 2016
Deposit Date Jun 23, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 23, 2016
Journal Physical Review Letters
Print ISSN 0031-9007
Electronic ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 116
Issue 24
Public URL
Publisher URL


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