Identifying localization in two dimensions

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Science  07 Dec 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6419, pp. 1125-1126
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6419.1125-f

Disordered interacting quantum many-body systems can become hopelessly localized. This so-called many-body localization has been studied in one-dimensional systems. In two dimensions, experiments indicate that the localization persists, but because it is difficult to tell the difference between no thermalization and slow thermalization, more theoretical work is needed. Relying on an approximate numerical method, Wahl et al. undertook large-scale simulations of a two-dimensional lattice of bosonic atoms in the presence of interactions and disorder. At intermediate disorder strengths, the on-site entanglement entropies exhibited a bimodal distribution, indicating a coexistence of localized and thermalized states; as disorder was increased, localized states took over. The authors were able to extract a critical disorder strength and set a benchmark for future experiments.

Nat. Phys. 10.1038/s41567-018-0339-x (2018).

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