Disordered interacting spin chains that undergo a many-body localization transition are characterized by two limiting behaviors where the dynamics are chaotic and integrable. However, the transition region between them is not fully understood yet. We propose here a possible finite-size precursor of a critical point that shows a typical finite-size scaling and distinguishes between two different dynamical phases. The kurtosis excess of the diagonal fluctuations of the full one-dimensional momentum distribution from its microcanonical average is maximum at this singular point in the paradigmatic disordered $J_1$-$J_2$ model. For system sizes accessible to exact diagonalization, both the position and the size of this maximum scale linearly with the system size. Furthermore, we show that this singular point is found at the same disorder strength at which the Thouless and the Heisenberg energies coincide. Below this point, the spectral statistics follow the universal random matrix behavior up to the Thouless energy. Above it, no traces of chaotic behavior remain, and the spectral statistics are well described by a generalized semi-Poissonian model, eventually leading to the integrable Poissonian behavior. We provide, thus, an integrated scenario for the many-body localization transition, conjecturing that the critical point in the thermodynamic limit, if it exists, should be given by this value of disorder strength.
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Authors / Affiliations: mappings to Contributors and OrganizationsSee all Organizations.
- 1 Universidad Complutense de Madrid / Complutense University of Madrid
- 2 Instituto de Estructura de la Materia / Institute for the Structure of Matter [IEM]
- Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas / Spanish National Research Council [CSIC]
- Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO) (through Organization: Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad / Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness [MINECO])
- Ministerio de Educación y Cultura - Spain (MEC) (through Organization: Ministerio de Educación y Cultura - España / Ministry of Education and Culture - Spain [MEC Spain])