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Weak ergodicity breaking in non-Hermitian many-body systems

Qianqian Chen, Shuai A. Chen, Zheng Zhu

SciPost Phys. 15, 052 (2023) · published 7 August 2023


The recent discovery of persistent revivals in the Rydberg-atom quantum simulator has revealed a weakly ergodicity-breaking mechanism dubbed quantum many-body scars, which are a set of nonthermal states embedded in otherwise thermal spectra. Until now, such a mechanism has been mainly studied in Hermitian systems. Here, we establish the non-Hermitian quantum many-body scars and systematically characterize their nature from dynamic revivals, entanglement entropy, physical observables, and energy level statistics. Notably, we find the non-Hermitian quantum many-body scars exhibit significantly enhanced coherent revival dynamics when approaching the exceptional point. The signatures of non-Hermitian scars switch from the real-energy axis to the imaginary-energy axis after a real-to-complex spectrum transition driven by increasing non-Hermiticity, where an exceptional point and a quantum tricritical point emerge simultaneously. We further examine the stability of non-Hermitian quantum many-body scars against external fields, reveal the non-Hermitian quantum criticality and eventually set up the whole phase diagram. The possible connection to the open quantum many-body systems is also explored. Our findings offer insights for realizing long-lived coherent states in non-Hermitian many-body systems.

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