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A time-dependent momentum-resolved scattering approach to core-level spectroscopies

Krissia Zawadzki, Alberto Nocera, Adrian E. Feiguin

SciPost Phys. 15, 166 (2023) · published 17 October 2023


While new light sources allow for unprecedented resolution in experiments with X-rays, a theoretical understanding of the scattering cross-section is lacking. In the particular case of strongly correlated electron systems, numerical techniques are quite limited, since conventional approaches rely on calculating a response function (Kramers-Heisenberg formula) that is obtained from a perturbative analysis of scattering processes in the frequency domain. This requires a knowledge of a full set of eigenstates in order to account for all intermediate processes away from equilibrium, limiting the applicability to small tractable systems. In this work, we present an alternative paradigm, recasting the problem in the time domain and explicitly solving the time-dependent Schrödinger equation without the limitations of perturbation theory: a faithful simulation of the scattering processes taking place in actual experiments, including photons and core electrons. We show how this approach can yield the full time and momentum resolved Resonant Inelastic X-Ray Scattering (RIXS) spectrum of strongly interacting many-body systems. We demonstrate the formalism with an application to Mott insulating Hubbard chains using the time-dependent density matrix renormalization group method, which does not require a priory knowledge of the eigenstates and can solve very large systems with dozens of orbitals. This approach can readily be applied to systems out of equilibrium without modification and generalized to other spectroscopies.

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