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Topologically stable ergodicity breaking from emergent higher-form symmetries in generalized quantum loop models

Charles Stahl, Rahul Nandkishore, Oliver Hart

SciPost Phys. 16, 068 (2024) · published 8 March 2024


We present a set of generalized quantum loop models that provably exhibit topologically stable ergodicity breaking. These results hold for both periodic and open boundary conditions, and derive from a one-form symmetry (notably not being restricted to sectors of extremal one-form charge). We identify simple models in which this one-form symmetry can be emergent, giving rise to the aforementioned ergodicity breaking as an exponentially long-lived prethermal phenomenon. We unveil a web of dualities that connects these models, in certain limits, to models that have previously been discussed in the literature. We also identify nonlocal conserved quantities in such models, which correspond to patterns of system-spanning domain walls and are robust to the addition of arbitrary $k$-local perturbations.

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