Physics at Virginia

"The quantum Mpemba effect"

Sara Murciano , Caltech
[Host: Israel Klich ]

What is the connection between Aristotle and an ice cream? The answer is encoded in the Mpemba effect, the counterintuitive and controversial phenomenon that hot water cools faster than cold one. Here I will provide an analog quantum definition of this phenomenon, which has been studied in a quantum quench of a spin chain whose initially broken global U(1) symmetry is restored dynamically. Studying this evolution, we find that the more the symmetry is initially broken, the faster it is restored. We dub the measure detecting this effect entanglement asymmetry, which is a measure of symmetry breaking inspired by the theory of entanglement in many-body states. Although symmetry breaking is a pillar of modern quantum physics, quantifying how much a symmetry is broken is an issue that has received little attention so far: The merit of the entanglement asymmetry is to provide a quantitative tool for this.

Condensed Matter Seminar
Thursday, April 27, 2023
4:00 PM
Ridley Hall, Room 177
Note special time.

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