Exploring quantum criticality in a 4D quantum disordered system

Farid Madani, Maxime Denis, Pascal Szriftgiser, Jean Claude Garreau, Adam Rançon, Radu Chicireanu
Condensed Matter, Disordered Systems and Neural Networks, Disordered Systems and Neural Networks (cond-mat.dis-nn), Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas), Quantum Physics (quant-ph)
2024-02-09 00:00:00
Phase transitions are prevalent throughout physics, spanning thermal phenomena like water boiling to magnetic transitions in solids. They encompass cosmological phase transitions in the early universe and the transition into a quark-gluon plasma in high-energy collisions. Quantum phase transitions, particularly intriguing, occur at temperatures near absolute zero and are driven by quantum fluctuations rather than thermal ones. The strength of the fluctuations is very sensitive to the dimensionality of the physical systems, which determines the existence and nature of phase transitions. Low-dimensional systems often exhibit suppression of phase transitions, while high-dimensional systems tend to exhibit mean-field-like behavior. The localization-delocalization Anderson transition stands out among quantum phase transitions, as it is thought to retain its non-mean-field character across all dimensions. This work marks the first observation and characterization of the Anderson transition in four dimensions using ultracold atoms as a quantum simulator with synthetic dimensions. We characterize the universal dynamics in the vicinity of the phase transition. We measure the critical exponents describing the scale-invariant properties of the critical dynamics, which are shown to obey Wegner's scaling law. Our work is the first experimental demonstration that the Anderson transition is not mean-field in dimension four.
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