Title:Critical thermalization of a disordered dipolar spin system in diamond
Speaker: Wengang Zhang Tsinghua University
Time: 2016-10-27 16:00-2016-10-27 17:00


Statistical mechanics underlies our understanding of macroscopic quantum systems. It is based on the assumption that out-of-equilibrium systems rapidly approach their equilibrium states, forgetting any information about their microscopic initial conditions. This fundamental paradigm is challenged by disordered systems, in which a slowdown or even absence of thermalization is expected. We report the observation of critical thermalization in a three dimensional ensemble of 10^6 electronic spins coupled via dipolar interactions. By controlling the spin states of nitrogen vacancy color centers in diamond, we observe slow, sub-exponential relaxation dynamics consistent with power laws that exhibit disorder-dependent exponents; this behavior is modified at late times owing to many-body interactions. These observations are quantitatively explained by a resonance counting theory that incorporates the effects of both disorder and interactions.