Equilibration time scales in closed many-body quantum systems

Henrik Wilming, Thiago de Oliveira, Tony Short, Jens Eisert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

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For a quantum system to be captured by a stationary statistical ensemble, as is common in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, it is necessary that it reaches some apparently stationary state in the first place. In this book chapter, we discuss the problem of equilibration and specifically provide insights into how long it takes to reach equilibrium in closed quantum systems. We first briefly discuss the connection of this problem with recent experiments and forthcoming quantum simulators. Then we provide a comprehensive discussion of equilibration from a heuristic point of view, with a focus on providing an intuitive understanding and connecting the problem with general properties of interacting many-body systems. Finally, we provide a concise review of the rigorous results on equilibration times that are known in the literature.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThermodynamics in the quantum regime - Recent Progress and Outlook
EditorsF Binder, L A Correa, C Gogolin, J Anders, G Adesso
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages25
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Mar 2018


  • equilibration
  • unitary dynamics
  • quantum systems
  • foundations of statistical mechanics

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