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Heating Dynamics in Critical Floquet Systems

Bastien Lapierre (UZH)


While driven interacting quantum matter is generically subject to heating and scrambling, certain classes of systems evade this paradigm. We study such an exceptional class in periodically driven critical (1 + 1)-dimensional systems with a spatially modulated, but disorder-free time evolution operator. Instead of complete scrambling, the excitations of the system remain well-defined. Their propagation is analogous to the evolution along light cones in a curved space-time obtained by two Schwarzschild black holes. The Hawking temperature serves as an order parameter which distinguishes between heating and non-heating phases. Beyond a time scale determined by the inverse Hawking temperature, excitations are absorbed by the black holes resulting in a singular concentration of energy at their center. We obtain these results analytically within conformal field theory, capitalizing on a mapping to sine-square deformed field theories. Furthermore, by means of numerical calculations for an interacting XXZ spin-1/2 chain, we demonstrate that our findings survive lattice regularization.