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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Mar 16;108(11):116401. Epub 2012 Mar 12.

Detecting quantum critical points using bipartite fluctuations.

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Department of Physics, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


We show that the concept of bipartite fluctuations F provides a very efficient tool to detect quantum phase transitions in strongly correlated systems. Using state-of-the-art numerical techniques complemented with analytical arguments, we investigate paradigmatic examples for both quantum spins and bosons. As compared to the von Neumann entanglement entropy, we observe that F allows us to find quantum critical points with much better accuracy in one dimension. We further demonstrate that F can be successfully applied to the detection of quantum criticality in higher dimensions with no prior knowledge of the universality class of the transition. Promising approaches to experimentally access fluctuations are discussed for quantum antiferromagnets and cold gases.

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