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Phys Rev Lett. 2017 Dec 29;119(26):260401. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.260401. Epub 2017 Dec 27.

Observation of Slow Dynamics near the Many-Body Localization Transition in One-Dimensional Quasiperiodic Systems.

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Fakultät für Physik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Schellingstr. 4, 80799 Munich, Germany.
Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Hans-Kopfermann-Str. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany.
Laboratoire de Physique Théorique, IRSAMC, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, 31062 Toulouse, France.
Department of Condensed Matter Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 7610001, Israel.
Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0HE, United Kingdom.


In the presence of sufficiently strong disorder or quasiperiodic fields, an interacting many-body system can fail to thermalize and become many-body localized. The associated transition is of particular interest, since it occurs not only in the ground state but over an extended range of energy densities. So far, theoretical studies of the transition have focused mainly on the case of true-random disorder. In this work, we experimentally and numerically investigate the regime close to the many-body localization transition in quasiperiodic systems. We find slow relaxation of the density imbalance close to the transition, strikingly similar to the behavior near the transition in true-random systems. This dynamics is found to continuously slow down upon approaching the transition and allows for an estimate of the transition point. We discuss possible microscopic origins of these slow dynamics.

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