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Physics Department presents Resonant time-symmetry breaking in classical and quantum oscillators

October 20 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm

Presented by: Professor Mark Dykman, Michigan State University

A periodically driven system has discrete time-translation symmetry with the period of the driving. A nonlinear oscillator allows one to see peculiar features of quantum and classical fluctuations as well as tunneling and dissipation in resonantly driven systems. Generally, if a quantum system is in a Floquet state, its dynamical variables oscillate with the period of the driving. However, the discrete time-translation symmetry can be broken, the “time crystal” effect. Nonlinear oscillators, including nanomechanical systems and modes in electromagnetic cavities, can be used to study this effect beyond the familiar period doubling in strong fields en route to chaos. The “true” time-symmetry breaking is a many-body effect. We will discuss the classical phase transition into the broken-symmetry phase and, time permitting, some aspects of the quantum phase transition in dissipative and coherent systems. The transition occurs already for a comparatively weak resonant driving. We will show that, in the absence of dissipation, heating is exponentially suppressed, no many-body localization is required for this suppression.