Numerical Evidence for Many-Body Localization in Two and Three Dimensions

Eli Chertkov, Benjamin Villalonga, Bryan K. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Disorder and interactions can lead to the breakdown of statistical mechanics in certain quantum systems, a phenomenon known as many-body localization (MBL). Much of the phenomenology of MBL emerges from the existence of ℓ bits, a set of conserved quantities that are quasilocal and binary (i.e., possess only ±1 eigenvalues). While MBL and ℓ bits are known to exist in one-dimensional systems, their existence in dimensions greater than one is a key open question. To tackle this question, we develop an algorithm that can find approximate binary ℓ bits in arbitrary dimensions by adaptively generating a basis of operators in which to represent the ℓ bit. We use the algorithm to study four models: the one-, two-, and three-dimensional disordered Heisenberg models and the two-dimensional disordered hard-core Bose-Hubbard model. For all four of the models studied, our algorithm finds high-quality ℓ bits at large disorder strength and rapid qualitative changes in the distributions of ℓ bits in particular ranges of disorder strengths, suggesting the existence of MBL transitions. These transitions in the one-dimensional Heisenberg model and two-dimensional Bose-Hubbard model coincide well with past estimates of the critical disorder strengths in these models, which further validates the evidence of MBL phenomenology in the other two- and three-dimensional models we examine. In addition to finding MBL behavior in higher dimensions, our algorithm can be used to probe MBL in various geometries and dimensionality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number180602
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 7 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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