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  • 1903.05452

    Rights statement: © 2019 American Physical Society

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Entanglement transition from variable-strength weak measurements

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>22/08/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical review B
Issue number6
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)064204
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We show that weak measurements can induce a quantum phase transition of interacting many-body systems from an ergodic thermal phase with a large entropy to a nonergodic localized phase with a small entropy, but only if the measurement strength exceeds a critical value. We demonstrate this effect for a one-dimensional quantum circuit evolving under random unitary transformations and generic positive operator-valued measurements of variable strength. As opposed to projective measurements describing a restricted class of open systems, the measuring device is modeled as a continuous Gaussian probe, capturing a large class of environments. By employing data collapse and studying the enhanced fluctuations at the transition, we obtain a consistent phase boundary in the space of the measurement strength and the measurement probability, clearly demonstrating a critical value of the measurement strength below which the system is always ergodic, irrespective of the measurement probability. These findings provide guidance for quantum engineering of many-body systems by controlling their environment.

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© 2019 American Physical Society