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  • PhysRevResearch.2.023118

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Many-body localization of zero modes

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Article number023118
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>4/05/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical Review Research
Issue number2
Number of pages13
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The celebrated Dyson singularity signals the relative delocalization of single-particle wave functions at the zero-energy symmetry point of disordered systems with a chiral symmetry. Here we show that analogous zero modes in interacting quantum systems can fully localize at sufficiently large disorder, but do so less strongly than nonzero modes, as signified by their real-space and Fock-space localization characteristics. We demonstrate this effect in a spin-1 Ising chain, which naturally provides a chiral symmetry in an odd-dimensional Hilbert space, thereby guaranteeing the existence of a many-body zero mode at all disorder strengths. In the localized phase, the bipartite entanglement entropy of the zero mode follows an area law, but is enhanced by a system-size-independent factor of order unity when compared to the nonzero modes. Analytically, this feature can be attributed to a specific zero-mode hybridization pattern on neighboring spins. The zero mode also displays a symmetry-induced even-odd and spin-orientation fragmentation of excitations, characterized by real-space spin-correlation functions, which generalizes the sublattice polarization of topological zero modes in noninteracting systems, and holds at any disorder strength.