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  1. Abstract

    Nonequilibrium phase transitions play a pivotal role in broad physical contexts, from condensed matter to cosmology. Tracking the formation of nonequilibrium phases in condensed matter requires a resolution of the long-range cooperativity on ultra-short timescales. Here, we study the spontaneous transformation of a charge-density wave in CeTe3from a stripe order into a bi-directional state inaccessible thermodynamically but is induced by intense laser pulses. With ≈100 fs resolution coherent electron diffraction, we capture the entire course of this transformation and show self-organization that defines a nonthermal critical point, unveiling the nonequilibrium energy landscape. We discuss the generation of instabilities by a swift interaction quench that changes the system symmetry preference, and the phase ordering dynamics orchestrated over a nonadiabatic timescale to allow new order parameter fluctuations to gain long-range correlations. Remarkably, the subsequent thermalization locks the remnants of the transient order into longer-lived topological defects for more than 2 ns.

  2. Quantum phase transitions materialize as level crossings in the ground-state energy when the parameters of the Hamiltonian are varied. The resulting ground-state phase diagrams are straightforward to determine by exact diagonalization on classical computers, but are challenging on quantum computers because of the accuracy needed and the near degeneracy of the competing states close to the level crossings. On the other hand, classical computers are limited to small system sizes, which quantum computers may help overcome. In this work, we use a local adiabatic ramp for state preparation to allow us to directly compute ground-state phase diagrams on a quantum computer via time evolution. This methodology is illustrated by examining the ground states of the XY model with a magnetic field in the z-direction in one dimension. We are able to calculate an accurate phase diagram on both two- and three-site systems using IBM quantum machines.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  3. Abstract Investigations of magnetically ordered phases on the femtosecond timescale have provided significant insights into the influence of charge and lattice degrees of freedom on the magnetic sub-system. However, short-range magnetic correlations occurring in the absence of long-range order, for example in spin-frustrated systems, are inaccessible to many ultrafast techniques. Here, we show how time-resolved resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (trRIXS) is capable of probing such short-ranged magnetic dynamics in a charge-transfer insulator through the detection of a Zhang–Rice singlet exciton. Utilizing trRIXS measurements at the O K -edge, and in combination with model calculations, we probe the short-range spin correlations in the frustrated spin chain material CuGeO 3 following photo-excitation, revealing a strong coupling between the local lattice and spin sub-systems.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2022