Absence of Quantum Time Crystals

Event Dates: 

Friday, August 19, 2016 - 10:30am

CTQM Seminar Type: 

  • CTQM Seminar

Seminar Location: 

  • Duane Physics Room G126

Speaker Name(s): 

Masaki Oshikawa

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

University of Tokyo

Abstract, Event Details: 

In analogy with crystalline solids around us, Wilczek recently proposed the idea of “time crystals” as phases that spontaneously break the continuous time translation symmetry into its discrete subgroup. The proposal stimulated further studies and vigorous debates whether it can be realized in a physical system. However, a precise definition of the time crystal is needed to resolve the issue. Here we first present a definition of time crystals based on the time-dependent correlation functions of the order parameter. We then prove a no-go theorem that rules out the possibility of time crystals defined as such, in the ground state or in the canonical ensemble for a general Hamiltonian, which consists of not-too-long-range interactions. Reference: H. Watanabe and M. O., Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 251603 (2015).