Non-equilibrium fixed points of coupled Ising models

TitleNon-equilibrium fixed points of coupled Ising models
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsYoung, JT, Gorshkov, AV, Foss-Feig, M, Maghrebi, MF
JournalPhys. Rev. X
Date Published2/26/2020

Driven-dissipative systems can exhibit non-equilibrium phenomena that are absent in their equilibrium counterparts. However, phase transitions present in these systems generically exhibit an effectively classical equilibrium behavior in spite of their quantum non-equilibrium origin. In this paper, we show that multicritical points in driven-dissipative systems can give rise to genuinely non-equilibrium behavior. We investigate a non-equilibrium driven-dissipative model of interacting bosons that exhibits two distinct phase transitions: one from a high- to a low-density phase---reminiscent of a liquid-gas transition---and another to an antiferromagnetic phase. Each phase transition is described by the Ising universality class characterized by an (emergent or microscopic) Z2 symmetry. They, however, coalesce at a multicritical point giving rise to a non-equilibrium model of coupled Ising-like order parameters described by a Z2×Z2 symmetry. Using a dynamical renormalization-group approach, we show that a pair of non-equilibrium fixed points (NEFPs) emerge that govern the long-distance critical behavior of the system. We elucidate various exotic features of these NEFPs. In particular, we show that a generic continuous scale invariance at criticality is reduced to a discrete scale invariance. This further results in complex-valued critical exponents, spiraling phase boundaries, and a complex Liouvillian gap even close to the phase transition. As direct evidence of the non-equilibrium nature of the NEFPs, we show that the fluctuation-dissipation relation is violated at all scales, leading to an effective temperature that becomes "hotter" and "hotter" at longer and longer wavelengths. Finally, we argue that this non-equilibrium behavior can be observed in cavity arrays with cross-Kerr nonlinearities.