Quantum field theory for the chiral clock transition in one spatial dimension

TitleQuantum field theory for the chiral clock transition in one spatial dimension
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsWhitsitt, S, Samajdar, R, Sachdev, S
JournalPhys. Rev.
Date Published2018/11/09

We describe the quantum phase transition in the N-state chiral clock model in spatial dimension d=1. With couplings chosen to preserve time-reversal and spatial inversion symmetries, such a model is in the universality class of recent experimental studies of the ordering of pumped Rydberg states in a one-dimensional chain of trapped ultracold alkali atoms. For such couplings and N=3, the clock model is expected to have a direct phase transition from a gapped phase with a broken global ZN symmetry, to a gapped phase with the ZN symmetry restored. The transition has dynamical critical exponent z≠1, and so cannot be described by a relativistic quantum field theory. We use a lattice duality transformation to map the transition onto that of a Bose gas in d=1, involving the onset of a single boson condensate in the background of a higher-dimensional N-boson condensate. We present a renormalization group analysis of the strongly coupled field theory for the Bose gas transition in an expansion in 2−d, with 4−N chosen to be of order 2−d. At two-loop order, we find a regime of parameters with a renormalization group fixed point which can describe a direct phase transition. We also present numerical density-matrix renormalization group studies of lattice chiral clock and Bose gas models for N=3, finding good evidence for a direct phase transition, and obtain estimates for z and the correlation length exponent ν.