Scattering theory is a standard tool for the description of transport phenomena in mesoscopic systems. Here, we provide a detailed derivation of this method for nano-scale conductors that are driven by oscillating electric or magnetic fields. Our approach is based on an extension of the conventional Lippmann–Schwinger formalism to systems with a periodically time-dependent Hamiltonian. As a key result, we obtain a systematic perturbation scheme for the Floquet scattering amplitudes that describes the transition of a transport carrier through a periodically driven sample. Within a general multi-terminal setup, we derive microscopic expressions for the mean values and time-integrated correlation functions, or zero-frequency noise, of matter and energy currents, thus recovering the results of earlier studies in a unifying framework. We show that this framework is inherently consistent with the first and the second law of thermodynamics and prove that the mean rate of entropy production vanishes only if all currents in the system are zero. As an application, we derive a generalized Green–Kubo relation, which makes it possible to express the response of any mean currents to small variations of temperature and chemical potential gradients in terms of time integrated correlation functions between properly chosen currents. Finally, we discuss potential topics for future studies and further reaching applications of the Floquet scattering approach to quantum transport in stochastic and quantum thermodynamics.
According to the concept of typicality, an ensemble average can be accurately approximated by an expectation value with respect to a single pure state drawn at random from a high-dimensional Hilbert space. This random-vector approximation, or trace estimator, provides a powerful approach to, e.g. thermodynamic quantities for systems with large Hilbert-space sizes, which usually cannot be treated exactly, analytically or numerically. Here, we discuss the finite-size scaling of the accuracy of such trace estimators from two perspectives. First, we study the full probability distribution of random-vector expectation values and, second, the full temperature dependence of the standard deviation. With the help of numerical examples, we find pronounced Gaussian probability distributions and the expected decrease of the standard deviation with system size, at least above certain system-specific temperatures. Below and in particular for temperatures smaller than the excitation gap, simple rules are not available.
We investigate the motion of a classical spin processing around a periodic magnetic field using Floquet theory, as well as elementary differential geometry and considering a couple of examples. Under certain conditions, the role of spin and magnetic field can be interchanged, leading to the notion of “duality of loops” on the Bloch sphere.
Evidently, some relaxation dynamics, e.g. exponential decays, are much more common in nature than others. Recently there have been attempts to explain this observation on the basis of “typicality of perturbations” with respect to their impact on expectation value dynamics. These theories suggest that a majority of the very numerous, possible Hamiltonian perturbations entail more or less the same type of alteration of the decay dynamics. Thus, in this paper, we study how the approach towards equilibrium in closed quantum systems is altered due to weak perturbations. To this end, we perform numerical experiments on a particular, exemplary spin system. We compare our numerical data to predictions from three particular theories. We find satisfying agreement in the weak perturbation regime for one of these approaches.
In this paper, we have studied spinless fermions in four specific quasi one-dimensional systems that are known to host flat bands in the noninteracting limit: the triangle lattice, the stub lattice, the diamond lattice, and the diamond lattice with transverse hopping. The influence of the nearest neighbour interaction on the flat bands was investigated. We used exact diagonalization of finite size lattices employing the Lanczos technique and determine the single particle spectral functions of the interacting system. Our results are compared with mean field calculations. In the cases of the triangle lattice and the stub lattice we found that the flat bands become dispersive in the presence of a finite interaction. For the diamond lattice and the diamond lattice with transverse hopping, we demonstrated that the flat bands are robust under the influence of the interaction in certain parameter ranges. Such systems could be realised experimentally with cold atoms in optical lattices.