New paradigm of quantum phase transitions discovered from entanglement measurements

How does matter acquire mass? It's a question of fundamental importance to physicists. Traditionally, we've understood that all matter in the universe gains mass through a process called spontaneous symmetry breaking. Yet, recent discoveries in both condensed matter and high-energy physics have unveiled a new mechanism of mass generation without any symmetry breaking, known as "symmetric mass generation" (SMG). In our current work, we set out to investigate whether SMG corresponds to a true continuous phase transition with universal behaviors. Using newly developed numerical probes of quantum entanglement, we delved into the heart of this phenomenon on interacting electrons on honeycomb lattice, which might find its relevance in quantum moire materials. What we discovered is that, the SMG transition is indeed a continuous phase transition, but it defies all traditional paradigms. This finding opens up exciting avenues for understanding the fundamentally new mechanism of the mass generation. This work is published on Phys. Rev. Lett. 132.156503 (2024).

旧锦新样 | 寂静春天里的动力学

在这样混乱嘈杂的春天里,哪里能找到寂静,哪里能找到新的生机酝酿时静默却不可阻挡的力量,是考验从业人员实力、修为和气魄的大问题。春天当然是动态的,但是动态要有一个静的表面,新发现孕育的时候如林间的野花幼苗,阳光雨露之下静却决绝。一开始就熙熙攘攘热热闹闹,混淆了心智,耗尽了力气,怎么可能看到成熟和收获呢? 就是在这样的考虑之下,笔者和朋友们决定在凝聚态物理学量子多体计算的领地中,在这个春天里培育一株幼苗,小心地浇灌它,期望它成长为凝聚态物理学量子多体计算领地中的大树。这株幼苗,就是量子多体系统的动力学性质计算。 Continue reading