Alternatives to eigenstate thermalization

Marcos Rigol, Mark Srednicki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

253 Scopus citations


An isolated quantum many-body system in an initial pure state will come to thermal equilibrium if it satisfies the eigenstate thermalization hypothesis (ETH). We consider alternatives to ETH that have been proposed. We first show that von Neumann's quantum ergodic theorem relies on an assumption that is essentially equivalent to ETH. We also investigate whether, following a sudden quench, special classes of pure states can lead to thermal behavior in systems that do not obey ETH, namely, integrable systems. We find examples of this, but only for initial states that obeyed ETH before the quench.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110601
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 14 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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