Generalized Gibbs ensemble in integrable lattice models

Lev Vidmar, Marcos Rigol

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456 Scopus citations


The generalized Gibbs ensemble (GGE) was introduced ten years ago to describe observables in isolated integrable quantum systems after equilibration. Since then, the GGE has been demonstrated to be a powerful tool to predict the outcome of the relaxation dynamics of few-body observables in a variety of integrable models, a process we call generalized thermalization. This review discusses several fundamental aspects of the GGE and generalized thermalization in integrable systems. In particular, we focus on questions such as: which observables equilibrate to the GGE predictions and who should play the role of the bath; what conserved quantities can be used to construct the GGE; what are the differences between generalized thermalization in noninteracting systems and in interacting systems mappable to noninteracting ones; why is it that the GGE works when traditional ensembles of statistical mechanics fail. Despite a lot of interest in these questions in recent years, no definite answers have been given. We review results for the XX model and for the transverse field Ising model. For the latter model, we also report original results and show that the GGE describes spin-spin correlations over the entire system. This makes apparent that there is no need to trace out a part of the system in real space for equilibration to occur and for the GGE to apply. In the past, a spectral decomposition of the weights of various statistical ensembles revealed that generalized eigenstate thermalization occurs in the XX model (hard-core bosons). Namely, eigenstates of the Hamiltonian with similar distributions of conserved quantities have similar expectation values of few-spin observables. Here we show that generalized eigenstate thermalization also occurs in the transverse field Ising model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064007
JournalJournal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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