Quantum phase transitions reflect singular changes taking place in a many-body ground state, however, computing and analyzing large-scale critical wave functions constitutes a formidable challenge. New physical insights into the sub-Ohmic spin-boson model are provided by the coherent state expansion (CSE), which represents the wave function by a linear combination of classically displaced configurations. We find that the distribution of low-energy displacements displays an emergent symmetry in the absence of spontaneous symmetry breaking, while experiencing strong fluctuations of the order parameter near the quantum critical point. Quantum criticality provides two strong fingerprints in critical low-energy modes: an algebraic decay of the average displacement and a constant universal average squeezing amplitude. These observations, confirmed by extensive variational matrix product states (VMPS) simulations and field theory arguments, offer precious clues into the microscopics of critical many-body states in quantum impurity models.
|Journal||Physical Review B: covering condensed matter and materials physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Feb 2017|