We develop a systematic variational coherent-state expansion for the many-body ground state of the spin-boson model, in which a quantum two-level system is coupled to a continuum of harmonic oscillators. Energetic constraints at the heart of this technique are rationalized in terms of polarons (displacements of the bath states in agreement with classical expectations) and antipolarons (counterdisplacements due to quantum tunneling effects). We present a comprehensive study of the ground-state two-level system population and coherence as a function of tunneling amplitude, dissipation strength, and bias (akin to asymmetry of the double-well potential defining the two-state system). The entanglement among the different environmental modes is investigated by looking at spectroscopic signatures of the bipartite entanglement entropy between a given environmental mode and all the other modes. We observe a drastic change in behavior of this entropy for increasing dissipation, indicative of the entangled nature of the environmental states. In addition, the entropy spreads over a large energy range at strong dissipation, a testimony to the wide entanglement window characterizing the underlying Kondo state. Finally, comparisons to accurate numerical renormalization-group calculations and to the exact Bethe ansatz solution of the model demonstrate the rapid convergence of our variationally optimized multipolaron expansion, suggesting that it should also be a useful tool for dissipative models of greater complexity, as relevant for numerous systems of interest in quantum physics and chemistry. © 2014 American Physical Society.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 7 Aug 2014|
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