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Localization dynamics in a centrally coupled system


In systems in which interactions couple a central degree of freedom and a bath, one would expect signatures of the bath's phase to be reflected in the dynamics of the central degree of freedom. This has been recently explored in connection with many-body localized baths coupled with a central qubit or a single-cavity mode - systems with growing experimental relevance in various platforms. Such models also have an interesting connection with Floquet many-body localization via quantizing the external drive, although this has been relatively unexplored. Here we adapt the multilayer multiconfigurational time-dependent Hartree (ML-MCTDH) method, a well-known tree tensor network algorithm, to numerically simulate the dynamics of a central degree of freedom, represented by a d-level system (qudit), coupled to a disordered interacting one-dimensional spin bath. ML-MCTDH allows us to reach ≈102 lattice sites, a far larger system size than what is feasible with exact diagonalization or kernel polynomial methods. From the intermediate time dynamics, we find a well-defined thermodynamic limit for the qudit dynamics upon appropriate rescaling of the system-bath coupling. The spin system shows similar scaling collapse in the Edward-Anderson spin-glass order parameter or entanglement entropy at relatively short times. At longer timescales, we see slow growth of the entanglement, which may arise from dephasing mechanisms in the localized system or long-range interactions mediated by the central degree of freedom. Similar signs of localization are shown to appear as well with unscaled system-bath coupling.

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