Temporal decay of Neel order in the one-dimensional Fermi-Hubbard model
Physical Review A, 91 (5), 053628, (2015)
Motivated by recent experiments with ultra-cold quantum gases in optical lattices we study the decay of the staggered moment in the one-dimensional Fermi-Hubbard model starting from a perfect Neel state using exact diagonalization and the iTEBD method. This extends previous work in which the same problem has been addressed for pure spin Hamiltonians. As a main result, we show that the relaxation dynamics of the double occupancy and of the staggered moment are different. The former is controlled by the nearest-neighbor tunneling rate while the latter is much slower and strongly dependent on the interaction strength, indicating that spin excitations are important. This difference in characteristic energy scales for the fast charge dynamics and the much slower spin dynamics is also reflected in the real-time evolution of nearest-neighbor density and spin correlations. A very interesting time dependence emerges in the von Neumann entropy, which at short times increases linearly with a slope proportional to the tunneling matrix element while the long-time growth of entanglement is controlled by spin excitations. Our predictions for the different relaxation dynamics of the staggered moment and the double occupancy should be observable in state-of-the art optical lattice experiments. We further compare time averages of the double occupancy to both the expectation values in the canonical and diagonal ensemble, which quantitatively disagree with each other on finite systems. We relate the question of thermalization to the eigenstate thermalization hypothesis.