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Non-equilibrium steady states in the Klein-Gordon theory

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Benjamin Doyon, Andrew Lucas, Koenraad Schalm, M. J. Bhaseen

Original languageEnglish
Article number095002
Pages (from-to)1-42
Number of pages42
JournalJournal Of Physics A-Mathematical And Theoretical
Issue number9
Early online date10 Feb 2015
Accepted/In press5 Jan 2015
E-pub ahead of print10 Feb 2015
Published6 Mar 2015

King's Authors


We construct non-equilibrium steady states in the Klein-Gordon theory in arbitrary space dimension d following a local quench. We consider the approach where two independently thermalized semi-infinite systems, with temperatures and , are connected along a -dimensional hypersurface. A current-carrying steady state, described by thermally distributed modes with temperatures and for left and right-moving modes, respectively, emerges at late times. The non-equilibrium density matrix is the exponential of a non-local conserved charge. We obtain exact results for the average energy current and the complete distribution of energy current fluctuations. The latter shows that the long-time energy transfer can be described by a continuum of independent Poisson processes, for which we provide the exact weights. We further describe the full time evolution of local observables following the quench. Averages of generic local observables, including the stress-energy tensor, approach the steady state with a power-law in time, where the exponent depends on the initial conditions at the connection hypersurface. We describe boundary conditions and special operators for which the steady state is reached instantaneously on the connection hypersurface. A semiclassical analysis of freely propagating modes yields the average energy current at large distances and late times. We conclude by comparing and contrasting our findings with results for interacting theories and provide an estimate for the timescale governing the crossover to hydrodynamics. As a modification of our Klein-Gordon analysis we also include exact results for free Dirac fermions.

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