Continuous Symmetry Breaking in 1D Long-Range Interacting Quantum Systems
AbstractContinuous symmetry breaking (CSB) in low-dimensional systems, forbidden by the Mermin-Wagner theorem for short-range interactions, may take place in the presence of slowly decaying long-range interactions. Nevertheless, there is no stringent bound on how slowly interactions should decay to give rise to CSB in 1D quantum systems at zero temperature. Here, we study a long-range interacting spin chain with U(1) symmetry and power-law interactions V(r)∼1/rα. Using a number of analytical and numerical techniques, we find CSB for α smaller than a critical exponent αc(≤3) that depends on the microscopic parameters of the model. Furthermore, the transition from the gapless XY phase to the gapless CSB phase is mediated by the breaking of conformal and Lorentz symmetries due to long-range interactions, and is described by a universality class akin to, but distinct from, the Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition. Signatures of the CSB phase should be accessible in existing trapped-ion experiments.