All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Gunter Stolz

Advisory Committee Members

Leonard Choup

Bharat Soni

Rudi Weikard

Zhijian Wu

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Ever since the introduction of the Anderson model in 1958, physicists and mathematicians alike have been interested in the effects of disorder on quantum mechanical systems. For example, it is known that transport is suppressed for an electron moving about in a random environment, which follows from localization results proven for the Anderson model. Quantum spin systems provide a relatively simple starting point when one is interested in studying many-body systems. Here we investigate a random block operator arising from the anisotropic xy-spin chain model. Allowing for arbitrary nontrivial single-site distributions, we prove a zero-velocity Lieb-Robinson bound under the assumption of dynamical localization at all energies. After a preliminary study of basic properties and location of the almost-sure spectrum of this random block operator, we apply a transfer matrix formalism and prove contractivity and irreducibility properties of the Furstenberg group and, in particular, positivity of Lyapunov exponents at all nonzero energies. Then in the general setting of random block Jacobi matrices, we establish a Thouless formula, and under contractivity and irreducibility assumptions, we conclude dynamical localization via multiscale analysis by proving a Wegner estimate and an initial length scale estimate. Finally we apply our general results to prove localization for the special case of the Ising model, and we discuss a critical energy that arises.

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