Discrete truncated Wigner approach to dynamical phase transitions in Ising models after a quantum quench
By means of the discrete truncated Wigner approximation we study dynamical phase transitions arising in the steady state of transverse-field Ising models after a quantum quench. Starting from a fully polarized ferromagnetic initial condition these transitions separate a phase with nonvanishing magnetization along the ordering direction from a symmetric phase upon increasing the transverse field. We consider two paradigmatic cases, a one-dimensional long-range model with power-law interactions \(\propto 1/r^\alpha\) decaying algebraically as a function of distance \(r\) and a two-dimensional system with short-range nearest-neighbour interactions. In the former case we identify dynamical phase transitions for \(\alpha\lesssim 2\) and we extract the critical exponents from a data collapse of the steady state magnetization for up to 1200 lattice sites. We find identical exponents for \(\alpha\lesssim 0.5\), suggesting that the dynamical transitions in this regime fall into the same universality class as the nonergodic mean-field limit. The two-dimensional Ising model is believed to be thermalizing, which we also confirm using exact diagonalization for small system sizes. Thus, the dynamical transition is expected to correspond to the thermal phase transition, which is consistent with our data upon comparing to equilibrium quantum Monte-Carlo simulations. We further test the accuracy of the discrete truncated Wigner approximation by comparing against numerically exact methods such as exact diagonalization, tensor network as well as artificial neural network states and we find good quantitative agreement on the accessible time scales. Finally, our work provides an additional contribution to the understanding of the range and the limitations of qualitative and quantitative applicability of the discrete truncated Wigner approximation.