Semiclassical echo dynamics in the Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev model

Markus Schmitt, Dries Sels, Stefan Kehrein, Anatoli Polkovnikov,

The existence of a quantum butterfly effect in the form of exponential sensitivity to small perturbations has been under debate for a long time. Lately, this question gained increased interest due to the proposal to probe chaotic dynamics and scrambling using out-of-time-order correlators. In this work we study echo dynamics in the Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev model under effective time reversal in a semiclassical approach. We demonstrate that small imperfections introduced in the time-reversal procedure result in an exponential divergence from the perfect echo, which allows to identify a Lyapunov exponent \( \lambda_L \). In particular, we find that \( \lambda_L \) is twice the Lyapunov exponent of the semiclassical equations of motion. This behavior is attributed to the growth of an out-of-time-order double commutator that resembles an out-of-time-order correlator.