Complexity of quantum states in the two-dimensional pairing model

J. R. Armstrong, S. Åberg, S. M. Reimann, V. G. Zelevinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


It is known that many-fermion systems, such as complex atoms and nuclei, reveal (at some level of excitation energy) local signatures of quantum chaos similar to the predictions of random matrix theory. Here, we study the gradual development of such signatures in a model system of up to 16 fermions interacting through short-range pairing-type forces in a two-dimensional harmonic trap. We proceed from the simplest characteristics of the level spacing distribution to the complexity of eigenstates, strength, and correlation functions. For increasing pairing strength, at first, chaotic signatures gradually appear. However, when the pairing force dominates the Hamiltonian, we see a regression towards regularity. We introduce a "phase correlator" that allows us to distinguish the complexity of a quantum state that originates from its collective nature, from the complexity originating from quantum chaos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number066204
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 5 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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