We review the recent progress in the understanding of the relaxation of isolated near-integrable quantum many-body systems. Focusing on prethermalization and universal dynamics following a quench, we describe the experiments with ultracold atomic gases that illustrate these phenomena and summarize the essential theoretical concepts employed to interpret them. Our discussion highlights the key topics that link the different approaches to this interdisciplinary field, including the generalized Gibbs ensemble, non-thermal fixed points, critical slowing and universal scaling. Finally, we point to new experimental challenges demonstrating these fundamental features of many-body quantum systems out of equilibrium.
T. Langen, T. Gasenzer, J. Schmiedmayer: Prethermalization and universal dynamics in near-integrable quantum systems, J. of Stat. Mech. 06 (2016) 064009
Related to Project A03