We study the dynamics of perturbations around nonthermal fixed points associated with universal scaling phenomena in quantum many-body systems far from equilibrium. For an N-component scalar quantum field theory in 3+1 space-time dimensions, we determine the stability scaling exponents using a self-consistent large-N expansion to next-to-leading order. Our analysis reveals the presence of both stable and unstable perturbations, the latter leading to quasiexponential deviations from the fixed point in the infrared. We identify a tower of far-from-equilibrium quasiparticle states and their dispersion relations by computing the spectral function. With the help of linear response theory, we demonstrate that unstable dynamics arises from a competition between elastic scattering processes among the quasiparticle states. What ultimately renders the fixed point dynamically attractive is the phenomenon of a “scaling instability,” which is the universal scaling of the unstable regime toward the infrared due to a self-similar quasiparticle cascade. Our results provide ab initio understanding of emergent stability properties in self-organized scaling phenomena.

T. Preis, M. P. Heller, J. Berges, “Stable and Unstable Perturbations in Universal Scaling Phenomena Far from Equilibrium”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 130, 031602 (2023).


Related to Project A01, A03, A04, A05, B04