Lotte Mertens

Lotte Mertens

Lotte Mertens

PhD student theoretical physics


Articles

Thermalization by a synthetic horizon (June 2022, Arxiv) Lotte Mertens, Ali G. Moghaddam, Dmitry Chernyavsky, Corentin Morice, Jeroen van den Brink, Jasper van Wezel

Synthetic horizons in models for quantum matter provide an alternative route to explore fundamental questions of modern gravitational theory. Here, we apply these concepts to the problem of emergence of thermal quantum states in the presence of a horizon, by studying ground-state thermalization due to instantaneous horizon creation in a gravitational setting and its condensed matter analogue. By a sudden quench to position-dependent hopping amplitudes in a one-dimensional lattice model, we establish the emergence of a thermal state accompanying the formation of a synthetic horizon. The resulting temperature for long chains is shown to be identical to the corresponding Unruh temperature, provided that the post-quench Hamiltonian matches the entanglement Hamiltonian of the pre-quench system. Based on detailed analysis of the outgoing radiation we formulate the conditions required for the synthetic horizon to behave as a purely thermal source, paving a way to explore this interplay of quantum-mechanical and gravitational aspects experimentally.

The inconsistency of linear dynamics and Born's rule (June 2021, Editors' Suggestion PRA) Lotte Mertens, Matthijs Wesseling, Niels Vercauteren, Alonso Corrales-Salazar, and Jasper van Wezel

Modern experiments using nanoscale devices come ever closer to bridging the divide between the quantum and classical realms, bringing experimental tests of objective collapse theories that propose alterations to Schrödinger's equation within reach. Such objective collapse theories aim to explain the emergence of classical dynamics in the thermodynamic limit and hence resolve the inconsistency that exists within the axioms of quantum mechanics when assuming measurement can be described by quantum mechanics as well. Here, we show that requiring the emergence of Born's rule for relative frequencies of measurement outcomes without imposing them as part of any axiom implies that such objective collapse theories cannot be linear. Previous suggestions for proof of the emergence of Born's rule in classes of problems that include linear objective collapse theories are analyzed and shown to include hidden assumptions.