Euclidean operator growth and quantum chaos

Alexander Avdoshkin, Anatoly Dymarsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


We consider growth of local operators under Euclidean time evolution in lattice systems with local interactions. We derive rigorous bounds on the operator norm growth and then proceed to establish an analog of the Lieb-Robinson bound for the spatial growth. In contrast to the Minkowski case when ballistic spreading of operators is universal, in the Euclidean case spatial growth is system-dependent and indicates if the system is integrable or chaotic. In the integrable case, the Euclidean spatial growth is at most polynomial. In the chaotic case, it is the fastest possible: exponential in 1D, while in higher dimensions and on Bethe lattices local operators can reach spatial infinity in finite Euclidean time. We use bounds on the Euclidean growth to establish constraints on individual matrix elements and operator power spectrum. We show that one-dimensional systems are special with the power spectrum always being superexponentially suppressed at large frequencies. Finally, we relate the bound on the Euclidean growth to the bound on the growth of Lanczos coefficients. To that end, we develop a path integral formalism for the weighted Dyck paths and evaluate it using saddle point approximation. Using a conjectural connection between the growth of the Lanczos coefficients and the Lyapunov exponent controlling the growth of the out-of-time-ordered correlators (OTOCs), we propose an improved bound on chaos valid at all temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043234
JournalPhysical Review Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 13 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 authors. Published by the American Physical Society. Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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