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Quantum propagating front and the edge of the Wigner function

Gabriel Gouraud
Jan 2024
In the first part of the article, we study one-dimensional noninteracting fermions in the continuum and in the presence of the repulsive inverse power law potential, with an emphasis on the Wigner function in the semiclassical limit. In this limit, the Wigner function exhibits an edge called the Fermi surf that depends only on the classical one-particle Hamiltonian. Around the Fermi surf, under a well-defined semiclassical limit, the Wigner function can be expressed in terms of Airy functions which yield a smooth matching between the two regions delimited by the Fermi surf. In the second part of the article, the system is prepared in the ground state of the inverse power law potential where only the left half line is filled with fermions. Then the potential is switched off, resulting in the emergence of a propagating quantum front. We show that the power law decay of the pre-quench potential that separates the left and right half systems leads to the emergence of the Airy kernel (well known in Random Matrix Theory) at the quantum front in the long-time limit.
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