%0 Journal Article
%A Qiu, L.-Y.
%A Liang, H.-Y.
%A Yang, Y.-B.
%A Yang, H.-X.
%A Tian, T.
%A Xu, Y.
%A Duan, L.-M.
%T Observation of generalized Kibble-Zurek mechanism across a first-order quantum phase transition in a spinor condensate
%D 2020
%R 10.1126/sciadv.aba7292
%J Science Advances
%P eaba7292
%V 6
%N 21
%X The Kibble-Zurek mechanism provides a unified theory to describe the universal scaling laws in the dynamics when a system is driven through a second-order quantum phase transition. However, for first-order quantum phase transitions, the Kibble-Zurek mechanism is usually not applicable. Here, we experimentally demonstrate and theoretically analyze a power-law scaling in the dynamics of a spin-1 condensate across a first-order quantum phase transition when a system is slowly driven from a polar phase to an antiferromagnetic phase. We show that this power-law scaling can be described by a generalized Kibble-Zurek mechanism. Furthermore, by experimentally measuring the spin population, we show the power-law scaling of the temporal onset of spin excitations with respect to the quench rate, which agrees well with our numerical simulation results. Our results open the door for further exploring the generalized Kibble-Zurek mechanism to understand the dynamics across first-order quantum phase transitions.
%U https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/advances/6/21/eaba7292.full.pdf