Excited-state quantum phase transition in the Rabi model Articles uri icon

publication date

  • August 2016

start page

  • 023835


  • 2


  • 94

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2469-9926

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2469-9934


  • The Rabi model, a two-level atom coupled to a harmonic oscillator, can undergo a second-order quantum phase transition (QPT) [M.-J. Hwang et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 180404 (2015)]. Here we show that the Rabi QPT accompanies critical behavior in the higher-energy excited states, i.e., the excited-state QPT (ESQPT). We derive analytic expressions for the semiclassical density of states, which show a logarithmic divergence at a critical energy eigenvalue in the broken symmetry (superradiant) phase. Moreover, we find that the logarithmic singularities in the density of states lead to singularities in the relevant observables in the system such as photon number and atomic polarization. We corroborate our analytical semiclassical prediction of the ESQPT in the Rabi model with its numerically exact quantum mechanical solution.


  • atomic, molecular and optical; general physics