Criticality in two-dimensional quantum systems: Tensor network approach


Determination and characterization of criticality in two-dimensional (2D) quantum many-body systems is one of the most important challenges and problems in modern physics. Based on the scaling theory in one-dimensional (1D) systems and tensor networks, we propose an efficient scheme to access the criticality of 2D quantum states. We demonstrate that the boundary state of a critical infinite projected entangled pair state can be described by 1D conformal field theory, which provides a solid indicator that allows one to identify and characterize the criticality of 2D states. Our scheme is verified on the resonating valence bond (RVB) states on kagome and square lattices, where the boundary state of the honeycomb RVB is found to be described by a c = 1 conformal field theory. We apply our scheme also to the ground state of the spin-1/2 XXZ model on honeycomb lattice, illustrating the difficulties of standard variational tensor network approaches to study the critical ground states. Our scheme is of high versatility and flexibility, and can be further applied to investigate the quantum criticality in many other phenomena, such as finite-temperature and topological phase transitions.

Phys. Rev. B