Paper: Many-Body Localization Dynamics from Gauge Invariance


We show how lattice gauge theories can display many-body localization dynamics in the absence of disorder. Our starting point is the observation that, for some generic translationally invariant states, the Gauss law effectively induces a dynamics which can be described as a disorder average over gauge superselection sectors. We carry out extensive exact simulations on the real-time dynamics of a lattice Schwinger model, describing the coupling between U(1) gauge fields and staggered fermions. Our results show how memory effects and slow, double-logarithmic entanglement growth are present in a broad regime of parameters—in particular, for sufficiently large interactions. These findings are immediately relevant to cold atoms and trapped ion experiments realizing dynamical gauge fields and suggest a new and universal link between confinement and entanglement dynamics in the many-body localized phase of lattice models.