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Publication# Thermodynamic properties of the Shastry-Sutherland model from quantum Monte Carlo simulations

Abstract

We investigate the minus-sign problem that afflicts quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) simulations of frustrated quantum spin systems, focusing on spin S = 1/2, two spatial dimensions, and the extended Shastry-Sutherland model. We show that formulating the Hamiltonian in the diagonal dimer basis leads to a sign problem that becomes negligible at low temperatures for small and intermediate values of the ratio of the inter-and intradimer couplings. This is a consequence of the fact that the product state of dimer singlets is the exact ground state both of the extended Shastry-Sutherland model and of a corresponding "sign-problem-free" model, obtained by changing the signs of all positive off-diagonal matrix elements in the dimer basis. By exploiting this insight, we map the sign problem throughout the extended parameter space from the Shastry-Sutherland to the fully frustrated bilayer model and compare it with the phase diagram computed by tensor-network methods. We use QMC to compute with high accuracy the temperature dependence of the magnetic specific heat and susceptibility of the Shastry-Sutherland model for large systems up to a coupling ratio of 0.526(1) and down to zero temperature. For larger coupling ratios, our QMC results assist us in benchmarking the evolution of the thermodynamic properties by systematic comparison with exact diagonalization calculations and interpolated high-temperature series expansions.

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Related concepts (3)

Ground state

The ground state of a quantum-mechanical system is its stationary state of lowest energy; the energy of the ground state is known as the zero-point energy of the system. An excited state is any state with energy greater than the ground state. In quantum field theory, the ground state is usually called the vacuum state or the vacuum. If more than one ground state exists, they are said to be degenerate. Many systems have degenerate ground states.

Phase diagram

A phase diagram in physical chemistry, engineering, mineralogy, and materials science is a type of chart used to show conditions (pressure, temperature, volume, etc.) at which thermodynamically distinct phases (such as solid, liquid or gaseous states) occur and coexist at equilibrium. Common components of a phase diagram are lines of equilibrium or phase boundaries, which refer to lines that mark conditions under which multiple phases can coexist at equilibrium. Phase transitions occur along lines of equilibrium.

Temperature

Temperature is a physical quantity that expresses quantitatively the perceptions of hotness and coldness. Temperature is measured with a thermometer. Thermometers are calibrated in various temperature scales that historically have relied on various reference points and thermometric substances for definition. The most common scales are the Celsius scale with the unit symbol °C (formerly called centigrade), the Fahrenheit scale (°F), and the Kelvin scale (K), the latter being used predominantly for scientific purposes.