Scale invariance usually occurs in extended systems where correlation functions decay algebraically in space and/or time. Here we introduce a new type of scale invariance, occurring in the distribution functions of physical observables. At equilibrium these functions decay over a typical scale set by the temperature, but they can become scale invariant in a sudden quantum quench. We exemplify this effect through the analysis of linear and non-linear quantum oscillators. We find that their distribution functions generically diverge logarithmically close to the stable points of the classical dynamics. Our study opens the possibility to address integrability and its breaking in distribution functions, with immediate applications to matter-wave interferometers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)