The general question of how an isolated many-particle system prepared in an initial state which is far from equilibrium evolves in time, and how it thermalizes if at all, is an important and puzzling question. I will first give a brief review of past theory and experiments and in the process highlight open questions. I will then present results for nonequilibrium dynamics of a strongly interacting quantum system and show that the dynamics can be very rich by being characterized by several time scales. One is a short time regime which depends on microscopic parameters, the second is an intermediate time prethermalized regime where the system gets trapped in metastable states that can show intriguing universal features independent of microscopic details, and finally there is a long time regime where the system can eventually thermalize by acting as its own reservoir with a self-generated dissipation and a temperature. For certain situations I will show that the dynamics of closed quantum systems can lead to new kinds of nonequilibrium phase transitions associated with non-analytic behavior during the time-evolution.
Coffee and cookies before the presentation at 3:15 pm, and refreshments after the presentation will both be served in Room 128.