We numerically analyse the behavior of the full distribution of collective observables in quantum spin chains. While most of previous studies of quantum critical phenomena are limited to the first moments, here we demonstrate how quantum fluctuations at criticality lead to highly non-Gaussian distributions. Interestingly, we show that the distributions for different system sizes collapse on thesame curve after scaling for a wide range of transitions: first and second order quantum transitions and transitions of the Berezinskii–Kosterlitz–Thouless type. We propose and analyse the feasibility of an experimental reconstruction of the distribution using light–matter interfaces for atoms in optical lattices or in optical resonators.
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De Chiara, G. (Creator) & Moreno-Cardoner, M. (Creator), Queen's University Belfast, 2015