Authors: Gomez-Ruiz, Fernando J.; Subires, David; del Campo, Adolfo


Publication date: 2022/10/10

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.106.134302

Abstract: In a scenario of spontaneous symmetry breaking in finite time, topological defects are generated at a density that scales with the driving time according to the Kibble-Zurek mechanism (KZM). Signatures of universality beyond the KZM have recently been unveiled: The number distribution of topological defects has been shown to follow a binomial distribution, in which all cumulants inherit the universal power-law scaling with the quench rate, with cumulant rations being constant. In this work, we analyze the role of boundary conditions in the statistics of topological defects. In particular, we consider a lattice system with nearest-neighbor interactions subject to soft antiperiodic, open, and periodic boundary conditions implemented by an energy penalty term. We show that for fast and moderate quenches, the cumulants of the kink number distribution present a universal scaling with the quench rate that is independent of the boundary conditions except for an additive term, which becomes prominent in the limit of slow quenches, leading to the breaking of power-law behavior. We test our theoretical predictions with a one-dimensional scalar theory on a lattice.