By analysing the sensitivity to a twist in the boundary conditions of the stationary state attained by a many-body system long after a quantum quench, we extend the concepts of the helicity modulus and the stiffness to non-equilibrium situations. Using these generalised quantities, we characterise the out-of-equilibrium dynamics of hard-core bosons quenched to/from superfluid/insulating phases and show that qualitative new features emerge as compared to the equilibrium case. Our predictions can be tested in experiments with cold bosonic atoms confined in toroidal traps and subject to artificial gauge fields.
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