An exact and explicit ladder-tensor-network ansatz is presented for the nonequilibrium steady state of an anisotropic Heisenberg XXZ spin-1/2 chain which is driven far from equilibrium with a pair of Lindblad operators acting on the edges of the chain only. We show that the steady-state density operator of a finite system of size n is-apart from a normalization constant-a polynomial of degree 2n - 2 in the coupling constant. Efficient computation of physical observables is facilitated in terms… CONTINUE READING