Abstract: | In this thesis we will explore entanglement of various subsystems in quantum field theory, and its uses for describing underlying structure of states. We begin this journey by focusing on topological quantum field theory in chapters 1 and 2. These chapters are based heavily upon the papers [1] and [2, 3], respectively. In the introduction to chapter 1 we take the opportunity to recall the definition of bipartite entanglement entropy in quantum field theory and describe, briefly, how the entropy associated to connected spatial subregions provides a signature of topological order at the level of the wave-function. In particular, for a gapped phase with topological order, we recapitulate how the sub-leading correction to the “area-law” of the entanglement entropy contains coarse information about the topological phase while also being insensitive to the short-distance details of the underlying theory. We then present results that show that this sub-leading correction can also detect the class of interactions that glue a subregion to its complement. In principle, the subregion could be a different topological phase than its complement, and so we say that the entanglement entropy provides a signature of the interface between topological phases. In showing this, we discuss the classes of interactions between gapped topological phases and how they are represented as boundary conditions in the low-energy effective topological field theory, which in this case is an Abelian Chern-Simons theory. Using these boundary conditions, we perform path-integral calculations of the entanglement entropy using the replica trick and show that the universal contribution does indeed depend on the class of boundary conditions, and the gapped topological phases of the subsystem and its complement. To finish this chapter we reformulate this problem at the level of the Hilbert space and show how these universal contributions are related to resolving a generic ambiguity in defining subsystems of field theories with gauge invariance.
We continue in the theme of topological field theories for chapter 2. Here we will shift focus from subregions of a connected spatial slice to disconnected spatial regions in an effort to explore, firstly, how long-range entanglement is encoded in topological field theory, and secondly, how that entanglement is encoded amongst multiple parties. We begin with a brief introduction of multi-party entanglement and recall the classification of three-party entanglement. Moving on to our specific setup, we describe the construction of states on multiple non-intersecting torus boundaries. Generically, these are states on link complements where the torus boundaries can be thought of as the edges of thickened closed strings entwined and knotted inside a compact manifold, which we will take to be the three-sphere. The wave-functions of these states are represented by various link invariants (such as the Gauss linking number for Abelian links, and Jones polynomial for SU(2)). We will exhibit several examples of multi-component links in both the Abelian and the SU(2) theories, and afterwards discuss generic features of the entanglement of link states in Chern-Simons theories with a compact group. In this discussion, we will conjecture a classification (albeit broad) of links via multi-partite entanglement of their corresponding states. We will end the chapter moving away from compact groups and discuss hyperbolic links in SL(2,C) Chern-Simons theory in the semi-classical limit. In particular, utilizing the generalized volume conjecture, we will show that the entanglement structure of hyperbolic links is greatly constrained in this semi-classical limit.
Finally, in chapter 3 we switch gears and discuss renormalization of free bosonic field theory. The content of this chapter is drawn from the work of [4]. Motivated by work establishing duality between the singlet sector of O(N) vector models at large N and higher spin gauge theory on Anti de Sitter (AdS) space, we develop an exact renormalization group (ERG) framework for discussing the renormalization of a large class of O(N) singlet states. We will show that for the ground state and the excited states in this class the ERG is implemented by the action of unitary operators (that can be taken to be local). Consequently, the ERG framework can be regarded as a continuum tensor network. We contrast this tensor network with some well known tensor network renormalization schemes such as the muti-scale entanglement renormalization ansatz (MERA) and its proposed continuum version (cMERA). We also comment on the nature of this network with ordinary Wilsonian renormalization. One of the central features of the ERG network is how it acts on the momentum space entanglement of the field theory. In particular, we argue that for excited states, the ERG disentangles modes that lie just above and below the UV cutoff. |