|Abstract:||The following thesis focuses on the scaling of entanglement entropy in lower dimensions and is divided into three main parts. Chapter 2 studies the thermal reduced density matrices in fermion and spin systems on ladders. Chapter 3 studies the many-body localization phase transition in a Rokhsar-Kivelson type wave function. Chapter 4 studies the subleading correction term of entanglement entropy in 2+1 dimensional scale invariant systems. Chapter 5 studies the bulk-boundary correspondence in 3 + 1 dimensional topological phases and its entanglement entropy.
In chapter 2, we investigate the reduced density matrices for a model of free fermions on a two-leg ladder (gapped by the inter-chain tunneling operator) and in 1/2 spin systems on a ladder with a gapped ground state using exact solutions and several controlled approximations. We calculate the reduced density matrix and the entanglement entropy for a leg of the ladder (i.e. cut made between the chains). In the fermionic system we find the exact form of the reduced density matrix for one of the chains and determine the entanglement spectrum explicitly. Here we find that in the weak tunneling limit of the ladder the entanglement entropy of one chain of the gapped ladder has a simple and universal form dictated by conformal invariance. In the case of the spin system, we consider the strong coupling limit by using perturbation theory and get the reduced density matrix by the Schmidt decomposition. The entanglement entropies of a general gapped system of two coupled conformal field theories (in 1+1 dimensions) is discussed using the replica trick and scaling arguments. We show that 1) for a system with a bulk gap, the reduced density matrix has the form of a thermal density matrix, 2) the long-wavelength modes of one subsystem (a chain) of a gapped coupled system are always thermal, 3) the von Neumann entropy equals to the thermodynamic entropy of one chain, and 4) the bulk gap plays the role of effective temperature.
In chapter 3, we construct a family of many-body wave functions to study the many-body localization phase transition. The wave functions have a Rokhsar-Kivelson form, in which the weight for the configurations are chosen from the Gibbs weights of a classical spin glass model, known as the Random Energy Model, multiplied by a random sign structure to represent a highly excited state. These wave functions show a phase transition into an MBL phase. In addition, we see three regimes of entanglement scaling with subsystem size: scaling with entanglement corresponding to an infinite temperature thermal phase, constant scaling, and a sub-extensive scaling between these limits. Near the phase transition point, the fluctuations of the Renyi entropies are non-Gaussian. We find that Renyi entropies with different Renyi index transition into the MBL phase at different points and have different scaling behavior, suggesting a multifractal behavior.
In chapter 4, we study the universal scaling behavior of the entanglement entropy of critical theories in 2+1 dimensions. We specially consider two fermionic scale-invariant models, free massless Dirac fermions and a model of fermions with quadratic band touching, and numerically study the two-cylinder entanglement entropy of the models on the torus. We find that in both cases the entanglement entropy satisfies the area law and has the subleading term which is a scaling function of the aspect ratios of the cylindrical regions. We test the scaling of entanglement in both the free fermion models using three possible scaling functions for the subleading term derived from a) the quasi-one-dimensional conformal field theory, b) the bosonic quantum Lifshitz model, and c) the holographic AdS/CFT correspondence. For the later case we construct an analytic scaling function using holography, appropriate for critical theories with a gravitational dual description. We find that the subleading term in the fermionic models is well described, for a range of aspect ratios, by the scaling form derived from the quantum Lifshitz model as well as that derived using the AdS/CFT correspondence (in this case only for the Dirac model). For the case where the fermionic models are placed on a square torus we find the fit to the different scaling forms is in agreement to surprisingly high precision.
In chapter 5, we discuss (2+1)-dimensional gapless surface theories of bulk (3+1)-dimensional topological phases, such as the BF theory at level K, and its generalization. In particular, we put these theories on a flat (2+1) dimensional torus T3 parameterized by its modular parameters, and compute the partition functions obeying various twisted boundary conditions. We show the partition functions are transformed into each other under SL(3, Z) modular transformations, and furthermore establish the bulk-boundary correspondence in (3+1) dimensions by matching the modular S and T matrices computed from the boundary field theories with those computed in the bulk. We propose the three-loop braiding statistics can be studied by constructing the modular S and T matrices from an appropriate boundary field theory. We also study the EE for 3 + 1- dimensional topological phase with or without three-loop braiding phase.