Unitary-projective entanglement dynamics

18 Mar 2019  ·  Chan Amos, Nandkishore Rahul M., Pretko Michael, Smith Graeme ·

Starting from a state of low quantum entanglement, local unitary time evolution increases the entanglement of a quantum many-body system. In contrast, local projective measurements disentangle degrees of freedom and decrease entanglement... We study the interplay of these competing tendencies by considering time evolution combining both unitary and projective dynamics. We begin by constructing a toy model of Bell pair dynamics which demonstrates that measurements can keep a system in a state of low (i.e. area law) entanglement, in contrast with the volume law entanglement produced by generic pure unitary time evolution. While the simplest Bell pair model has area law entanglement for any measurement rate, as seen in certain non-interacting systems, we show that more generic models of entanglement can feature an area-to-volume law transition at a critical value of the measurement rate, in agreement with recent numerical investigations. As a concrete example of these ideas, we analytically investigate Clifford evolution in qubit systems which can exhibit an entanglement transition. We are able to identify stabilizer size distributions characterizing the area law, volume law and critical 'fixed points.' We also discuss Floquet random circuits, where the answers depend on the order of limits - one order of limits yields area law entanglement for any non-zero measurement rate, whereas a different order of limits allows for an area law - volume law transition. Finally, we provide a rigorous argument that a system subjected to projective measurements can only exhibit a volume law entanglement entropy if it also features a subleading correction term, which provides a universal signature of projective dynamics in the high-entanglement phase. Note: The results presented here supersede those of all previous versions of this manuscript, which contained some erroneous claims. read more

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Statistical Mechanics Disordered Systems and Neural Networks Strongly Correlated Electrons Quantum Physics