Nodal-line entanglement entropy: Generalized Widom formula from entanglement Hamiltonians
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A system of fermions forming a Fermi surface exhibits a large degree of quantum entanglement, even in the absence of interactions. In particular, the usual case of a codimension one Fermi surface leads to a logarithmic violation of the area law for entanglement entropy as dictated by the Widom formula. We here generalize this formula to the case of arbitrary codimension, which is of particular interest for nodal lines in three dimensions. We first re-derive the standard Widom formula by calculating an entanglement Hamiltonian for Fermi-surface systems, obtained by repurposing a trick commonly applied to relativistic theories. The entanglement Hamiltonian will take a local form in terms of a low-energy patch theory for the Fermi surface, although it is nonlocal with respect to the microscopic fermions. This entanglement Hamiltonian can then be used to derive the entanglement entropy, yielding a result in agreement with the Widom formula. The method is then generalized to arbitrary codimension. For nodal lines, the area law is obeyed, and the magnitude of the coefficient for a particular partition is nonuniversal. However, the coefficient has a universal dependence on the shape and orientation of the nodal line relative to the partitioning surface. By comparing the relative magnitude of the area law for different partitioning cuts, entanglement entropy can be used as a tool for diagnosing the presence and shape of a nodal line in a ground-state wave function.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics
Physical Review B
American Physical Society
Pretko, Michael. “Nodal-Line Entanglement Entropy: Generalized Widom Formula from Entanglement Hamiltonians.” Physical Review B 95.23 (2017): n. pag. © 2017 American Physical Society
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