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HEP: Quantum Entanglement, the Architecture of Space-time and Tensor Networks

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Bartlomiej Czech, Stanford University
27 January 2016 from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
339 Davey Laboratory
Contact Name
Sarah Shandera
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The holographic duality (AdS/CFT correspondence)

reformulates a conformal field theory (CFT) in terms of an emergent

gravitational space-time (AdS) with an extra spatial dimension. Recent

advances occasioned a fascinating but still unproven conjecture about

the fabric of the AdS space-time: that it is made up of and held

together by quantum entanglement in the CFT. I will discuss how in the

AdS3/CFT2 context this rough statement becomes a precise, quantitative

dictionary, with consequences ranging from quantum gravity to new

findings in many-body physics. A key trick is to view the AdS3

space-time as a network of geodesics (straight lines). We will

discover that each geodesic is a basic carrier of quantum correlations

(conditional mutual information) in the CFT. In fact, weaving a

space-time from interlocking geodesics is a familiar operation in

many-body physics: it is equivalent to drawing a Multi-scale

Entanglement Renormalization Ansatz (MERA) tensor network for the

wave-function of the CFT state. If time permits, I will explain how this

insight allows us to effortlessly extract the thermal density operator from

a MERA representation of the ground state wave-function. The talk will

end with a discussion of the many future prospects of relating the

architecture of space-time to quantum entanglement.