Scaling of entanglement close to a quantum phase transition

A OsterlohRosario Fazio


Classical phase transitions occur when a physical system reaches a state below a critical temperature characterized by macroscopic order. Quantum phase transitions occur at absolute zero; they are induced by the change of an external parameter or coupling constant, and are driven by quantum fluctuations. Examples include transitions in quantum Hall systems, localization in Si-MOSFETs (metal oxide silicon field-effect transistors; ref. 4) and the superconductor-insulator transition in two-dimensional systems. Both classical and quantum critical points are governed by a diverging correlation length, although quantum systems possess additional correlations that do not have a classical counterpart. This phenomenon, known as entanglement, is the resource that enables quantum computation and communication. The role of entanglement at a phase transition is not captured by statistical mechanics-a complete classification of the critical many-body state requires the introduction of concepts from quantum information theory. Here we connect the theory of critical phenomena with quantum information by exploring the entangling resources of a system close to its quantum critical point. We demonstrate, for a class of one-dimensional magnetic s...Continue Reading


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