"Bit threads and holographic entanglement"

Date: 
Mon, 12/04/2017 - 2:10pm
Location: 
Pupin Hall Theory Center, 8th Floor

Matt Headrick

Brandeis University

"Bit threads and holographic entanglement"

The by-now classic Ryu-Takayanagi formula associates the entanglement entropy of a spatial region in a holographic field theory with the area of a certain minimal surface in the bulk. As I will explain, despite its simplicity and beauty, this formula raises a number of stubborn conceptual problems. I will present a reformulation that does not involve the areas of surfaces, and that leads to a picture of entanglement in the field theory being carried by Planck-thickness "bit threads" in the bulk. I will argue that this picture helps to resolve a number of the conceptual difficulties surrounding the RT formula, and that it illuminates the special entanglement structure of holographic systems.