SciPost Submission Page

Local Operator Entanglement in Spin Chains

by Eric Mascot, Masahiro Nozaki, Masaki Tezuka

Submission summary

As Contributors: Eric Mascot
Arxiv Link: (pdf)
Date submitted: 2021-01-20 08:02
Submitted by: Mascot, Eric
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Academic field: Physics
  • Information Theory
  • Condensed Matter Physics - Theory
  • High-Energy Physics - Theory
  • Quantum Physics
Approach: Theoretical


We study the time evolution of bi- and tripartite operator mutual information of the time-evolution operator and Pauli's spin operators in the one-dimensional Ising model with magnetic field and the disordered Heisenberg model. In the Ising model, the early-time evolution qualitatively follows an effective light cone picture, and the late-time value is well described by Page's value for a random pure state. In the Heisenberg model with strong disorder, we find many-body localization prevents the information from propagating and being delocalized. We also find an effective Ising Hamiltonian describes the time evolution of bi- and tripartite operator mutual information for the Heisenberg model in the large disorder regime.

Current status:
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Submission & Refereeing History

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Submission 2012.14609v3 on 20 January 2021

Reports on this Submission

Anonymous Report 1 on 2021-4-30 Invited Report


This paper presents numerical data for entanglement measures in a chaotic and a disordered chain, namely the mutual information and the “tripartite mutual information” for time-evolving operators. It is clear that considerable work has gone into the generation of the data and the presentation of this data and of background material. However, this manuscript does not appear to me to be publishable in Scipost. What is lacking is (a) a clearly defined motivation for studying these quantities and (b) clear lessons from the numerical data. The reader is shown many plots without necessarily knowing what to infer from them.

The authors do make attempts to interpret some of the findings (they describe a “light cone picture”, they use some basic properties of strongly entangled states, and they invoke the l-bit picture for many-body localization in the disordered case). However these theoretical accounts seem relatively limited. For example the discussion of the chaotic phase is not quantitative (except in the relatively simple t->∞ limit).

The observables considered are linear combinations of operator entanglement entropies. Therefore in the chaotic phase existing ideas can be used to give a more quantitative account of their behavior, to the extent that this is universal at large scales. The scaling theory for operator entanglement in chaotic chains of Ref 19 applies here.

Regardless of the presence or absence of a theoretical explanation, clearer physical motivation for studying these quantities is needed. If I understand correctly, the idea behind the tripartite information of a channel in previous work was to determine whether information that is initially encoded locally is encoded locally or globally after the application of the channel. In the present paper the context is different (local operators) and the motivation is less clear to me. It is true that the local operators studied here happen to be unitary, so they can be viewed as channels if desired, but the authors do not give an argument that it is useful to do this.

The paper is currently rather long. The authors might wish to decide what the key message(s) of their paper should be, and cut down the length and the number of figures in the main text to give the paper some focus.

Here are more specific comments.

Eq 1 - I understand the general idea the authors are trying to convey, but this equation is not correct and neither is the claimed relation between energy and temperature, in general.

Eq 3 - missing normalization

Eq 5 - can this be reformulated to be clearer?

Eq 9 - this quantity is claimed to be “exponentially large” - isn’t it bounded and of order 1 in the models studied here?

Sec 2.2. “we expect quantum information to be preserved locally”. Generically only classical information is preserved locally in the MBL phase (the z-component of the l-bit is conserved but not the x-component).

p6 “robust against noise” What is meant here? Noise (time-dependent fluctuations in the Hamiltonian) will generically destroy the MBL phase.

“linear in non-interacting systems or general non-integrable systems without localization”. This statement assumes translational invariance. Otherwise, sublinear growth is possible, even without localization.

p9 “unless O is the identity operator” This is not correct, there are other O with this property

p10, 11 contain many vague (e.g. “unrelated to each other”, “data regarding the local entanglement structure”) or repetitive statements

p19 should S_A,B be I_A,B?

  • validity: -
  • significance: -
  • originality: -
  • clarity: -
  • formatting: -
  • grammar: -

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