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Quantum bit threads

by Andrew Rolph

Submission summary

Authors (as Contributors): Andrew Rolph
Submission information
Arxiv Link: (pdf)
Date accepted: 2023-02-15
Date submitted: 2022-12-21 18:00
Submitted by: Rolph, Andrew
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Ontological classification
Academic field: Physics
  • High-Energy Physics - Theory
Approach: Theoretical


We give a bit thread prescription that is equivalent to the quantum extremal surface prescription for holographic entanglement entropy. Our proposal is inspired by considerations of bit threads in doubly holographic models, and equivalence is established by proving a generalisation of the Riemannian max-flow min-cut theorem. We explore our proposal's properties and discuss ways in which islands and spacetime are emergent phenomena from the quantum bit thread perspective.

Current status:
Accepted in target Journal

Editorial decision: For Journal SciPost Physics: Publish
(status: Editorial decision fixed and (if required) accepted by authors)

Author comments upon resubmission

The referees asked some questions and suggested some changes. In my resubmission, I've made the changes I said I would in the responses to the referees.

List of changes

To address referee 2's comment #3, I've added "Regarding bulk entanglement entropy, we neglect graviton fluctuations and potential issues of bulk
Hilbert space factorisation, as in the FLM and QES proposals" to footnote 2.

To address referee 2's comment #6, I've added "Proposal II is a flow prescription that is equivalent to the FLM surface prescription" to page 6.

To address referee 1's requested change #2, I updated the references to include

Reports on this Submission

Anonymous Report 2 on 2023-1-3 (Invited Report)


The author has considered my comments and implemented the necessary corrections in the manuscript. I'm happy with the current version and recommend the article for publication.

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

Anonymous Report 1 on 2022-12-21 (Invited Report)


1. Provides flow reformulation of QES prescription for computing holographic entanglement entropy using quantum bit threads.
2. Relates quantum bit threads to `double holography'.
3. Comments on relation of quantum bit threads to the emergence of islands.
4. Well written, clear and concise.


This journal's acceptance criteria has been met. Therefore I recommend this article for publication.

Requested changes


  • validity: high
  • significance: high
  • originality: high
  • clarity: top
  • formatting: perfect
  • grammar: perfect

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