Entanglement Entropy of Eigenstates of Quadratic Fermionic Hamiltonians

Lev Vidmar, Lucas Hackl, Eugenio Bianchi, Marcos Rigol

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86 Scopus citations


In a seminal paper [D. N. Page, Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 1291 (1993)PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.71.1291], Page proved that the average entanglement entropy of subsystems of random pure states is Save≃lnDA-(1/2)DA2/D for 1 DA≤D, where DA and D are the Hilbert space dimensions of the subsystem and the system, respectively. Hence, typical pure states are (nearly) maximally entangled. We develop tools to compute the average entanglement entropy S of all eigenstates of quadratic fermionic Hamiltonians. In particular, we derive exact bounds for the most general translationally invariant models lnDA-(lnDA)2/lnD≤S≤lnDA-[1/(2ln2)](lnDA)2/lnD. Consequently, we prove that (i) if the subsystem size is a finite fraction of the system size, then S<lnDA in the thermodynamic limit; i.e., the average over eigenstates of the Hamiltonian departs from the result for typical pure states, and (ii) in the limit in which the subsystem size is a vanishing fraction of the system size, the average entanglement entropy is maximal; i.e., typical eigenstates of such Hamiltonians exhibit eigenstate thermalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number020601
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 11 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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