Information measures for a local quantum phase transition: Lattice fermions in a one-dimensional harmonic trap

Yicheng Zhang, Lev Vidmar, Marcos Rigol

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12 Scopus citations


We use quantum information measures to study the local quantum phase transition that occurs for trapped spinless fermions in one-dimensional lattices. We focus on the case of a harmonic confinement. The transition occurs upon increasing the characteristic density and results in the formation of a band-insulating domain in the center of the trap. We show that the ground-state bipartite entanglement entropy can be used as an order parameter to characterize this local quantum phase transition. We also study excited eigenstates by calculating the average von Neumann and second Renyi eigenstate entanglement entropies, and compare the results with the thermodynamic entropy and the mutual information of thermal states at the same energy density. While at low temperatures we observe a linear increase of the thermodynamic entropy with temperature at all characteristic densities, the average eigenstate entanglement entropies exhibit a strikingly different behavior as functions of temperature below and above the transition. They are linear in temperature below the transition but exhibit activated behavior above it. Hence, at nonvanishing energy densities above the ground state, the average eigenstate entanglement entropies carry fingerprints of the local quantum phase transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number023605
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 5 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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