Unitary circuits of finite depth and infinite width from quantum channels

Sarang Gopalakrishnan, Austen Lamacraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


We introduce an approach to compute the spectra of reduced density matrices for local quantum unitary circuits of finite depth and infinite width. Suppose the time-evolved state under the circuit is a matrix-product state with bond dimension D; then the reduced density matrix of a half-infinite system has the same spectrum as an appropriate D×D matrix acting on an ancilla space. We show that reduced density matrices at different spatial cuts are related by quantum channels acting on the ancilla space. This quantum channel approach allows for efficient numerical evaluation of the entanglement spectrum and Rényi entropies and their spatial fluctuations at finite times in an infinite system. We benchmark our numerical method on random unitary circuits, where many analytic results are available, and also show how our approach analytically recovers the behavior of the kicked Ising model at the self-dual point. We study various properties of the spectra of the reduced density matrices and their spatial fluctuations in both the random and translation-invariant cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064309
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 29 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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