Theory of finite-entanglement scaling at one-dimensional quantum critical points

Frank Pollmann, Subroto Mukerjee, Ari M. Turner, Joel E. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

282 Scopus citations


Studies of entanglement in many-particle systems suggest that most quantum critical ground states have infinitely more entanglement than noncritical states. Standard algorithms for one-dimensional systems construct model states with limited entanglement, which are a worse approximation to quantum critical states than to others. We give a quantitative theory of previously observed scaling behavior resulting from finite entanglement at quantum criticality. Finite-entanglement scaling in one-dimensional systems is governed not by the scaling dimension of an operator but by the "central charge" of the critical point. An important ingredient is the universal distribution of density-matrix eigenvalues at a critical point. The parameter-free theory is checked against numerical scaling at several quantum critical points.

Original languageEnglish
Article number255701
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number25
StatePublished - 26 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


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