Entanglement, recoherence and information flow in an accelerated detector - Quantum field system: Implications for the black hole information issue

Shih Yuin Lin, B. L. Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We study an exactly solvable model where a uniformly accelerated detector is linearly coupled to a massless scalar field initially in the Minkowski vacuum. Using the exact correlation functions obtained in Lin and Hu (2006 Phys. Rev. D 73 124018, 2007 Phys. Rev. D 76 064008) we show that as soon as the coupling is switched on one can see information flowing from the detector to the field and propagating with the radiation into null infinity. By expressing the reduced density matrix of the detector in terms of the two-point functions, we calculate the purity function in the detector and study the evolution of quantum entanglement between the detector and the field. Only in the ultraweak coupling regime could some degree of recoherence in the detector appear at late times, but never in full restoration. We explicitly show that under the most general conditions the detector never recovers its quantum coherence and the entanglement between the detector and the field remains large at late times. To the extent that this model can be used as an analog to the system of a black hole interacting with a quantum field, our result seems to suggest in the prevalent non-Markovian regime, assuming unitarity for the combined system, that black hole information is not lost but transferred to the quantum field degrees of freedom. Our combined system will evolve into a highly entangled state between a remnant of large area (in Bekenstein's black hole atom analog) without any information of its initial state, and the quantum field, now imbued with complex information content not-so-easily retrievable by a local observer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154004
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Volume25
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Aug 7

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information flow
detectors
analogs
restoration
infinity
purity
degrees of freedom
scalars
vacuum

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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abstract = "We study an exactly solvable model where a uniformly accelerated detector is linearly coupled to a massless scalar field initially in the Minkowski vacuum. Using the exact correlation functions obtained in Lin and Hu (2006 Phys. Rev. D 73 124018, 2007 Phys. Rev. D 76 064008) we show that as soon as the coupling is switched on one can see information flowing from the detector to the field and propagating with the radiation into null infinity. By expressing the reduced density matrix of the detector in terms of the two-point functions, we calculate the purity function in the detector and study the evolution of quantum entanglement between the detector and the field. Only in the ultraweak coupling regime could some degree of recoherence in the detector appear at late times, but never in full restoration. We explicitly show that under the most general conditions the detector never recovers its quantum coherence and the entanglement between the detector and the field remains large at late times. To the extent that this model can be used as an analog to the system of a black hole interacting with a quantum field, our result seems to suggest in the prevalent non-Markovian regime, assuming unitarity for the combined system, that black hole information is not lost but transferred to the quantum field degrees of freedom. Our combined system will evolve into a highly entangled state between a remnant of large area (in Bekenstein's black hole atom analog) without any information of its initial state, and the quantum field, now imbued with complex information content not-so-easily retrievable by a local observer.",
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