Date of Award

2020

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Physics & Astronomy

First Advisor

Vijay Balasubramanian

Abstract

We present a collection of recent results concerning quantum information theory applied to quantum gravity. We first study the entanglement structure of Euclidean path integral states in SU(2) Chern-Simons theory, where we elucidate a connection between topological entanglement and quantum mechanical entanglement. We prove that the topology of certain three-manifolds controls the entanglement structure of the resulting quantum state, and conjecture a more general relationship for arbitrary three-manifolds. We then analyze the quantum circuit complexity of the time evolution operator in the Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev model, a theory of near-extremal black hole microstates. We find that this complexity grows linearly for a time exponential in the entropy, modulo a caveat concerning global obstructions to the growth of the distance function along geodesics, which we do not rule out. This constitutes a partial proof of Susskind’s conjecture about the complexity growth of black holes. Finally, we address the black hole information paradox in three dimensions by considering a toy model of black hole microstates in the form of an end-of-the-world brane. This brane carries a quantum theory which is itself holographic, and we compute entanglement entropies in the glued dual geometry by using a Ryu-Takayanagi formula where the minimal entropy surface can pass through the gluing surface.

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