Entanglement entropy and anomaly inflow

Taylor L. Hughes, Robert G. Leigh, Onkar Parrikar, Srinidhi T. Ramamurthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study entanglement entropy for parity-violating (time-reversal breaking) quantum field theories on R1,2 in the presence of a domain wall between two distinct parity-odd phases. The domain wall hosts a 1+1-dimensional conformal field theory (CFT) with nontrivial chiral central charge. Such a CFT possesses gravitational anomalies. It has been shown recently that, as a consequence, its intrinsic entanglement entropy is sensitive to Lorentz boosts around the entangling surface. Here, we show using various methods that the entanglement entropy of the three-dimensional bulk theory is also sensitive to such boosts owing to parity-violating effects, and that the bulk response to a Lorentz boost precisely cancels the contribution coming from the domain wall CFT. We argue that this can naturally be interpreted as entanglement inflow (i.e., inflow of entanglement entropy analogous to the familiar Callan-Harvey effect) between the bulk and the domain-wall, mediated by the low-lying states in the entanglement spectrum. These results can be generally applied to 2+1-d topological phases of matter that have edge theories with gravitational anomalies, and provide a precise connection between the gravitational anomaly of the physical edge theory and the low-lying spectrum of the entanglement Hamiltonian.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number065059
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 30 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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