Entanglement entropy of a quantum unbinding transition and entropy of DNA
Institute of Physics - Bhubaneswar 751 005, India
Accepted: 7 March 2012
Two significant consequences of quantum fluctuations are entanglement and criticality. Entangled states may not be critical but a critical state shows signatures of universality in entanglement. A surprising result found here is that the entanglement entropy may become arbitrarily large and negative near the dissociation of a bound pair of quantum particles. Although apparently counterintuitive, it is shown to be consistent and essential for the phase transition, by mapping to a classical problem of DNA melting. We associate the entanglement entropy to a sub-extensive part of the entropy of DNA bubbles, which is responsible for melting. The absence of any extensivity requirement in time makes this negative entropy an inevitable consequence of quantum mechanics in continuum. Our results encompass quantum critical points and first-order transitions in general dimensions.
PACS: 05.30.Rt – Quantum phase transitions / 03.65.Ud – Entanglement and quantum nonlocality (e.g. EPR paradox, Bell's inequalities, GHZ states, etc.) / 87.14.gk – DNA
© EPLA, 2012