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Zenith Grant Awardee

Veronika Hubeny

Durham University


Mukund Rangamani, Durham University

Project Title

Measures of Holographic Information

Project Summary

Whilst information is a concept we have natural intuition for in everyday circumstances, it is less tangible when one asks questions in a microscopic quantum theory. In recent years the subject of quantum information has grown significantly and now one has the mathematical tools to quantify information in a quantum mechanical system. At the same time, inspired by developments in string theory and black holes, one has learnt that gravitational theories are holographic. This means that one can describe them by completely different quantum mechanical degrees of freedom. This is at the heart of the famous gauge/gravity correspondence which treats the gravitational universe as a hologram. While the correspondence has been immensely useful in characterizing many aspects of gravitational physics and also quantum dynamics, we are far from having a complete understanding of this holographic picture. The project aims to employ techniques from the realm of quantum information to address our ignorance about the holographic map. In an explicit sense we would like to crack this holographic code and by doing so unearth the fundamental aspects of how spacetime, geometry, and quantum dynamics are unified in a complete theory.

Technical Abstract

Fascinating information theoretic constructs are increasingly more prominent in science and technology. While recent advances in quantum computing have received much attention even at the popular level, there is a less known and far more surprising aspect to quantum information, related to its potential links to quantum gravity. Early hints of this were suggested by the holographic principle, which bounds the amount of information that can be stored in a given region to the surface area of that region. More explicit and useful realization is increasingly apparent in the context of the remarkable gauge/gravity duality. This framework, among its many virtues, provides a tool for elucidating one of the key questions of quantum gravity, namely the fundamental nature of spacetime. However, to make full use of the duality, we need to understand better the dictionary between the two dual descriptions. We build on our previous work in this area and use recent developments in the field to identify and quantify the nature of information in the holographic map as implemented by the gauge/gravity correspondence. Among other issues we will investigate whether entanglement provides a useful resource for the emergence of geometry from an underlying quantum theory.

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