Douglas Stanford

Douglas Stanford
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Douglas Stanford

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High Energy Physics - Theory (22)
Quantum Physics (5)
Physics - Strongly Correlated Electrons (3)
Physics - Statistical Mechanics (2)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (2)
Nonlinear Sciences - Chaotic Dynamics (1)

Publications Authored By Douglas Stanford

We study various aspects of wormholes that are made traversable by an interaction beween the two asymptotic boundaries. We concentrate on the case of nearly-$AdS_2$ gravity and discuss a very simple mechanical picture for the gravitational dynamics. We derive a formula for the two sided correlators that includes the effect of gravitational backreaction, which limits the amount of information we can send through the wormhole. Read More

The SYK model is a quantum mechanical model that has been proposed to be holographically dual to a $1+1$-dimensional model of a quantum black hole. An emergent "gravitational" mode of this model is governed by an unusual action that that has been called the Schwarzian action. It governs a reparametrization of a circle. Read More

We argue that the late time behavior of horizon fluctuations in large anti-de Sitter (AdS) black holes is governed by the random matrix dynamics characteristic of quantum chaotic systems. Our main tool is the Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev (SYK) model, which we use as a simple model of a black hole. We use an analytically continued partition function $|Z(\beta +it)|^2$ as well as correlation functions as diagnostics. Read More

The Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev model is a $(0+1)$-dimensional model describing Majorana fermions or complex fermions with random interactions. This model has various interesting properties such as approximate local criticality (power law correlation in time), zero temperature entropy, and quantum chaos. In this article, we propose a higher dimensional generalization of the Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev model, which is a lattice model with $N$ Majorana fermions at each site and random interactions between them. Read More

We discuss the time dependence of subsystem entropies in interacting quantum systems. As a model for the time dependence, we suggest that the entropy is as large as possible given two constraints: one follows from the existence of an emergent light cone, and the other is a conjecture associated to the "entanglement velocity" $v_E$. We compare this model to new holographic and spin chain computations, and to an operator growth picture. Read More

We study a two dimensional dilaton gravity system, recently examined by Almheiri and Polchinski, which describes near extremal black holes, or more generally, nearly $AdS_2$ spacetimes. The asymptotic symmetries of $AdS_2$ are all the time reparametrizations of the boundary. These symmetries are spontaneously broken by the $AdS_2$ geometry and they are explicitly broken by the small deformation away from $AdS_2$. Read More

We study a quantum mechanical model proposed by Sachdev, Ye and Kitaev. The model consists of $N$ Majorana fermions with random interactions of a few fermions at a time. It it tractable in the large $N$ limit, where the classical variable is a bilocal fermion bilinear. Read More

The strength of chaos in large $N$ quantum systems can be quantified using $\lambda_L$, the rate of growth of certain out-of-time-order four point functions. We calculate $\lambda_L$ to leading order in a weakly coupled matrix $\Phi^4$ theory by numerically diagonalizing a ladder kernel. The computation reduces to an essentially classical problem. Read More

We conjecture a sharp bound on the rate of growth of chaos in thermal quantum systems with a large number of degrees of freedom. Chaos can be diagnosed using an out-of-time-order correlation function closely related to the commutator of operators separated in time. We conjecture that the influence of chaos on this correlator can develop no faster than exponentially, with Lyapunov exponent $\lambda_L \le 2 \pi k_B T/\hbar$. Read More

In [1] we gave a precise holographic calculation of chaos at the scrambling time scale. We studied the influence of a small perturbation, long in the past, on a two-sided correlation function in the thermofield double state. A similar analysis applies to squared commutators and other out-of-time-order one-sided correlators [2-4]. Read More

We study chaotic dynamics in two-dimensional conformal field theory through out-of-time order thermal correlators of the form $\langle W(t)VW(t)V\rangle$. We reproduce bulk calculations similar to those of [1], by studying the large $c$ Virasoro identity block. The contribution of this block to the above correlation function begins to decrease exponentially after a delay of $\sim t_* - \frac{\beta}{2\pi}\log \beta^2E_w E_v$, where $t_*$ is the scrambling time $\frac{\beta}{2\pi}\log c$, and $E_w,E_v$ are the energy scales of the $W,V$ operators. Read More

We study products of precursors of spatially local operators, $W_{x_{n}}(t_{n}) ... Read More

In this paper we refine a conjecture relating the time-dependent size of an Einstein-Rosen bridge to the computational complexity of the of the dual quantum state. Our refinement states that the complexity is proportional to the spatial volume of the ERB. More precisely, up to an ambiguous numerical coefficient, we propose that the complexity is the regularized volume of the largest codimension one surface crossing the bridge, divided by $G_N l_{AdS}$. Read More

Using gauge/gravity duality, we explore a class of states of two CFTs with a large degree of entanglement, but with very weak local two-sided correlation. These states are constructed by perturbing the thermofield double state with thermal-scale operators that are local at different times. Acting on the dual black hole geometry, these perturbations create an intersecting network of shock waves, supporting a very long wormhole. Read More

The black hole final state proposal reconciles the infalling vacuum with the unitarity of the Hawking radiation, but only for some experiments. We study experiments that first verify the exterior, then the interior purification of the same Hawking particle. (This is the same protocol that renders the firewall paradox operationally meaningful in standard quantum mechanics. Read More

We use holography to study sensitive dependence on initial conditions in strongly coupled field theories. Specifically, we mildly perturb a thermofield double state by adding a small number of quanta on one side. If these quanta are released a scrambling time in the past, they destroy the local two-sided correlations present in the unperturbed state. Read More

We address proposed alternatives to the black hole firewall. We show that embedding the interior Hilbert space of an old black hole into the Hilbert space of the early radiation is inconsistent, as is embedding the semi-classical interior of an AdS black hole into any dual CFT Hilbert space. We develop the use of large AdS black holes as a system to sharpen the firewall argument. Read More

We examine the degree to which fluctuating dynamics on exponentially expanding spaces remember initial conditions. In de Sitter space, the global late-time configuration of a free scalar field always contains information about early fluctuations. By contrast, fluctuations near the boundary of Euclidean Anti-de Sitter may or may not remember conditions in the center, with a transition at \Delta=d/2. Read More

It has been argued that the only mathematically precise quantum descriptions of gravitating systems are from vantage points which allow an unbounded amount of information to be gathered. For an eternally inflating universe that means a hat, i.e. Read More

Many proposed quantum mechanical models of black holes include highly nonlocal interactions. The time required for thermalization to occur in such models should reflect the relaxation times associated with classical black holes in general relativity. Moreover, the time required for a particularly strong form of thermalization to occur, sometimes known as scrambling, determines the time scale on which black holes should start to release information. Read More

In this paper we introduce a simple discrete stochastic model of eternal inflation that shares many of the most important features of the continuum theory as it is now understood. The model allows us to construct a multiverse and rigorously analyze its properties. Although simple and easy to solve, it has a rich mathematical structure underlying it. Read More

Dual AdS/CFT correlators can be computed in two ways: differentiate the bulk partition function with respect to boundary conditions, or extrapolate bulk correlation functions to the boundary. These dictionaries were conjectured to be equivalent by Banks, Douglas, Horowitz, and Martinec. We revisit this question at the level of bulk path integrals, showing that agreement in the presence of interactions requires careful treatment of the renormalization of bulk composite operators. Read More