Quantum decoherence with holography

Shih Hao Ho, Wei Li, Feng Li Lin, Bo Ning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Quantum decoherence is the loss of a system's purity due to its interaction with the surrounding environment. Via the AdS/CFT correspondence, we study how a system decoheres when its environment is a strongly-coupled theory. In the FeynmanVernon formalism, we compute the influence functional holographically by relating it to the generating function of Schwinger-Keldysh propagators and thereby obtain the dynamics of the system's density matrix. We present two exactly solvable examples: (1) a straight string in a BTZ black hole and (2) a scalar probe in AdS5. We prepare an initial state that mimics Schrödinger's cat and identify different stages of its decoherence process using the time-scaling behaviors of Rényi entropy. We also relate decoherence to local quantum quenches, and by comparing the time evolution behaviors of the Wigner function and Rényi entropy we demonstrate that the relaxation of local quantum excitations leads to the collapse of its wave-function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan


  • AdS-CFT Correspondence
  • Black Holes
  • Quantum Dissipative Systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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