Skip to main content

Entanglement in a one-dimensional critical state after measurements

Cornell Affiliated Author(s)


Zhou Yang
Dan Mao
Chao-Ming Jian


The entanglement entropy (EE) of the ground state of a one-dimensional Hamiltonian at criticality has a universal logarithmic scaling with a prefactor given by the central charge c of the underlying 1+1d conformal field theory. When the system is probed by measurements, the entanglement in the critical ground state is inevitably affected due to wavefunction collapse. In this paper, we study the effect of weak measurements on the entanglement scaling in the ground state of the one-dimensional critical transverse-field Ising model. For the measurements of the spins along their transverse spin axis, we identify interesting post-measurement states associated with spatially uniform measurement outcomes. The EE in these states still satisfies the logarithmic scaling but with an alternative prefactor given by the effective central charge ceff. We derive the analytical expression of ceff as a function of the measurement strength. Using numerical simulations, we show that for the EE averaged over all post-measurement states based on their Born-rule probabilities, the numerically extracted effective central charge appears to be independent of the measurement strength, contrary to the usual expectation that local and non-overlapping measurements reduce the entanglement in the system. We also examine the behavior of the average EE under (biased) forced measurements where the measurement outcomes are sampled with a pre-determined probability distribution without inter-site correlations. In particular, we find an optimal probability distribution that can serve as a mean-field approximation to the Born-rule probabilities and lead to the same ceff behavior. The effects of the measurements along the longitudinal spin axis and the post-measurement correlation functions are also discussed.

Date Published





Number of Pages




Group (Lab)

Chao-Ming Jian Group

Download citation