Regenesis and quantum traversable wormholes

  • Ping GaoEmail author
  • Hong Liu
Open Access
Regular Article - Theoretical Physics


Recent gravity discussions of a traversable wormhole indicate that in holographic systems signals generated by a source could reappear long after they have dissipated, with the need of only performing some simple operations. In this paper we argue the phenomenon, to which we refer as “regenesis”, is universal in general quantum chaotic many-body systems, and elucidate its underlying physics. The essential elements behind the phenomenon are: (i) scrambling which in a chaotic system makes out-of-time-ordered correlation functions (OTOCs) vanish at large times; (ii) the entanglement structure of the state of the system. The latter aspect also implies that the regenesis phenomenon requires fine tuning of the initial state. Compared to other manifestations of quantum chaos such as the initial growth of OTOCs which deals with early times, and a random matrix-type energy spectrum which reflects very large time behavior, regenesis concerns with intermediate times, of order the scrambling time of a system. We also study the phenomenon in detail in general two-dimensional conformal field theories in the large central charge limit, and highlight some interesting features including a resonant enhancement of regenesis signals near the scrambling time and their oscillations in coupling. Finally, we discuss gravity implications of the phenomenon for systems with a gravity dual, arguing that there exist regimes for which traversability of a wormhole is quantum in nature, i.e. cannot be associated with a semi-classical spacetime causal structure.


AdS-CFT Correspondence Conformal Field Theory Holography and condensed matter physics (AdS/CMT) 


Open Access

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for the Fundamental Laws of NatureHarvard UniversityCambridgeU.S.A.
  2. 2.Center for Theoretical PhysicsMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeU.S.A.

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