Constraining quantum fields using modular theory

  • Nima LashkariEmail author
Open Access
Regular Article - Theoretical Physics


Tomita-Takesaki modular theory provides a set of algebraic tools in quantum field theory that is suitable for the study of the information-theoretic properties of states. For every open set in spacetime and choice of two states, the modular theory defines a positive operator known as the relative modular operator that decreases monotonically under restriction to subregions. We study the consequences of this operator monotonicity inequality for correlation functions in quantum field theory. We do so by constructing a one-parameter Rényi family of information-theoretic measures from the relative modular operator that inherit monotonicity by construction and reduce to correlation functions in special cases. In the case of finite quantum systems, this Rényi family is the sandwiched Rényi divergence and we obtain a simple proof of its monotonicity. Its monotonicity implies a class of constraints on correlation functions in quantum field theory, only a small set of which were known to us. We explore these inequalities for free fields and conformal field theory. We conjecture that the second null derivative of Rényi divergence is non-negative which is a generalization of the quantum null energy condition to the Rényi family.


Field Theories in Higher Dimensions Space-Time Symmetries 


Open Access

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced StudyPrincetonU.S.A.

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