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Entropy and the Spectral Action


We compute the information theoretic von Neumann entropy of the state associated to the fermionic second quantization of a spectral triple. We show that this entropy is given by the spectral action of the spectral triple for a specific universal function. The main result of our paper is the surprising relation between this function and the Riemann zeta function. It manifests itself in particular by the values of the coefficients \({c(d)}\) by which it multiplies the d dimensional terms in the heat expansion of the spectral triple. We find that \({c(d)}\) is the product of the Riemann xi function evaluated at \({-d}\) by an elementary expression. In particular \({c(4)}\) is a rational multiple of \({\zeta(5)}\) and \({c(2)}\) a rational multiple of \({\zeta(3)}\). The functional equation gives a duality between the coefficients in positive dimension, which govern the high energy expansion, and the coefficients in negative dimension, exchanging even dimension with odd dimension.


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The work of A. H. C is supported in part by the National Science Foundation Grant No. Phys-1518371. A. H. C would also like to thank Institute forMathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics, Radboud University Nijmegen for hospitality where part of this work was done. The involved research has partly been enabled by a Radboud Excellence Professorship awarded to Prof. Chamseddine. WvS would like to thank Sijbrand de Jong for stimulating discussions on entropy and the spectral action. WvS thanks IHÉS for hospitality during a visit in early 2018, as well as NWO for support via VIDI-Grant 016.133.326.

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Correspondence to Walter D. van Suijlekom.

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Communicated by Y. Kawahigashi

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Chamseddine, A.H., Connes, A. & van Suijlekom, W.D. Entropy and the Spectral Action. Commun. Math. Phys. 373, 457–471 (2020).

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