Using the AdS/CFT correspondence, we probe the scale-dependence of thermalization in strongly coupled field theories following a quench, via calculations of two-point functions, Wilson loops and entanglement entropy in d=2,3,4. In the saddlepoint approximation these probes are computed in AdS space in terms of invariant geometric objects - geodesics, minimal surfaces and minimal volumes. Our calculations for two-dimensional field theories are analytical. In our strongly coupled setting, all probes in all dimensions share certain universal features in their thermalization: (1) a slight delay in the onset of thermalization, (2) an apparent non-analyticity at the endpoint of thermalization, (3) top-down thermalization where the UV thermalizes first. For homogeneous initial conditions the entanglement entropy thermalizes slowest, and sets a timescale for equilibration that saturates a causality bound over the range of scales studied. The growth rate of entanglement entropy density is nearly volume-independent for small volumes, but slows for larger volumes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number026010
Number of pages31
JournalPhys. Rev. D
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2011

    Research areas

  • entropy : entanglement, entropy : density, space : anti-de-Sitter, surface : minimal, dimension : 2, dimension : 3, dimension : 4, strong coupling, saddle-point approximation, AdS/CFT correspondance, boundary condition, two-point function, scale dependence, Wilson loop, causality, quenching

ID: 2091651