The entanglement spectrum (ES) has been found to provide useful probes of topological phases of matter and other exotic strongly correlated states. For the system's ground state, the ES is defined as the full eigenvalue spectrum of the reduced density matrix obtained by tracing out the degrees of freedom in part of the system. A key result observed in various topological phases and other gapped systems has been the remarkable correspondence between the ES and the edge-state spectrum. While this correspondence has been analytically proven for some topological phases, it is interesting to ask what systems show this correspondence more generally and how the ES changes when the bulk energy gap closes.

We here study the ES in two coupled Tomonaga-Luttinger liquids (TLLs) on parallel periodic chains. In addition to having direct applications to ladder systems, this problem is closely related to the entanglement properties of two-dimensional topological phases. Based on the calculation for coupled chiral TLLs, we provide a simple physical proof for the correspondence between edge states and the ES in quantum Hall systems consistent with previous numerical and analytical studies. We also discuss violations of this correspondence in gapped and gapless phases of coupled non-chiral TLLs.

Reference: R. Lundgren, Y. Fuji, SF, and M. Oshikawa, arXiv:1310.0829.