Heat capacity as an indicator of entanglement

Author(s): M. Wieśniak, V. Vedral, Č. Brukner

Journal: Phys. Rev. B

Volume: 78

Page(s): 064108

Year: 2008

DOI Number: 10.1103/PhysRevB.78.064108

Link: Link to publication


We demonstrate that the presence of entanglement in macroscopic bodies (e.g., solids) in thermodynamical equilibrium could be revealed by measuring heat capacity. The idea is that if the system was in a separable state, then for certain Hamiltonians heat capacity would not tend asymptotically to zero as the temperature approaches absolute zero. Since this would contradict the third law of thermodynamics, one concludes that the system must contain entanglement. The separable bounds are obtained by minimalization of the heat capacity over separable states and using its universal low-temperature behavior. Our results open up a possibility to use standard experimental techniques of solid-state physics—namely, heat-capacity measurements—to detect entanglement in macroscopic samples.

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