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- Boundary Effects on Quantum Entanglement and its Dynamics in a Detector-Field System

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PIRSA Number:

12060074

We analyze an exactly solvable model consisting of an inertial

Unruh-DeWitt detector which interacts linearly with a massless quantum

field in Minkowski spacetime with a perfectly reflecting flat plane

boundary. This model is related to proposed mirror-field superposition

and relevant experiments in macroscopic quantum phenomena, as well as

atomic fluctuation forces near a conducting surface. Firstly a coupled

set of equations for the detector’s and the field’s Heisenberg operators

are derived. After coarse graining the field, the dynamics of the

detector’s internal degreeof freedom is described by a quantum Langevin

equation, where the dissipation and noise kernels respectively

correspond to the retarded Green’s functions and Hadamard elementary

functions of the free quantum field in half space. We use the linear

entropy as measures of entanglement between the detector and the quantum

field under mirror reflection, then solve the early-time

detector-fieldentanglement dynamics. At late times when the combined

system is in a stationary state, we obtain exact expressions for the

detector’s covariance matrix and show that the detector-field

entanglement decreases for smaller separation between the detector and

the mirror.We explain the behavior of detector-field entanglement

qualitatively with the help of a detector’s mirror image, compare them

with the case of two real detectors and explain the differences.

©2012 Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics