Emergence of quantum-field theory in causal diamonds

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The experimental successes of quantum-field theory do not justify using it to describe even a finite fraction of the entanglement entropy of a causal diamond with its exterior, in the limit of large diamonds. Susskind and Uglum and Jacobson conjectured that this divergent entropy could be thought of as a renormalization of Newton’s constant in the Bekenstein–Hawking formula, if we applied that formula to arbitrary causal diamonds. Jacobson showed that this leads to a derivation of the null projection of Einstein’s equations as the hydrodynamic equations of the area law for arbitrary diamonds, a derivation which has the added virtue of demonstrating that the cosmological constant is not an energy density. Using a gauge choice adapted to causal diamond boundaries, we revisit arguments of Carlip and Solodukhin that the proper theory of near horizon states is a (cut-off) (1 + 1)-dimensional conformal field theory, with central charge proportional to the transverse area. This leads to a universal formula for fluctuations of the modular Hamiltonian of a diamond, which we argue is compatible with the explanation of the temperature of de Sitter space in terms of an identification between localized energy and the number of constrained q-bits of the holographic degrees of freedom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2341002
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics D
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Quantum gravity
  • holographic principle


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