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Parity effects and universal terms of $\mathcal{O}(1)$ in the entanglement near a boundary

Henning Schlömer, Chunyu Tan, Stephan Haas, Hubert Saleur

SciPost Phys. 13, 110 (2022) · published 17 November 2022


In the presence of boundaries, the entanglement entropy in lattice models is known to exhibit oscillations with the (parity of the) length of the subsystem, which however decay to zero with increasing distance from the edge. We point out in this article that, when the subsystem starts at the boundary and ends at an impurity, oscillations of the entanglement (as well as of charge fluctuations) appear which do not decay with distance, and which exhibit universal features. We study these oscillations in detail for the case of the XX chain with one modified link (a conformal defect) or two successive modified links (a relevant defect), both numerically and analytically. We then generalize our analysis to the case of extended (conformal) impurities, which we interpret as SSH models coupled to metallic leads. In this context, the parity effects can be interpreted in terms of the existence of non-trivial topological phases.

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