Weakly coupled local particle detectors cannot harvest entanglement

Maximilian H. Ruep
March 24, 2021
Many states of linear real scalar quantum fields (in particular Reeh-Schlieder states) on flat as well as curved spacetime are entangled on spacelike separated local algebras of observables. It has been argued that this entanglement can be "harvested" by a pair of so-called particle detectors, for example singularly or non-locally coupled quantum mechanical harmonic oscillator Unruh detectors. In an attempt to avoid such imperfect coupling, we analyse a model-independent local and covariant entanglement harvesting protocol based on the local probes of a recently proposed measurement theory of quantum fields. We then introduce the notion of a local particle detector concretely given by a local mode of a linear real scalar probe field on possibly curved spacetime and possibly under the influence of external fields. In a non-perturbative analysis we find that local particle detectors cannot harvest entanglement below a critical coupling strength when the corresponding probe fields are initially prepared in quasi-free Reeh-Schlieder states and are coupled to a system field prepared in a quasi-free state. This is a consequence of the fact that Reeh-Schlieder states restrict to truly mixed states on any local mode.

entanglement harvesting, QFT on curved spacetimes