We present a study of the scaling behavior of the Rényi entanglement entropy (REE) in SU(N) spin chain Hamiltonians, in which all of the spins transform under the fundamental representation. These SU(N) spin chains are known to be quantum critical and described by a well known Wess-Zumino-Witten (WZW) nonlinear sigma model in the continuum limit. Numerical results from our lattice Hamiltonian are obtained using stochastic series expansion quantum Monte Carlo for both closed and open boundary conditions. As expected for this 1D critical system, the REE shows a logarithmic dependence on the subsystem size with a prefactor given by the central charge of the SU(N) WZW model. We study in detail the subleading oscillatory terms in the REE under both periodic and open boundaries. Each oscillatory term is associated with a WZW field and decays as a power law with an exponent proportional to the scaling dimension of the corresponding field. We find that the use of periodic boundaries (where oscillations are less prominent) allows for a better estimate of the central charge, while using open boundaries allows for a better estimate of the scaling dimensions. We also present numerical data on the thermal Rényi entropy which equally allows for extraction of the central charge.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Physical Review B, v. 92, no. 5, article 054411, p.1-8.

©2015 American Physical Society

The copyright holders have granted the permission for posting the article here.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)