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  1. Butterfly velocities for holographic theories of general spacetimes

    The butterfly velocity characterizes the spread of correlations in a quantum system. Recent work has provided a method of calculating the butterfly velocity of a class of boundary operators using holographic duality. Utilizing this and a presumed extension of the canonical holographic correspondence of AdS/CFT, we investigate the butterfly velocities of operators with bulk duals living in general spacetimes. We analyze some ubiquitous issues in calculating butterfly velocities using the bulk effective theory, and then extend the previously proposed method to include operators in entanglement shadows. Here in this paper, we explicitly compute butterfly velocities for bulk local operators inmore » the holographic theory of flat Friedmann-Robertson-Walker spacetimes and find a universal scaling behavior for the spread of operators in the boundary theory, independent of dimension and fluid components. This result may suggest that a Lifshitz field theory with z = 4 is the appropriate holographic dual for these spacetimes.« less
  2. Spacetime equals entanglement

    We study the Hilbert space structure of classical spacetimes under the assumption that entanglement in holographic theories determines semiclassical geometry. We show that this simple assumption has profound implications; for example, a superposition of classical spacetimes may lead to another classical spacetime. Despite its unconventional nature, this picture admits the standard interpretation of superpositions of well-defined semiclassical spacetimes in the limit that the number of holographic degrees of freedom becomes large. We illustrate these ideas using a model for the holographic theory of cosmological spacetimes.
  3. Why firewalls need not exist

    The firewall paradox for black holes is often viewed as indicating a conflict between unitarity and the equivalence principle. We elucidate how the paradox manifests as a limitation of semiclassical theory, rather than presents a conflict between fundamental principles. Two principal features of the fundamental and semiclassical theories address two versions of the paradox: the entanglement and typicality arguments. First, the physical Hilbert space describing excitations on a fixed black hole background in the semiclassical theory is exponentially smaller than the number of physical states in the fundamental theory of quantum gravity. Second, in addition to the Hilbert space formore » physical excitations, the semiclassical theory possesses an unphysically large Fock space built by creation and annihilation operators on the fixed black hole background. Understanding these features not only eliminates the necessity of firewalls but also leads to a new picture of Hawking emission contrasting pair creation at the horizon.« less

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