Holographic relaxation of finite size isolated quantum systems
Journal of High Energy Physics
We study holographically the out of equilibrium dynamics of a finite size closed quantum system in 2+1 dimensions, modelled by the collapse of a shell of a massless scalar field in AdS4. In global coordinates there exists a variety of evolutions towards final black hole formation which we relate with different patterns of relaxation in the dual field theory. For large scalar initial data rapid thermalization is achieved as a priori expected. Interesting phenomena appear for small enough
... es. Such shells do not generate a black hole by direct collapse, but quite generically an apparent horizon emerges after enough bounces off the AdS boundary. We relate this bulk evolution with relaxation processes at strong coupling which delay in reaching an ergodic stage. Besides the dynamics of bulk fields, we monitor the entanglement entropy, finding that it oscillates quasi-periodically before final equilibration. The radial position of the traveling shell is brought into correspondence with the evolution of the entanglement pattern in the dual field theory. The entanglement entropy is not only able to portrait the streaming of entangled excitations, but it is also a useful probe of interaction effects.