Aspects of The First Law of Complexity

Alice Bernamonti, Federico Galli, Juan Hernandez, Robert Myers, Shan-Ming Ruan, Joan Simon Soler

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We investigate the first law of complexity proposed in arXiv:1903.04511, i.e., the variation of complexity when the target state is perturbed, in more detail. Based on Nielsen's geometric approach to quantum circuit complexity, we find the variation only depends on the end of the optimal circuit. We apply the first law to gain new insights into the quantum circuits and complexity models underlying holographic complexity. In particular, we examine the variation of the holographic complexity for both the complexity=action and complexity=volume conjectures in perturbing the AdS vacuum with coherent state excitations of a free scalar field. We also examine the variations of circuit complexity produced by the same excitations for the free scalar field theory in a fixed AdS background. In this case, our work extends the existing treatment of Gaussian coherent states to properly include the time dependence of the complexity variation. We comment on the similarities and differences of the holographic and QFT results.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages110
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020


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