The theoretical understanding of scaling laws of entropies and mutual information has led to substantial advances in the study of correlated states of matter, quantum field theory and gravity. Experimentally measuring von Neumann entropy in quantum many-body systems is challenging, as it requires complete knowledge of the density matrix, which normally requires the implementation of full state reconstruction techniques. Here we measure the von Neumann entropy of spatially extended subsystems in an ultracold atom simulator of one-dimensional quantum field theories. We experimentally verify one of the fundamental properties of equilibrium states of gapped quantum many-body systems—the area law of quantum mutual information. We also study the dependence of mutual information on temperature and on the separation between the subsystems. Our work represents a step towards employing ultracold atom simulators to probe entanglement in quantum field theories.

M. Tajik, I. Kukuljan, S. Sotiriadis, B. Rauer, T. Schweigler, F. Cataldini, J. Sabino, F. Møller, P. Schüttelkopf, Si-Cong Ji, D. Sels, E. Demler, J. Schmiedmayer, “Experimental verification of the area law of mutual information in a quantum field simulator”, Nature Phys., (2023).


Related to Project A03