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- The entanglement interpretation of black hole entropy

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05100017

We show that the entropy resulting from the counting of microstates of non extremal black holes using field theory duals of string theories can be interpreted as arising from entanglement. The conditions for making such an interpretation consistent are discussed. First, we interpret the entropy (and thermodynamics) of spacetimes with non degenerate, bifurcating Killing horizons as arising from entanglement. We use a path integral method to define the Hartle-Hawking vacuum state in such spacetimes and discuss explicitly its entangled nature and its relation to the geometry. If string theory on such spacetimes has a field theory dual, then, in the low-energy, weak coupling limit, the field theory state that is dual to the Hartle-Hawking state is a thermofield double state. This allows the comparison of the entanglement entropy with the entropy of the field theory dual, and thus, with the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy of the black hole. As an example, we discuss in detail the case of the five dimensional anti-de Sitter, black hole spacetime.

©2012 Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics