Entangling Power of an Expanding Universe

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Quantum fields in the Minkowski vacuum are entangled with respect to local field modes. This entanglement can be swapped to spatially separated quantum systems using standard local couplings. A single, inertial field detector in the exponentially expanding (de Sitter) vacuum responds as if it were bathed in thermal radiation in a Minkowski universe. Using two inertial detectors, interactions with the field in the thermal case will entangle certain detector pairs that would not become entangled in the corresponding de Sitter case.The two universes can thus be distinguished by their entangling power.