Many-body chaos and energy dynamics in holography

Mike Blake, Richard Davison, Sašo Grozdanov*, Hong Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


Recent developments have indicated that in addition to out-of-time ordered correlation functions (OTOCs), quantum chaos also has a sharp manifestation in the thermal energy density two-point functions, at least for maximally chaotic systems. The manifestation, referred to as pole-skipping, concerns the analytic behaviour of energy density two-point functions around a special point ω = iλ, k = iλ/vB in the complex frequency and momentum plane. Here λ and vB are the Lyapunov exponent and butterfly velocity characterising quantum chaos. In this paper we provide an argument that the phenomenon of pole-skipping is universal for general finite temperature systems dual to Einstein gravity coupled to matter. In doing so we uncover a surprising universal feature of the linearised Einstein equations around a static black hole geometry. We also study analytically a holographic axion model where all of the features of our general argument as well as the pole-skipping phenomenon can be verified in detail.
Original languageEnglish
Article number35
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2018


  • Holography and condensed matter physics (AdS/CMT)
  • Gauge-gravity correspondence
  • Black Holes
  • AdS-CFT Correspondence


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