We consider the question of whether the leading contribution to the entanglement entropy in holographic CFTs is truly given by the expectation value of a linear operator as is suggested by the Ryu-Takayanagi formula. We investigate this property by computing the entanglement entropy, via the replica trick, in states dual to superpositions of macroscopically distinct geometries and find it consistent with evaluating the expectation value of the area operator within such states. However, we find that this fails once the number of semi-classical states in the superposition grows exponentially in the central charge of the CFT. Moreover, in certain such scenarios we find that the choice of surface on which to evaluate the area operator depends on the density matrix of the entire CFT. This nonlinearity is enforced in the bulk via the homology prescription of Ryu-Takayanagi. We thus conclude that the homology constraint is not a linear property in the CFT.
Brown Bag Seminars >