Measurement-Induced Phase Transition in the Monitored Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev Model

Phys Rev Lett. 2021 Oct 1;127(14):140601. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.127.140601.


We construct Brownian Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev (SYK) chains subjected to continuous monitoring and explore possible entanglement phase transitions therein. We analytically derive the effective action in the large-N limit and show that an entanglement transition is caused by the symmetry breaking in the enlarged replica space. In the noninteracting case with SYK_{2} chains, the model features a continuous O(2) symmetry between two replicas and a transition corresponding to spontaneous breaking of that symmetry upon varying the measurement rate. In the symmetry broken phase at low measurement rate, the emergent replica criticality associated with the Goldstone mode leads to a log-scaling entanglement entropy that can be attributed to the free energy of vortices. In the symmetric phase at higher measurement rate, the entanglement entropy obeys area-law scaling. In the interacting case, the continuous O(2) symmetry is explicitly lowered to a discrete C_{4} symmetry, giving rise to volume-law entanglement entropy in the symmetry-broken phase due to the enhanced linear free energy cost of domain walls compared to vortices. The interacting transition is described by C_{4} symmetry breaking. We also verify the large-N critical exponents by numerically solving the Schwinger-Dyson equation.