Bulk locality and quantum error correction in AdS/CFT

Ahmed Almheiri, Xi Dong, Daniel Harlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We point out a connection between the emergence of bulk locality in AdS/CFT and the theory of quantum error correction. Bulk notions such as Bogoliubov transformations, location in the radial direction, and the holographic entropy bound all have natural CFT interpretations in the language of quantum error correction. We also show that the question of whether bulk operator reconstruction works only in the causal wedge or all the way to the extremal surface is related to the question of whether or not the quantum error correcting code realized by AdS/CFT is also a “quantum secret sharing scheme”, and suggest a tensor network calculation that may settle the issue. Interestingly, the version of quantum error correction which is best suited to our analysis is the somewhat nonstandard “operator algebra quantum error correction” of Beny, Kempf, and Kribs. Our proposal gives a precise formulation of the idea of “subregion-subregion” duality in AdS/CFT, and clarifies the limits of its validity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number163
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 11 2015


  • 1/N Expansion
  • AdS-CFT Correspondence
  • Black Holes in String Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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