We study a quench protocol that conserves the entanglement spectrum of a bipartition of a quantum system. As an example we consider the splitting of a critical Ising chain into two chains and compare it with the well-known case of the joining of two chains. We show that both the out-of-equilibrium time evolution of global properties and the equilibrium regime after the quench of local properties are different in the two scenarios. Since the two quenches only differ in the presence/absence of the conservation of the entanglement spectrum, our results suggest that this conservation plays a fundamental role in both the out-of-equilibrium dynamics and the subsequent equilibration mechanism. We discuss the relevance of our results to the next generation of quantum simulators.
entanglement in extended quantum systems (theory); quantum quenches