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Holographic Renormalization in non-AdS/non-CFT

+ 7 like - 0 dislike
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In AdS/CFT, the story of renormalization has an elegant gravity dual. Regularizing the theory is done by putting a cutoff near the conformal boundary of AdS space, and renormalization is done by adding counterterms on that surface. Mathematically this is also interesting, since this utilizes the Lorentzian generalization of the Graham-Fefferman expansion.

But, in the spirit of “effective holography”, one ought to be able to do that in spacetimes which do not admit a conformal boundary. I am wondering if anyone has ever seen an attempt to systematically define holographic renormalization in such spaces, for example for p-branes ($p \neq 3$), the NS fivebrane, or the Sakai-Sugimoto model, etc. In such cases one can still take a cutoff surface at the UV of the theory, take the fields to be essentially non-fluctuating, but one does not have a conformal boundary and all the associated machinery.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-09-02 07:58 (UCT), posted by SE-user user566
asked Nov 1, 2011 in Theoretical Physics by user566 (545 points) [ no revision ]
retagged Sep 2, 2014

2 Answers

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I believe one has to distinguish two kinds of dualities. AdS/CFT, even in the context where it describes an RG flow (so not the pure AdS_5xS^5 case), is an exact duality to a four-dimensional theory, which interpolates between one well-defined conformal field theory in the UV and another conformal field theory in the IR. So holographic renormalization is in one-to-one correspondence with renormalization in the four-dimensional theory (that is to say, one can map the counterterms, and identify diff invariance with the renormalization group invariance of correlation functions). On the other hand, Sakai-Sugimoto is not a true duality, it only reduces in the IR to something like a four-dimensional theory (one would hope). The UV of the full Sakai-Sugimoto setup has nothing to do with the UV of QCD or any other four-dimensional theory. So in my opinion there is no reason that (whatever renormalization means in this context) it would resemble what we expect in QCD or any other RG flow in four dimensions.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-09-02 07:58 (UCT), posted by SE-user Zohar Ko
answered Nov 1, 2011 by Zohar Ko (650 points) [ no revision ]
I am not sure I fully agree. The cleanest case is a complete RG flow for field theory defined at all scales. But, most effective field theories are not defined at all scales, normally that does not prevent you from defining cut-off independent quantities in the IR. Of course, this is easier said than done in the holographic context, but it is entirely possible there are some papers discussing this which I’ve missed.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-09-02 07:58 (UCT), posted by SE-user user566
Yes you can do that, but above the scale of pion physics it won't be four-dimensional. And at the scale of pion physics there is nothing beyond Leutwyler+Gasser.The interesting thing about holographic RG is that you can see the onset of confinement and symmetry breaking in a controlled setup which mirrors four-dimensional physics. That's not the case in Sakai-Sugimoto (to my understanding).

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-09-02 07:58 (UCT), posted by SE-user Zohar Ko
Yeah, Sakai-Sugimoto may not be the best example, maybe Klebanov-Strassler is better place to start.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-09-02 07:58 (UCT), posted by SE-user user566
Yes, KS is much better.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-09-02 07:58 (UCT), posted by SE-user Zohar Ko
Sorry to muddy the waters with the wrong example. My question is whether a systematic understanding of the issue exists in any context in which the space-time does not have a conformal boundary.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-09-02 07:58 (UCT), posted by SE-user user566
Generally that would mean that there is no dual four-dimensional description in the UV, and my objection is in order. (In other words, in this context it is not clear what holographic RG is good for and what should it be compared to.) A cascade is a kind of a middle ground, where there is no ultimate UV fixed point, but also the departure from ordinary Wilsonian physics is not very significant. So in the case of a cascade I would think the idea of holographic RG should make sense.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-09-02 07:58 (UCT), posted by SE-user Zohar Ko
+ 0 like - 0 dislike

Holographic renormalization for non-conformal branes, i.e. non-AdS/non-CFT systems, was systematically developed in this paper by Kanitscheider, Skenderis and Taylor. They even work it out for the example of the Witten model, which is the background of the Sakai-Sugimoto model.

The key principle that permits one to extend the formalism of holographic renormalization to non-conformal systems is the so-called generalized conformal structure. This can be understood as follows: if you extend conformal transformations in such a way that the coupling constant of the boundary Yang-Mills theory transforms like an operator of appropriate dimension, the theory possesses a (generalized) conformal invariance. This allows for an asymptotic Fefferman-Graham expansion and the construction of a renormalized action from which you can derive n-point functions.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-09-02 07:58 (UCT), posted by SE-user Frederic Brünner
answered Aug 21, 2014 by Frederic Brünner (1,060 points) [ no revision ]

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