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Title: Aspects of higher-spin conformal field theories and their renormalization group flows
Authors: Diab, Kenan Sebastian
Advisors: Maldacena, Juan
Contributors: Physics Department
Keywords: conformal field theory
higher-spin symmetry
Subjects: Theoretical physics
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: In this thesis, we study conformal field theories (CFTs) with higher-spin symmetry and the renormalization group flows of some models with interactions that weakly break the higher-spin symmetry. When the higher-spin symmetry is exact, we will present CFT analogues of two classic results in quantum field theory: the Coleman-Mandula theorem, which is the subject of chapter 2, and the Weinberg-Witten theorem, which is the subject of chapter 3. Schematically, our Coleman-Mandula analogue states that a CFT that contains a symmetric conserved current of spin s > 2 in any dimension d > 3 is effectively free, and our Weinberg-Witten analogue states that the presence of certain short, higher-spin, “sufficiently asymmetric” representations of the conformal group is either inconsistent with conformal symmetry or leads to free theories in d = 4 dimensions. In both chapters, the basic strategy is to solve certain Ward identities in convenient kinematical limits and thereby show that the number of solutions is very limited. In the latter chapter, Hofman-Maldacena bounds, which constrain one-point functions of the stress tensor in general states, play a key role. Then, in chapter 4, we will focus on the particular examples of the O(N) and Gross-Neveu model in continuous dimensions. Using diagrammatic techniques, we explicitly calculate how the coefficients of the two-point function of a U(1) current and the two-point function of the stress tensor (CJ and CT, respectively) are renormalized in the 1/N and ε expansions. From the higher-spin perspective, these models are interesting since they are related via the AdS/CFT correspondence to Vasiliev gravity. In addition to checking and extending a number of previously-known results about CT and CJ in these theories, we find that in certain dimensions, CJ and CT are not monotonic along the renormalization group flow. Although it was already known that certain supersymmetric models do not satisfy a “CJ”- or “CT”-theorem, this shows that such a theorem is unlikely to hold even under more restrictive assumptions.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Physics

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