A conformal field theory (CFT) is a quantum field theory that is invariant under conformal transformations. In 2D, the infinite-dimensional algebra of local conformal transformations normally permits exact solution or classification of such theories. Further use for CFT applications to string ...

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String theory - OPE and primary operators

First, a disclaimer: I am new to Physics SE, and I am primarily a mathematician, not a physicist. I apologise in advance for the possibly poor quality of the question, any and thank you for your ...
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Clarification on “central charge equals number of degrees of freedom”

It's often stated that the central charge c of a CFT counts the degrees of freedom: it adds up when stacking different fields, decreases as you integrate out UV dof from one fixed point to another, ...
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About the general expression of trace anomaly and CFT partition functions

I have put up a question here, http://mathoverflow.net/questions/139685/proof-of-the-general-expression-for-anomaly-in-a-cft-and-its-partition-function Here I am putting up a slightly different ...
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664 views

Why does tachyon arise in bosonic string theory?

I am looking for precise mathematical and physical reasons which cause the presence of tachyon in bosonic string theory(specially closed bosonic string theory). Has it to do with the specific form of ...
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What exactly is meant by the conformal group of Minkowski space?

This is sort of a silly question because I'm a total beginner, and I debated whether it was better to ask here or on Math.SE. I decided on here because it's about how physicists use terminology, even ...
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Holomorphic Factorization in CFT$_2$

Is a CFT$_2$ always holomorphically factorizable? I had this idea because that's what we usually see is taken in string theory e.g (taking $z$ and $\bar{z}$ as independent variables). E.g. Ginsparg ...
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How does a SCFT avoid the Haag-Lopuszanski-Sohnius theorem?

According to the Haag-Lopuszanski-Sohnius theorem the most general symmetry that a consistent 4 dimensional field theory can enjoy is supersymmery, seen as an extension of Poincarè symmetry, in direct ...
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Dilation operator in CFT viewed as 'hamiltonian'?

From the commutation relations for the conformal Lie algebra, we may infer that the dilation operator plays the same role as the Hamiltonian in CFTs. The appropriate commutation relations are ...
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Operator Product Expansion (OPE) in Conformal Field Theory

We denote local operators of a conformal field theory (CFT) as $\mathcal{O}_i$ where $i$ runs over the set of all operators. Formally, the operator product expansion (OPE) is given by, ...
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Superpartner for the stress-energy tensor

I would like to understand what is meant when one introduces a generator $G(z)$ as the superpartner of the energy-momentum tensor $T(z)$. How does one decide that this $G(z)$ should have a ...
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496 views

What is the exact relationship between on-shell amplitudes and off-shell correlators in AdS/CFT?

In this answer to a question, it is mentioned that in the AdS/CFT correspondence, on-shell amplitudes on the AdS side are related to off-shell correlators on the CFT side. Can somebody explain this ...
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Complex coordinates in CFT

The Setup: Let's say we want to study a Euclidean $\mathrm{CFT}_2$ on $\mathbb R^2$ with coordinates $\sigma^1$ and $\sigma^2$ and metric $ds^2 = (d\sigma^1)^2+(d\sigma^2)^2$. It seems to me that ...
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Explanation of Cardy's “a theorem”

There seems to have been some discussion of Cardy's "a-theorem" recently: “It is shown that, for d even, the one-point function of the trace of the stress tensor on the sphere, Sd, when suitably ...
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Do “typical” QFT's lack a lagrangian description?

Sometimes as a result of learning new things you realize that you are incredibly confused about something you thought you understood very well, and that perhaps your intuition needs to be revised. ...
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734 views

Zamolodchikov's c-theorem paper

I am reading the 1986 paper [1] where Zamolodchikov proves the c-theorem and I would like to understand how equations (7a), (7b) and (8) are derived from the Callan-Symanzik equation. For ...
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Dimensional regularization and IR divergences and scale invariance

I want to know if dimensional regularization has any issues if the theory has IR divergences or is scale invariant. Does dimensional regularization see "all" kinds of divergences? I mean - what ...
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Method of Images

The method of image charges is a well-known and very useful tool for solving problems in electrostatics. Unfortunately, when I was taught this method, it was presented simply as an algorithm. No real ...
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Anomalies and Modification of symmetry algebra

This question is motivated by 2-dimensional CFTs where the Classical conformal group (defined by the Witt algebra) is modified to the Virasoro algebra in the quantum theory. In this question, it was ...
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What is IR CFT and UV CFT?

What is IR CFT and UV CFT? In many physics related materials, they often mention IR, and UV. I think it is related with regularization (I remember in QFT, there is UV cutoff in some regularization ...
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Conformal transformation equation

I am currently reading Kiritsis's string theory book, and something bugs in the CFT (fourth) chapter. He derives the equation that should satisfy an infinitesimal conformal transformation $$x^{\mu} ...
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397 views

Is integrability necessary for the Amplituhedron?

It is well known that there exist mappings between operators in N = 4 Super Yang–Mills and spin chain states making the theory Bethe Ansatz integrable. Is integrability a necessity for the ...
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A question about conformal transformation in Polchinski's string theory

I have one more stupid question in Polchinski's string theory book. P. 46, it is said It is convenient to take a basis of local operators that are eigenstates under rigid transformation (2.4.9) ...
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AdS/CFT and boundary translational invariance

I work in quantum information theory/condensed matter and have some very basic questions about AdS/CFT correspondence. For simplicity, I would like to restrict to 1+1 CFT <-> 2+1 AdS. I apologize ...
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667 views

Time-ordering vs normal-ordering and the two-point function/propagator

I don't understand how to calculate this generalized two-point function or propagator, used in some advanced topics in quantum field theory, a normal ordered product (denoted between $::$) is ...
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597 views

Branch-point twist fields and operator insertions on a Riemann manifold

I am having trouble understanding how Eq (2.6) in this paper (PDF) $$Z[\mathcal{L},\mathcal{M}_{n}]\propto\langle\Phi(u,0)\tilde{\Phi}(v,0)\rangle_{\mathcal{L}^{(n)},\mathbb{R}^{2}}$$ generalizes to ...
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Modular invariance for higher genus

As far as I understand, there are roughly 2 "common" kinds of 2D conformal field theories: Theories that are defined only on the plane, more precisely, on any surface of vanishing genus. Such a ...
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Number of Independent “Cross-ratios or Anharmonic-ratios”

The Cross-ratios or the Anharmonic-ratios are defined as, $${r_{ij}r_{kl}}/{r_{ik}r_{jl}}, \text{ where } r_{ij}=\mod{r_i - r_j}.$$ Now the claim is: conformal symmetry implies that for computing $N$ ...
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Poisson structure on moduli space of CFTs

The moduli space of CFTs with central charge 26 forms the classical phase space of bosonic string theory, in some sense. Similarily the moduli space of SCFTs with central charge 10 forms the classical ...
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782 views

CFTs and formalizing quantum field theory

Moshe's recent questions on formalizing quantum field theory and lattices as a definition of field theory remind me of something I occasionally idly wonder about, and maybe this site can tell me the ...
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245 views

About unitarity and R-charge in 2+1 superconformal field theory

How does unitarity require that every scalar operator in a $2+1$ SCFT will have to have a scaling dimension $\geq \frac{1}{2}$ ? Why is an operator with scaling dimension exactly equal to ...
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702 views

What is the connection between Conformal Field Theory and Renormalization group in QFT?

As I know, the fundamental concept of QFT is Renormalization Group and RG flow. It is defined by making 2 steps: We introduce cutting-off and then integrating over "fast" fields $\widetilde{\phi}$, ...
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554 views

Boundary Conditions Invariant Under Conformal Transformations in Electrostatics?

in two dimensional electrostatics it is assumed that the whole physical system is translationally invariant in one direction. Here, the two-dimensional Laplace equation $$\Delta \phi(x,y) = ...
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Thermal AdS and the Hawking Page phase transition

I have some difficulty understanding the concept of pure thermal radiation, as described in Hawking and Page's paper on the Hawking-Page phase transition. The four-dimensional thermal AdS solution ...
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Why are holomorphic boundary CFT2 primary operators massless in the AdS3 bulk?

I saw a claim in this paper that holomorphic boundary CFT$_2$ primary operators correspond to massless states in the AdS$_3$ bulk. Specifically, As always, we simplify the situation by assuming ...
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Monstrous Moonshine outside of String Theory

My question concerns applications of monstrous moonshine, which is the connection between the $j$-function and the monster group. Recently, physicists have applied it to string theory and, ultimately, ...
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d=2 O(3) sigma model becomes “conformal antiferromagnet”

In Advanced topic in quantum field theory / M. Shifman on page 251 the author discusses the fact that the theta term is topological and does not affect the equations of motion. Then he said: "In ...
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Trace of stress tensor vanishes ==> Weyl invariant

You often see in textbooks the statement that ${T^\mu}_\mu = 0$ implies Weyl invariance or conformal invariance. The proof goes like $\delta S \sim \int \sqrt{g} T^{\mu\nu} \delta g_{\mu\nu} \sim ...
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Toda equations and surface operator

I would like to know the reason why the equation (14) in the paper by Yamada is called the Toda equation. \begin{equation} \left[\frac12\sum_{i=1}^N\left(y_i\frac{\partial}{\partial ...
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108 views

which letter to use for a CFT?

In math, one says "let $G$ be a group", "let $A$ be an algebra", ... For groups, the typical letters are $G$, $H$, $K$, ... For algebras, the typical letters are $A$, $B$, ... I want to say ...
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362 views

Error in books of conformal field theory?

If you look at the book Conformal Field Theory (by Philippe Francesco, Pierre Mathieu and David Senechal) or the lecture notes Applied Conformal Field Theory (by Paul Ginsparg), and many other places: ...
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482 views

Divergence theorem in complex coordinates

This question is related to Stokes' theorem in complex coordinates (CFT) but, I still don't understand :( Namely how to prove the divergence theorem in complex coordinate in Eq (2.1.9) in ...
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2answers
371 views

Is there a general systematic approach how to calculate the individual terms in an operator product expansion?

Is there a general systematic procedure or approach to obtain the analytic functions $c_{ijk}$ as well as the corresponding operators $$A_i(z)$$ that appear in the operator product expansion (OPE) $$ ...
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284 views

Anyons: Effect of braiding on fusion multiplicities

In the theory of non-abelian anyons, essential information is stored in the fusion multiplicities or Verlinde coefficients $N_{ab}^c$. Having the Pants Decomposition in mind, it is possible to use ...
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196 views

Choice and identification of vacuums in AdS/CFT

I know how we define a vacuum in flat space QFT and also in a curved space QFT. But, can somebody tell me how do the choice of vacuum state in (say) the CFT side of AdS/CFT changes the choice of ...
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231 views

Do a 1-dimensional conformal theory exist?

can we have in physic or can we speak about 1-d conformal theory in physics ?? for example in this one dimensional theory what would be the generators $ x \partial _{x} $ or $ \partial _{x} $ ??
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Defining a CFT using beta-functions

Won't it be correct to define a CFT as a QFT such that the beta-function of all the couplings vanish? But couldn't it be possible that the beta-function of a dimensionful coupling vanishes but it ...
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Why are CFT descriptions of String Theory inherently perturbative and how can it be circumvented?

Field theories like QED/QCD are a priori non-perturbative theories. Perturbatively you can describe them by Feynman diagrams which essentially sum over all topologies of virtual particle creation and ...
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Can a $CFT_2$ which can't be factorized into chiral and antichiral parts and/or have a central charge not a multiple of 24 have AdS duals?

In the article Three dimensional gravity reconsidered by Ed Witten, he remarked that the CFT dual to three dimensional quantum gravity has to admit a holomorphic factorization and have a central ...
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The basic equation of bosonization

[..quoting from Page 11 of Polchinski Vol2..] Given $1+1$ conformal bosonic fields $H(z)$ one has their OPE as, $H(z)H(0) \sim -ln(z)$ Then from here how do the following identities come? ...
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Significance of massive states in string theory

A free superstring has an infinite tower of states with increasing mass. The massless states correspond to the fields of the corresponding SUGRA. In "Quantum Fields and Strings: A Course for ...