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 theory,...

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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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Why are WZW models interesting?

I realise this is a very broad question, but when I was studying for my thesis I came across WZW models a few times and I never quite understood them. So, I understand that these models describe ...
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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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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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715 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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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 $[D,P_{...
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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, $$\mathcal{O}...
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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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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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756 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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768 views

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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306 views

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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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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294 views

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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500 views

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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330 views

Difference Between Algebra of Infinitesimal Conformal Transformations & Conformal Algebra

in Blumenhagen Book on conformal field theory, It is mentioned that the algebra of infinitesimal conformal transformation is different from the conformal algebra and on page 11, conformal algebra is ...
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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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618 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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258 views

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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680 views

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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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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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 $\frac{1}{2}...
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Conformal Gravity

Lubos, in his comment to a question, says that (http://physics.stackexchange.com/q/61281) First of all, one can't gauge a symmetry without modifying (enriching) the field contents. Gauging a ...
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637 views

Path integral derivation of the state-operator correspondence in a CFT

Below, I paraphrase the path integral derivation of the state-operator correspondence in David Tong's notes on CFT (see pdf here). This is my interpretation of the text in that pdf, so please correct ...
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559 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) = \frac{\...
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Some questions on Conformal Field Theory, Current algebras and the Sugawara construction

Since I don't know how to add another question to an already existing topic, I'm opening a new thread. However I'm referring to: Beginners questions concerning Conformal Field Theory As noted, a ...
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764 views

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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Are there field theories which are not CFTs but resemble CFTs up to 3 point functions?

We know that in CFTs the functional form of 2 and 3 point functions are completely fixed by conformal symmetry. So if a given quantum theory is a CFT we know what form the 2 and 3 point functions will ...
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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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801 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 self-...
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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 y_i}-y_{i+1}\frac{\...
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Is string theory over a time varying background a conformal field theory to all orders in perturbation theory?

When computing the first order perturbative corrections to string theory over a curved background, we find the background has to be Ricci-flat if the dilaton is constant and we have no fluxes. Such is ...
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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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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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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 ...