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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Time-ordered Derivative and Equal-time Commutator

In Green, Schwarz & Witten Superstring theory, Vol. I, page 141, I don't understand how pulling the derivative inside the Time-ordered product can give an Equal-time Commutator: $$\tag{3.2.44} ...
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Virasoro TT OPE in Polchinski's book

I'm trying to understand eq. 2.2.11 in Polchinski's first book. He's computing $$:\partial X^\mu(z)\partial X_\mu(z): :\partial' X^\nu(z')\partial' X_\nu(z'):$$ Now, I understand why this ...
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Special conformal transformations and locality

In the conformal symmetry, used in some QFT theories, the infinitesimal generators, applying to space-time, are all linear (translations, rotations, boosts, dilatation), except the special conformal ...
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276 views

String matrix models with c>1

Question 1: What is the status of string random matrix models (~ triangulated random surfaces) with c>1? In my limited search, I have just come across a few papers by Frank Ferrari (in 2000-2002) on ...
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347 views

Reading list and book recommendation on Conformal Field Theory

I have a background in QFT, GR and differential geometry at the level of a master student in theoretical physics. I would like to touch the area of CFT. I know the textbook of Philippe Di Francesco. ...
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(Euclideanized) QFT on $S^d$ vs $S^{d-1}\times S^1$

Broadly I would like to understand what is the difference in the physical interpretation of a (Euclideanized) QFT which is on space-time $S^d$ and which is on a space-time $S^{d-1}\times S^1$. In ...
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352 views

QM with complex eigenvalues

What class of theories/physical systems own finite/infinite complex eigenvalues? I do know that e.g., quasinormal modes of BH do have complex eigenvalues, but are they finite or infinite in number? ...
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Connection between the M5 brane and (2, 0) superconformal field theory

I have read that the worldvolume theory of the M5 brane is a $(2, 0)$ superconformal field theory (SCFT). But I have also learnt from talks that the $(2, 0)$ theory lacks a Lagrangian description. ...
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Target Space Lorentz Invariance vs. World Sheet Weyl Invariance

The Polyakov action, $S\sim \int d^2\sigma\sqrt{\gamma}\, \gamma_{ab}\partial^a X^\mu \partial ^b X_\mu$, has the well known classical symmetries of world sheet diffeomorphism invariance, world ...
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Is there a maximum number of fixed points that a QFT can have?

I was wondering: is there a maximum number of (trivial and non-trivial) fixed points that a QFT can have (as a function of the space-time dimension and field content in the QFT)?
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Mode operators in the Virasoro algebra

This questions concerns Exercise 2.11 in Polchinski. We are asked to compute the commutator $$L_{m}(L_{-m}|0;0\rangle) - L_{-m}(L_{m} |0;0\rangle)$$ By plugging the mode expansions, we use the ...
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Why the bosonic part of the superconformal group $SU(2,2|1)$ is $SO(4,1) \times U(1)_R$?

Why in $d=4$ $\mathcal{N}=1$ SCFT the bosonic part of the superconformal group $SU(2,2|1)$ is $SO(4,1) \times U(1)_R$? More generally how can I determine the such a thing in other theories? Is there ...
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Virasoro operators commutation relations [closed]

For the commutation relation in quantising the bosonic string $$\left[L_n,L_{m}\right]=(n-m)L_{n+m}+\frac{D}{12}n(n^2-1)\delta_{n+m,0}$$ we can then calculate this for $m=-n$ in between the vacuum ...
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129 views

Link between anomalous dimensions and fractal dimensions

I just realized that anomalous dimensions in quantum/statistical field theory is not that different from fractal dimensions of objects. They both describe how quantitaive objects transform under a ...
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503 views

A gentle introduction to CFT [closed]

Which is the definition of a conformal field theory? Which are the physical prerequisites one would need to start studying conformal field theories? (i.e Does one need to know supersymmetry? Does one ...
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Expressions of action and energy momentum tensor in bc conformal field with central charge equals one

I have a question with conformal field theory in Polchinski's string theory vol 1 p. 51. For $bc$ conformal field theory $$ S=\frac{1}{2\pi} \int d^2 z b \bar{\partial} c $$ $$ T(z)= :(\partial b) ...
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Wilson lines, boundary conditions, surface defects of TQFTs

I asked the following question in mathematics stack exchange but I'd like to have answers from physicists too; I have been studying (extended) topological quantum field theories (in short TQFTs) from ...
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Analogy for the AdS/CFT Correspondence

Some time ago, I heard about a simple analogy for the AdS/CFT correspondence to something in everyday life. Consider a room filled with furniture, with the walls of the room covered in mirrors. The 2D ...
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Why/How is this Wick's theorem?

Let $\phi$ be a scalar field and then I see the following expression (1) for the square of the normal ordered version of $\phi^2(x)$. $$T(:\phi^2(x)::\phi^2(0):) ~=~ 2<0|T(\phi(x)\phi(0))|0>^2 ...
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771 views

Question on Conformal Field Theory

Since every question has to be asked in a seperate topic, I'm asking a question refering to the following topic: Beginners questions concerning Conformal Field Theory In particular I'm referring to ...
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Relation between conformal and topological field theories

The Chern-Simons (CS) theory is a topological quantum field theory (TQFT). The question is, is a conformal field theory (CFT) a topological quantum theory? Or the reverse, topological quantum field ...
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What is conformal gauge?

I often see in physics articles on gravity such notion as conformal gauge and Weyl transformation. They use Conformal gauge to change coordinates to transform metrics from arbitrary $$ds^2=g_{\mu ...
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152 views

The spin and weight of a primary field in CFT

A primary field in Conformal Field Theory transforms as $$\phi (z,\bar{z}) =\left(\frac{dz}{dz'} \right)^h \left(\frac{d\bar{z}}{d\bar{z}'} \right)^\bar{h}\phi (z',\bar{z}') $$ under a conformal ...
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392 views

Are diffeomorphisms a proper subgroup of conformal transformations?

The title sums it pretty much. Are all diffeomorphism transformations also conformal transformations? If the answer is that they are not, what are called the set of diffeomorphisms that are not ...
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Even-branes in IIA and odd-branes in IIB

The R-R sector of IIA and IIB are respectively given as, $8_s \otimes 8_c = [1]\oplus [3] = 8_v \oplus 56_t$ $8_s \otimes 8_s = [0]\oplus [2] \oplus [4]_+ = 1 \oplus 28 \oplus 35_+$ Now looking at ...
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441 views

Some questions about the free Fermionic partition function on a circle (Ginsparg's CFT lectures)

The following questions are based on these lectures, http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9108028 I would like to know what is the relationship between the last equation on page 82 ($(L_0)_{cyl} = L_0 - ...
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487 views

How are functional determinants of Laplace-type operators used in physics?

Many mathematical papers concerning the $\zeta$-regularized Determinant of Laplace-type operators refer for motivation to the broad use of such determinants in mathematical physics, especially in ...
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293 views

What is a su(2) level k algebra

What is meant by su(2) level k algebra ? Is it a lie algebra of some lie group ? What is the relation with SU(2) group. I see it in the context of quantum hall edges. Googling and google-booking for a ...
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171 views

Normal ordering of the identity operator

I'm puzzled about what should be the normal ordering of the identity operator (or any proportional operator): looking at it from the "Fock space operators POV",the prescription is to move all the ...
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343 views

What are the conserved charges related to the Virasoro generators?

I have just learned from reconsidering my demystified book, that when conformally maping the worldsheet of a closed string to the complex plain by using the transformation $z = e^{\tau + i\sigma}$ ...
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385 views

Conformal Quantum Mechanics

I heard the term Conformal Quantum Mechanics used today. What exactly does this mean? Why would one want to study this?
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Invariance of Maxwell's Equations under inverting variables - Reference and use

Some months ago, an ArXiv paper mentioned in passing that Maxwell's Equations were invariant under reciprocating the variables, or at least this results in a dual set of Maxwell Equations. (Actually I ...
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A certain regularization and renormalization scheme

In a certain lecture of Witten's about some QFT in $1+1$ dimensions, I came across these two statements of regularization and renormalization, which I could not prove, (1) $\int ^\Lambda \frac{d^2 ...
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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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Idea behind Compactified Boson

On p. 167 of his Conformal Field Theory, Di Francesco introduces "Compactified Boson". He says: The invariance of the free-boson Lagrangian [...] with respect to translations $\varphi(x) ...
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357 views

Massless fields in curved spacetimes

I read the following statement in one of Penrose's paper zero rest-mass field equations can, with suitable interpretations, be regarded as being conformally invariant. I take this to imply that ...
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90 views

On the c-theorem

I have been reading a few papers on CFT and AdS/CFT regarding the c-theorem and I have a few questions regarding c-theorems: a) Why is it that the c-theorem is usually considered for only unitary ...
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Existence of lagrangians at strong coupling

It is well known that some QFT do not admit a lagrangian formulation (like the $(2,0)$ SCFT in $d=6$). Up to my understanding, all the examples that I know of non lagrangian theories are always ...
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73 views

Simple conceptual question conformal field theory

I come up with this conclusion after reading some books and review articles on conformal field theory (CFT). CFT is a subset of FT such that the action is invariant under conformal transformation ...
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232 views

Wick Theorem, ordering & CFT

I'm having a little trouble with correlation functions wick theorem and ordering in the context of OPE and CFT, for string theory. (1) My first question, the propagator is: $$<X(z) X(w)> = ...
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Stress tensor in product of 2D CFTs

I was struggling with a question, hoping someone could point me in the right direction. I'm interested in 2D CFTs on a cylinder. I want to take the tensor product of two CFTs. My questions are these: ...
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485 views

Deriving Virasoro algebra question

I'm reading a book Lie groups, Lie algebras, cohomology and some applications in physics by Azcarraga and Izquierdo, and on page 347, when deriving the exact form of the central extension term I came ...
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133 views

Spectral properties of CFT

What are the general spectral properties of CFT? I mean what is the "spectrum"/eigenvalues of CFT in 2d and d>2 spacetime dimensions? I understand the "spectrum" and "Fock space" realization of Dirac ...
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316 views

How does the conformal Ward identity guarantee a vanishing 3-point function in this case?

I was looking through some conformal Ward identity related things when I noticed that this paper (arXiv:1212.3788) writes in their equation (33), a 3-point function between a conserved current and two ...
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Question on Section 9.1.3 in “Conformal Field Theory” by Philippe Di Francesco et. al

Question on Section 9.1.3 in "Conformal Field Theory" by Philippe Di Francesco et. al. The basic idea of the Coulomb-gas formalism is to place a background charge in the system, making the $U(1)$ ...
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What is a “dynamically generated scale” physically?

A theory like QCD with massless quarks in four dimensions has no explicit mass parameters in its classical Lagrangian. At the quantum level however, instead a mass scale Λ is generated dynamically at ...
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For what values of $\lambda$ is the distribution $(x-i\varepsilon)^\lambda$ positive?

I've been reading the famous unpublished paper by Luescher and Mack "The energy momentum tensor of critical quantum field theories in 1+1 dimensions". In the proof of their main theorem, page 7 of the ...
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82 views

Operator Dimension and Field Transformation under Rescaling

In conformal field theory the operator dimension $\Delta$ determines how fields and thus correlation functions behave under rescaling. I am having trouble seeing how this number arises from a scale ...
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The contribution to the one loop beta function for the WZW model

When the Wess-Zumino-Witten model $$S_{WZW}=\frac{k}{4\pi}\int d^2 z \, \, \mathrm{Tr}[\partial u \bar{\partial}u^{-1} ]+ \frac{k}{12\pi}\int d^3 \sigma \epsilon^{ijk}\, ...
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How can one calculate the central term of the conformal field theory algebra (and show it's really the virasoro algebra)?

So I'm following Szabo's book "An Introduction to String Theory and D-brane Dynamics (2nd ed, 2011); still on the canonical treatment in chapter 3. After doing a mode expansion, we get (up to a ...