Suppose we quantize some classical CFT algebra given by generators which satisfy $$[l_n,l_m]=(n-m)l_{n+m},$$



Using OPE we can obtain the following relations for generators of Virasoro algebra :




In many books/articles one can find that we always assume that $c=\overline{c}$, i.e. central charges for $L$'s and $\overline{L}$'s are equal. My question is: Why? Is there any physical or mathematical condition that must be satisfied and hence we need this assumption?


1 Answer 1


We can have CFTs with $c \neq {\tilde c}$ as long as $$ c - {\tilde c} \in 24 {\mathbb Z} $$ This condition arises from modular invariance of the CFT when it is put on the torus.

PS - In radially quantized CFTs, the adjoint condition is $L_m^\dagger = L_{-m}$ and ${\bar L}_m^\dagger = {\bar L}_{-m}$.


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