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Light and Heat: Nonlocal Aspects in Conformal Field Theories


Koloğlu, Murat (2019) Light and Heat: Nonlocal Aspects in Conformal Field Theories. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/DJ2W-AF45.


This thesis is dedicated to certain nonlocal aspects of conformal quantum field theories (CFTs). Two main directions are the study of CFTs on a particular globally-nontrivial spacetime corresponding to finite temperature, and the study of particular nonlocal CFT observables localized on light-rays. Specifically, we introduce bootstrap techniques for determining finite-temperature data of CFTs, and make novel predictions for the 2+1-dimensional Ising model. We propose the “stringy equivalence principle”, stating that coincident gravitational shocks commute, as a generalization of the strong equivalence principle of Einstein’s General Relativity that must hold in all consistent theories of gravity. We prove it in Anti-de Sitter (AdS) spacetimes by studying light-ray operators in the holographically dual CFT. We also derive an operator product expansion (OPE) for light-ray operators in CFT, by which two light-ray operators on the same light-sheet can be expanded as a sum of single light-ray operators. Light-ray operators model detectors — such as calorimeters. We use the light-ray OPE to compute energy event shape observables suitable for conformal collider physics.

An additional part of this thesis determines the low-energy vacua of two-dimensional maximal super-Yang-Mills theory, which describes the dynamics of stacks of D-strings in Type IIB string theory. By computing an invariant of the renormalization group (RG) flow from high to low energy — a modified thermal partition function named the refined elliptic genus — we prove the existence of multiple vacua, and identify the superconformal field theories capturing their dynamics. The vacua correspond to bound states of (p,q)-strings in Type IIB string theory. Our computation serves as a check of the strong-weak S-duality of the Type IIB string.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Conformal Field Theories; Conformal Bootstrap; Gravity; Holography; Finite Temperature; String Theory; D-branes
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Simmons-Duffin, David
Thesis Committee:
  • Ooguri, Hirosi (chair)
  • Simmons-Duffin, David
  • Gukov, Sergei
  • Spiropulu, Maria
Defense Date:20 May 2019
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05302019-200300602
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for chapter 2. adapted for chapter 3. adapted for chapter 4. adapted for chapter 5. adapted for chapter 6.
Koloğlu, Murat0000-0002-5082-8434
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:11576
Deposited By: Murat Kologlu
Deposited On:10 Jun 2019 22:43
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:26

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