A Caltech Library Service

Superstring Holography and Integrability in AdS₅ x S⁵


Swanson, Ian Jakov (2005) Superstring Holography and Integrability in AdS₅ x S⁵. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/QD85-9603.


The AdS/CFT correspondence provides a rich testing ground for many important topics in theoretical physics. The earliest and most striking example of the correspondence is the conjectured duality between the energy spectrum of type IIB superstring theory on AdS₅ x S⁵ and the operator anomalous dimensions of N=4 supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory in four dimensions. While there is a substantial amount of evidence in support of this conjecture, direct tests have been elusive. The difficulty of quantizing superstring theory in a curved Ramond-Ramond background is compounded by the problem of computing anomalous dimensions for non-BPS operators in the strongly coupled regime of the gauge theory. The former problem can be circumvented to some extent by taking a Penrose limit of AdS₅ x S⁵, reducing the background to that of a pp-wave (where the string theory is soluble). A corresponding limit of the gauge theory was discovered by Berenstein, Maldacena and Nastase, who obtained successful agreement between a class of operator dimensions in this limit and corresponding string energies in the Penrose limit. In this dissertation we present a body of work based largely on the introduction of worldsheet interaction corrections to the free pp-wave string theory by lifting the Penrose limit of AdS₅ x S⁵. This provides a new class of rigorous tests of AdS/CFT that probe a truly quantum realm of the string theory. By studying the correspondence in greater detail, we stand to learn not only about how the duality is realized on a more microscopic level, but how Yang-Mills theories behave at strong coupling. The methods presented here will hopefully contribute to the realization of these important goals.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:AdS/CFT; gauge theory; holography; integrability; string theory; supersymmetry
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Awards:Everhart Distinguished Graduate Student Lecturer Award, 2003.
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Schwarz, John H.
Group:Caltech Theory
Thesis Committee:
  • Schwarz, John H. (chair)
  • Weinstein, Alan Jay
  • Kapustin, Anton N.
  • Ooguri, Hirosi
Defense Date:19 April 2005
Non-Caltech Author Email:swanson (AT)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
U.S. Department of EnergyDE-FG03-92-ER40701
James A. Cullen Memorial FundUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05042005-144547
Persistent URL:
Swanson, Ian Jakov0000-0001-5008-3041
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1600
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:05 May 2005
Last Modified:22 May 2020 22:07

Thesis Files

PDF (Ian_Swanson_Thesis.pdf) - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page