, Volume 104, Issue 2, pp 207-226

Central charges in the canonical realization of asymptotic symmetries: An example from three dimensional gravity

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Abstract

It is shown that the global charges of a gauge theory may yield a nontrivial central extension of the asymptotic symmetry algebra already at the classical level. This is done by studying three dimensional gravity with a negative cosmological constant. The asymptotic symmetry group in that case is eitherR×SO(2) or the pseudo-conformal group in two dimensions, depending on the boundary conditions adopted at spatial infinity. In the latter situation, a nontrivial central charge appears in the algebra of the canonical generators, which turns out to be just the Virasoro central charge.