Universal lowest-twist in CFTs from holography

  • A. Liam Fitzpatrick
  • Kuo-Wei HuangEmail author
Open Access
Regular Article - Theoretical Physics


We probe the conformal block structure of a scalar four-point function in d ≥ 2 conformal field theories by including higher-order derivative terms in a bulk gravitational action. We consider a heavy-light four-point function as the boundary correlator at large central charge. Such a four-point function can be computed, on the gravity side, as a two-point function of the light operator in a black hole geometry created by the heavy operator. We consider analytically solving the corresponding scalar field equation in a near-boundary expansion and find that the multi-stress tensor conformal blocks are insensitive to the horizon boundary condition. The main result of this paper is that the lowest-twist operator product expansion (OPE) coefficients of the multi-stress tensor conformal blocks are universal: they are fixed by the dimension of the light operators and the ratio between the dimension of the heavy operator and the central charge CT. Neither supersymmetry nor unitary is assumed. Higher-twist coefficients, on the other hand, generally are not protected. A recursion relation allows us to efficiently compute universal lowest-twist coefficients. The universality result hints at the potential existence of a higher-dimensional Virasoro-like symmetry near the lightcone. While we largely focus on the planar black hole limit in this paper, we include some preliminary analysis of the spherical black hole case in an appendix.


AdS-CFT Correspondence Conformal Field Theory Field Theories in Higher Dimensions 


Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsBoston UniversityBostonU.S.A.

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