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Publication# Momentum-space conformal blocks on the light cone

Abstract

We study the momentum-space 4-point correlation function of identical scalar operators in conformal field theory. Working specifically with null momenta, we show that its imaginary part admits an expansion in conformal blocks. The blocks are polynomials in the cosine of the scattering angle, with degree corresponding to the spin of the intermediate operator. The coefficients of these polynomials are obtained in a closed-form expression for arbitrary spacetime dimension d > 2. If the scaling dimension of the intermediate operator is large, the conformal block reduces to a Gegenbauer polynomial f on the contrary the scaling dimension saturates the unitarity bound, the block is different Gegenbauer polynomial These results are then used as an inversion formula to compute OPE coefficients in a free theory example.

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A two-dimensional conformal field theory is a quantum field theory on a Euclidean two-dimensional space, that is invariant under local conformal transformations. In contrast to other types of conformal field theories, two-dimensional conformal field theories have infinite-dimensional symmetry algebras. In some cases, this allows them to be solved exactly, using the conformal bootstrap method. Notable two-dimensional conformal field theories include minimal models, Liouville theory, massless free bosonic theories, Wess–Zumino–Witten models, and certain sigma models.

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A conformal field theory (CFT) is a quantum field theory that is invariant under conformal transformations. In two dimensions, there is an infinite-dimensional algebra of local conformal transformations, and conformal field theories can sometimes be exactly solved or classified. Conformal field theory has important applications to condensed matter physics, statistical mechanics, quantum statistical mechanics, and string theory. Statistical and condensed matter systems are indeed often conformally invariant at their thermodynamic or quantum critical points.

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