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Publication# Universality at large transverse spin in defect CFT

Abstract

We study the spectrum of local operators living on a defect in a generic conformal field theory, and their coupling to the local bulk operators. We establish the existence of universal accumulation points in the spectrum at large s, s being the charge of the operators under rotations in the space transverse to the defect. Our tools include a formula that inverts the bulk to defect OPE, analogous to the Caron-Huot formula for the four-point function [1]. Analyticity of the formula in s implies that the scaling dimensions of the defect operators are aligned in Regge trajectories (Delta) over cap (s). These results require the correlator of two local operators and the defect to be bounded in a certain region, a condition that we do not prove in general. We check our conclusions against examples in perturbation theory and holography, and we make specific predictions concerning the spectrum of defect operators on Wilson lines. We also give an interpretation of the large s spectrum in the spirit of the work of Alday and Maldacena [2].

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Scale invariance

In physics, mathematics and statistics, scale invariance is a feature of objects or laws that do not change if scales of length, energy, or other variables, are multiplied by a common factor, and thus represent a universality. The technical term for this transformation is a dilatation (also known as dilation). Dilatations can form part of a larger conformal symmetry. In mathematics, scale invariance usually refers to an invariance of individual functions or curves.

Conformal field theory

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.

Conformal symmetry

In mathematical physics, the conformal symmetry of spacetime is expressed by an extension of the Poincaré group, known as the conformal group. The extension includes special conformal transformations and dilations. In three spatial plus one time dimensions, conformal symmetry has 15 degrees of freedom: ten for the Poincaré group, four for special conformal transformations, and one for a dilation. Harry Bateman and Ebenezer Cunningham were the first to study the conformal symmetry of Maxwell's equations.

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