AdS/CFT correspondence and symmetry breaking

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We study, using the dual AdS description, the vacua of field theories where some of the gauge symmetry is broken by expectation values of scalar fields. In such vacua, operators built out of the scalar fields acquire expectation values, and we show how to calculate them from the behavior of perturbations to the AdS background near the boundary. Specific examples include the N = 4 SYM theory, and theories on D3-branes placed on orbifolds and conifolds. We also clarify some subtleties of the AdS/CFT correspondence that arise in this analysis. In particular, we explain how scalar fields in AdS space of sufficiently negative mass-squared can be associated with CFT operators of two possible dimensions. All dimensions are bounded from below by (d - 2)/2; this is the unitarity bound for scalar operators in d-dimensional field theory. We further argue that the generating functional for correlators in the theory with one choice of operator dimension is a Legendre transform of the generating functional in the theory with the other choice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-114
Number of pages26
JournalNuclear Physics B
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 6 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


  • Anti-de sitter space
  • Conical singularities
  • Infrared fixed points
  • String theory
  • Supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory
  • Threebranes


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