Conformal bootstrap, universality and gravitational scattering

Steven Jackson, Lauren McGough, Herman Verlinde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


We use the conformal bootstrap equations to study the non-perturbative gravitational scattering between infalling and outgoing particles in the vicinity of a black hole horizon in AdS. We focus on irrational 2D CFTs with large c and only Virasoro symmetry. The scattering process is described by the matrix element of two light operators (particles) between two heavy states (BTZ black holes). We find that the operator algebra in this regime is (i) universal and identical to that of Liouville CFT, and (ii) takes the form of an exchange algebra, specified by an R-matrix that exactly matches the scattering amplitude of 2 + 1 gravity. The R-matrix is given by a quantum 6 j-symbol and the scattering phase by the volume of a hyperbolic tetrahedron. We comment on the relevance of our results to scrambling and the holographic reconstruction of the bulk physics near black hole horizons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-429
Number of pages48
JournalNuclear Physics B
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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