Dynamics of flux tubes in large N gauge theories

Igor R. Klebanov, Juan Maldacena, Charles B. Thorn

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34 Scopus citations


The gluonic field created by a static quark anti-quark pair is described via the AdS/CFT correspondence by a string connecting the pair which is located on the boundary of AdS. Thus the gluonic field in a strongly coupled large N CFT has a stringy spectrum of excitations. We trace the stability of these excitations to a combination of large N suppressions and energy conservation. Comparison of the physics of the N = flux tube in the = 4 SYM theory at weak and strong coupling shows that the excitations are present only above a certain critical coupling. The density of states of a highly excited string with a fold reaching towards the horizon of AdS is in exact agreement at strong coupling with that of the near-threshold states found in a ladder diagram model of the weak-strong coupling transition. We also study large distance correlations of local operators with a Wilson loop, and show that the fall off at weak coupling and N = (i.e. strictly planar diagrams) matches the strong coupling predictions given by the AdS/CFT correspondence, rather than those of a weakly coupled U(1) gauge theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


  • 1/N Expansion
  • AdS-CFT Correspondence


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