Moving the CFT into the bulk with TT¯

Lauren McGough, Márk Mezei, Herman Verlinde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

270 Scopus citations


Recent work by Zamolodchikov and others has uncovered a solvable irrelevant deformation of general 2D CFTs, defined by turning on the dimension 4 operator TT¯ ,the product of the left- and right-moving stress tensor. We propose that in the holographic dual, this deformation represents a geometric cutoff that removes the asymptotic region of AdS and places the QFT on a Dirichlet wall at finite radial distance r = rc in the bulk. As a quantitative check of the proposed duality, we compute the signal propagation speed, energy spectrum, and thermodynamic relations on both sides. In all cases, we obtain a precise match. We derive an exact RG flow equation for the metric dependence of the effective action of the TT¯ deformed theory, and find that it coincides with the Hamilton-Jacobi equation that governs the radial evolution of the classical gravity action in AdS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


  • AdS-CFT Correspondence
  • Conformal Field Theory
  • Renormalization Group


Dive into the research topics of 'Moving the CFT into the bulk with TT¯'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this