Notes on supersymmetric Wilson loops on a two-sphere

Simone Giombi, Vasily Pestun, Riccardo Ricci

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43 Scopus citations


We study a recently discovered family of 1/8-BPS supersymmetric Wilson loops in N = 4 super Yang-Mills theory and their string theory duals. The operators are defined for arbitrary contours on a two-sphere in space-time, and they were conjectured to be captured perturbatively by 2d bosonic Yang-Mills theory. In the AdS dual, they are described by pseudo-holomorphic string surfaces living on a certain submanifold of AdS5 × S 5. We show that the regularized area of these string surfaces is invariant under area preserving diffeomorphisms of the boundary loop, in agreement with the conjecture. Further, we find a connection between the pseudo-holomorphicity equations and an auxiliary σ-model on S3, which may help to construct new 1/8-BPS string solutions. We also show that the conjectured relation to 2d Yang-Mills implies that a connected correlator of two Wilson loops is computed by a Hermitian Gaussian two-matrix model. On the AdS dual side, we argue that the connected correlator is described by two disconnected disks interacting through the exchange of supergravity modes, and we show that this agrees with the strong coupling planar limit of the two-matrix model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number88
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


  • AdS-CFT correspondence
  • Field theories in lower dimensions
  • Supersymmetric gauge theory


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