S-duality in TT¯ -deformed CFT

Nathan Benjamin, Scott Collier, Jorrit Kruthoff, Herman Verlinde, Mengyang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


TT¯ deformed conformal field theories can be reformulated as worldsheet theories of non-critical strings. We use this correspondence to compute and study the TT¯ deformed partition sum of a symmetric product CFT. We find that it takes the form of a partition sum of a second quantized string theory with a worldsheet given by the product of the seed CFT and a gaussian sigma model with the two-torus as target space. We show that deformed symmetric product theory admits a natural UV completion that exhibits a strong weak coupling ℤ2 duality that interchanges the momentum and winding numbers and maps the TT¯ -coupling λ to its inverse 1/λ. The ℤ2 duality is part of a full O(2, 2, ℤ)-duality group that includes a PSL(2, ℤ) acting on the complexified TT¯ coupling. The duality symmetry eliminates the appearance of complex energies at strong coupling for all seed CFTs with central charge c ≤ 6.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number140
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


  • Bosonic Strings
  • Field Theories in Lower Dimensions
  • Scale and Conformal Symmetries
  • String Duality


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