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Title: Bounding the space of holographic CFTs with chaos

In this study, thermal states of quantum systems with many degrees of freedom are subject to a bound on the rate of onset of chaos, including a bound on the Lyapunov exponent, λ L ≤ 2π/β. We harness this bound to constrain the space of putative holographic CFTs and their would-be dual theories of AdS gravity. First, by studying out-of-time-order four-point functions, we discuss how λ L = 2π/β in ordinary two-dimensional holographic CFTs is related to properties of the OPE at strong coupling. We then rule out the existence of unitary, sparse two-dimensional CFTs with large central charge and a set of higher spin currents of bounded spin; this implies the inconsistency of weakly coupled AdS 3 higher spin gravities without infinite towers of gauge fields, such as the SL(N) theories. This fits naturally with the structure of higher-dimensional gravity, where finite towers of higher spin fields lead to acausality. On the other hand, unitary CFTs with classical W [λ] symmetry, dual to 3D Vasiliev or hs[λ] higher spin gravities, do not violate the chaos bound, instead exhibiting no chaos: λ L = 0. Independently, we show that such theories violate unitarity for |λ| > 2. These results encouragemore » a tensionless string theory interpretation of the 3D Vasiliev theory.« less
  1. Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of High Energy Physics (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of High Energy Physics (Online); Journal Volume: 2016; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 1029-8479
Springer Berlin
Research Org:
The Trustees of Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; AdS-CFT correspondence; conformal and W symmetry; higher spin gravity
OSTI Identifier: