#### Un-twisting the NHEK with spectral flows

Iosif Bena
2
Monica Guica
0
Wei Song
1
Open Access
0
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania
, 209 South 33rd Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6396, U.S.A
1
Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature, Harvard University
, 17 Oxford St.,
Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A
2
Institut de Physique Theorique
, CEA Saclay, CNRS-URA 2306, 91191 Gif sur Yvette,
France
We show that the six-dimensional uplift of the five-dimensional Near-HorizonExtremal-Kerr (NHEK) spacetime can be obtained from an AdS3 S3 solution by a sequence of supergravity but not string theory dualities. We present three ways of viewing these pseudo-dualities: as a series of transformations in the STU model, as a combination of Melvin twists and T-dualities and, finally, as a sequence of two generalized spectral flows and a coordinate transformation. We then use these to find an infinite family of asymptotically flat embeddings of NHEK spacetimes in string theory, parameterized by the arbitrary values of the moduli at infinity. Our construction reveals the existence of non-perturbative deformations of asymptotically-NHEK spacetimes, which correspond to the bubbling of nontrivial cycles wrapped by flux, and paves the way for finding a microscopic field theory dual to NHEK which involves Melvin twists of the D1-D5 gauge theory. Our analysis also clarifies the meaning of the generalized spectral flow solution-generating techniques that have been recently employed in the literature.
Contents
1 Introduction and summary
2 From AdS3 S3 to NHEK via STU transformations
2.1 Warped backgrounds of type IIB with NS flux
2.2 STU transformations
2.3 Matching to NHEK
3 Spectral flows and Melvin twists
3.1 Spectral flows and their generalizations
3.2 The spectral-flowed geometries
3.3 Relationship to Melvin twists
4 Spectral flows of the D1-D5-p-KK system
4.1 Review of the D1-D5-p-KK solution
4.2 The effect of spectral flows
4.3 Properties of the solution
5 An infinite family of NHEK embeddings in string theory
5.1 The solution with no axions
5.2 A more general solution
Microscopic features of NHEK spacetimes
6.1 Spectral flows of the Coulomb branch A Hodge duals
B SO(2, 2) transformations
B.1 Kahler transformations
C Details of the matching
D An identity among dualities
1 Introduction and summary
One of the great successes of string theory has been to provide a microscopic explanation
for the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy of black holes [1]. Nevertheless, most of the black
holes that have been understood so far have a near-horizon geometry that contains an
AdS3 factor (in some duality frame), and hence their microscopic description is in terms
of a dual two-dimensional CFT [2, 3].
More recently, it has been conjectured that general extremal black holes, whose near
horizon geometry does not contain an AdS3 factor, are also described by a dual CFT [4]
(see also [518]). This conjecture applies in particular to four-dimensional extremal and
near-extremal Kerr black holes, astrophysical examples of which have already been
observed in our galaxy. The near-horizon geometry of general extremal black holes contains
a warped AdS3 factor that is, a space which is a U(1) fiber over AdS2 [19, 20] which
is believed to play a key role in the conjectured holographic duality.
The original conjecture of [4] was based on a careful analysis of the asymptotic
symmetries of the near-horizon region of the extreme Kerr black hole (NHEK) [19]. These
symmetries were shown to generate a Virasoro algebra, whose central charge correctly
reproduces the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy of the black hole via Cardys formula. Assuming
in addition unitarity and locality of the dual field theory, it seemed rather obvious that it
should be a conformal field theory.
Nevertheless, the existence of a spacetime Virasoro symmetry and the applicability of
Cardys formula does not always imply the existence of a dual holographic CFT of the
usual type, as exemplified by dipole CFTs [21]. These theories are the IR limit of some
rather exotic nonlocal field theories called dipole theories [2224], which are related by a
pseudo-duality known as TsT1 (T-duality, shift, T-duality back) to the D1-D5 gauge
theory. One peculiarity of dipole CFTs is that operators have momentum-dependent
conformal dimensions, which indicates that they are not usual CFTs, but rather they resemble
non-relativistic ones [25]. Yet, dipole CFTs are dual to a warped AdS3 spacetime which
admits a Virasoro asymptotic symmetry group [21, 25] that correctly reproduces the black
hole entropy.
Hence, in order to understand the kind of CFT dual to a Kerr black hole it is very
useful to have a concrete example, if not of the CFT, then at least of a theory that flows
to it in the infrared. In this article we take two steps in this direction: first, we construct
large classes of brane configurations that have a Kerr near-horizon geometry; and second,
we argue that the theory obtained by performing certain Melvin twists on the D1-D5 gauge
theory which are known to generate certain fermion mass deformations among other
things flows in the infrared to the theory dual to a Kerr black hole.
There are many examples of extremal black holes that fall within the scope of the
Kerr-CFT proposal, and here we will focus on a particular one: the six-dimensional
uplift of the non-supersymmetric extremal Kerr-Newman black hole in five dimensions with
nonzero JL but JR = 0. The near-horizon geometry of this black hole (which we will
still call NHEK or, to avoid confusion, 6d NHEK) is simpler and more symmetric than
that of the four-dimensional Kerr black hole, mainly because the warped AdS3 factor it
contains has a constant, rather than polar-angle-dependent, warp factor. This black hole
can be embedded in string theory as an extremal non-supersymmetric D1-D5-p black hole
1If the shift were an integer, the TsT would be a true duality of string theory, but for dipole theories
this shift is not integer. However, pseudo-dualities are still symmetries of the classical supergravity action,
and in particular can be used to take solutions into solutions. In the following, we will be using the terms
dualities and pseudo-dualities interchangeably, hoping to not cause a confusion.
with the above angular momenta, and constitutes a natural departure point for concretely
understanding the microscopic theory dual to Kerr [26].
The key observation of this paper is that the near-horizon of the six-dimensional uplift
of the five-dimensional Kerr-Newman black hole can be related via a set of string
pseudodualities to AdS3 S3, which is the near horizon of the D1-D5 system.
There are three different ways of viewing these pseudo-dualities: the first is to view
both AdS3 S3 and 6d NHEK as T 2 fibrations over an AdS2 S2 base. Reducing along
the T 2 fiber, they become solutions of the four-dimensional STU model. These solutions
are related by the SL(2, R)3 symmetry of the STU model, but cannot be related by just
SL(2, Z)3 dualities. Consequently, 6d NHEK is related by pseudo-dualities to AdS3 S3.
These pseudo-dualities are a combination of S-dualities, coordinate changes, TsT
transformations and six-dimensional electromagnetic dualities, whose microscopic interpretation in
the D1-D5-p system is far from obvious.
Nevertheless, we show that the combination of S-duality, TsT and S-duality (which
appears twice in the duality chain above) applied to the D1-D5-p system is in fact the same
as a T-duality along the common D1-D5 direction, M-theory uplift, compactification back
to type IIA string theory with a Melvin twist, followed by a T-duality back.2 Applying
this T-Melvin-T transformation once yields a warped AdS geometry that is not the 6d
NHEK geometry. To obtain 6d NHEK one needs to repeat this procedure, but this time
T-dualize both along the common D1-D5 direction and along the T 4 wrapped by the D5
branes, uplift to M-theory, re-descend with a Melvin twist, and T-dualize five times back.
Yet another way of understanding the above pseudo-dualities is to realize that they
precisely correspond to generalized spectral flows, of the type introduced in [29] and
originally used to relate supersymmetric multi-center solutions. The advantage of viewing the
dualities as generalized spectral flows is that one understands very well the action of the
latter on the D-branes underlying a given solution. Hence, one can use the fact that the
AdS3 S3 geometry is supported by D1 and D5 branes and momentum and can be
deformed by moving some of these branes away, to infer the types of branes that give rise to
the 6d NHEK geometry and to find some of its deformations.
These ways of understanding the duality allow us to extract three interesting new pieces
of physics. First, it is known that, unlike the usual spectral flows, generalized spectral flows
do not preserve the asymptotically AdS3 S3 structure of solutions. They do preserve,
however, the asymptotically R3,1 U(1)2 structure of spacetimes [29]. Hence, if we embed
the original D1-D5-p system in Taub-NUT whose asymptotic structure will not change
and then perform the spectral flows, we obtain a family of asymptotically-flat solutions
with a NHEK infrared, parameterized by the arbitrary values for the moduli at infinity.
These solutions generalize the brane configuration with a NHEK near-horizon found in [30].
Their structure is rather nontrivial, and they are T-dual to the general class of solutions
that have been obtained in [31]. The advantage of having a general solution is that it is
easier to explore and interpret its various limits, in which the dual brane interpretation
may simplify. We plan to address this issue in future work.
2This identity of dualities had already been observed for certain D-brane probes in [27, 28].
The second feature of the NHEK geometries that we explore is their space of
deformations. Indeed, it is well known that the AdS3 S3 solution can be deformed by taking
for example some of the D1 or D5 branes and moving them on the Coulomb branch. This
deformation takes one from the maximally twisted sector of the CFT (that has the highest
entropy in the Cardy regime) to a different sector of the same CFT. It is very easy to use
the generalized spectral flows to map certain Coulomb branch configurations of the
original solution to certain configurations in the moduli space of deformations of the NHEK
geometry. These configurations have a different topology than the original geometry, and
have nontrivial bubbles wrapped by flux in the infrared. Note that these deformations
are not visible in a purely perturbative analysis of the 6d NHEK geometry, and thus evade
the no dynamics constraint discussed in [32, 33].
The third use of the duality chain we found is to indicate a way to construct a field
theory that flows in the infrared to the CFT dual to extremal five-dimensional Kerr-Newman
black holes. To see how this may work, remember that if one takes a stack of D4 branes,
uplifts them to M-theory and reduces back with a Melvin twist, one obtains the
supergravity dual of the mass-deformed D4 brane theory, which is more precisely N = 1 Super
Yang Mills in five dimensions with a massive chiral multiplet [34]. If one used a similar
analysis to find the deformations corresponding to the first and the second Melvin twist in
the field theory describing the D1-D5 system, one would obtain a theory that flows in the
infrared to the CFT dual to NHEK, much like the undeformed D1-D5 field theory flows in
the infrared to the D1-D5 CFT. We plan to expand our investigation of this in the future.
Finally, we should mention that the first generalized spectral flow has a simple and
interesting S-dual interpretation in terms of the SL(2, R) SU(2) WZW model that lives
on the worldsheet of a string propagating in the AdS3 S3 background supported by
NS-NS flux. The effect of the TsT transformation in this context is understood, and it
can be shown to yield a worldsheet CFT which is related to the original WZW model by
a redefinition of the worldsheet coordinates that does not respect the periodicities of the
angular coordinates [35, 36]. It follows that string theory in this warped AdS3 background
is equivalent to the string theory propagating in AdS3 S3 with non-local fields. It would
be very interesting to better understand the physical consequences of this observation [37].
As a byproduct of our analysis, we also obtain a simpler definition of generalized
spectral flows in terms of string (pseudo)-dualities. This allows us to write the effect of
generalized spectral flows on any background with two commuting isometries in closed
form, up to solving a small set of linear differential equations. This approach is much
simpler and more intuitive than those previously used in [29, 31], and can be applied to
any black hole geometries, including non-extremal ones.
Note that the spectral flow transformations we use map the near-horizon region of an
extremal rotating black hole to AdS3 S3. Very similar transformations have been used
in [38] to map non-extremal asymptotically flat black holes into AdS3 Sp, thus showing
that four and five-dimensional black holes in string theory are U-dual to the BTZ black
hole [39]. It would be very interesting to understand the connection between this earlier
work and ours.
This paper is structured as follows: in section 2, we review the SL(2, R) SU(2)
invariant solutions of type IIB supergravity of [25] and show that they are all related by
STU transformations. In particular, we find the explicit STU matrices which relate a given
6d NHEK geometry to AdS3 S3. In section 3, we discuss generalized spectral flows and
relate them to STsTS and T-duality Melvin twist T-duality transformations. We also
develop a general formula for the action of generalized spectral flows on any six-dimensional
geometry with two commuting isometries. In section 4 we exemplify our technique by
finding the effect of two generalized spectral flows on the D1-D5-p-KK metric and we compare
our answer with previous results in the literature in section 5. Also in section 5, we present
a generalization of the spectral-flowed D1-D5-p-KK metric which has arbitrary values of
the axions at infinity. This gives the largest known family of NHEK embeddings in string
theory. Finally, in section 6, we use our technology to analyze some microscopic features of
6d NHEK spacetimes, in particular to find a branch of their moduli space of deformations
which consists in the bubbling of nontrivial cycles wrapped by flux. Various details of the
calculations are collected in the appendices.
From AdS3 S3 to NHEK via STU transformations
In this section we review the SL(2, R) SU(2) invariant solutions of type IIB supergravity
presented in [25] and show all such backgrounds are related by string pseudo-dualities, and
more precisely by STU transformations.
Warped backgrounds of type IIB with NS flux
We consider solutions of type IIB supergravity compactified on a four-dimensional manifold
M4, where M4 can be either T 4 or K3. Moreover, we consider a consistent truncation of the
type IIB supergravity action to six dimensions, which contains only NS-NS sector fields.
The six-dimensional action is3 [40]
S =
The above action has a Z2 duality symmetry, which acts as [41]
A simple solution to the equations of motion is AdS3 S3, of radius 2
H = H
3The six-dimensional dilaton = 12 (1 + 2), where 1 is the ten-dimensional dilaton and e2 is the
Einstein frame volume of M4.
The six-dimensional dilaton is attracted, but is not determined4 by . In the above
equations, the wi are left-invariant (i.e. SL(2, R)L-invariant ) one-forms on AdS3
w+ = ey
w = ey
The same solution can be rewritten in terms of right-invariant (SU(2)R-invariant) one-forms
on S3
which are obtained from the i by interchanging and . The metric has the same
expression as before, with i i . Nevertheless, given that
the solution for the field H is now5
H = 2
Thus, AdS3 S3 can be written both in a manifestly-SU(2)L or in a manifestly-SU(2)R
invariant way. As a shortcut, we can encompass both expressions in one formula by writing
with the understanding that when = 1, the i stand for the SU(2)L-invariant one-forms
on S3 (2.5), while when = 1, they stand for the SU(2)R-invariant one-forms i in (2.6).
This notation allows us to write the solutions with both manifest SL(2, R)L SU(2)R and
SL(2, R)L SU(2)L invariance in a compact and unified manner.
Our conventions for left and right are such that eight of the Killing spinors of AdS3
S3 M4 are SL(2, R)L SU(2)L invariant, whereas the other eight are SL(2, R)R SU(2)R
invariant. In the following, we will be mostly interested in quotients of AdS3 and its warped
generalizations by an SL(2, R)R element of the isometry group, whose effect is to make y
compact and break the right-moving supersymmetries. We will also be considering more
general quotients, which simultaneously act on the Hopf fiber of the sphere and on y.
4The AdS3 S3 solution appears in the near horizon of the NS1-NS5 system. There, e2 = QQ15 , whereas
2 = Q5.
5For the purposes of this section, we use the convention y = 1.
We are interested in solutions of the action (2.1) that preserve SL(2, R)L SU(2)R or L
U(1)L or R U(1)R isometry. Using the left/right-invariant forms introduced above, the
solution for the metric and the H-field takes the general form
ds2 = h2 w+w + w32 + 12 + 22 + 32 + 2gw33
If = 1, that is for the SL(2, R)LSU(2)R invariant Ansatz, we obtain a two-parameter
family of solutions [42], parameterized by g and B. The remaining constants are given by
1 + 2B g2+B gq1 + 2B g2
1 + 2B g2
We consider backgrounds where both and y are compact; consequently, absence of closed
timelike curves requires that > 0 and |g| < 1. Noting that one can always choose g > 0
by an appropriate redefinition of the coordinates, the allowed ranges of the parameters are6
B (, )
If = 1, the equations of motion yield g = B = 0, and thus the only solutions with
SL(2, R)LSU(2)LU(1)2R invariance are locally AdS3S3. This result does not contradict
the fact that there exist dipole (B 6= 0) solutions of type IIB/M4 with SL(2, R)L SU(2)L
symmetry, as the latter require at least two self-dual fluxes to be turned on.
Requiring that the solution be smooth at the poles of the two-sphere spanned by
, implies that + 4. On the other hand, the quotient of the common D1-D5
direction y y + 42T is a free parameter, and corresponds to turning on a right-moving
temperature in the field theory dual [43]. In this paper we would like to consider more
general quotients, which act on y and simultaneously. Denoting these two coordinates
by y, the coordinate identifications are encoded in the 2 2 matrix M , where
Consequently, SL(2, R)L SU(2)R U(1)R U(1)L-invariant solutions of the action (2.1)
are specified by two nontrivial parameters, g and B satisfying (2.13), in addition to the
overall scale . The global structure of the solution is captured by the matrix M , which
encodes the identifications of the compact coordinates. Note that there exist geometrical
restrictions on the possible values of the entries of M , imposed by the smoothness of
the solution at the locations where the fibers degenerate.
6If y is non-compact, then solutions with g > 1 are also allowed, provided that
B > qg2 1 ,
As far as supersymmetry is concerned, it can be checked explicitly that for = 1
and B 6= 0 or g 6= 0 the dilatino variation equation has no solutions, and thus none of the
SL(2, R)L SU(2)R solutions are supersymmetric. For = 1, only the eight SL(2, R)L
SU(2)L invariant Killing spinors of AdS3 S3 respect the identifications (2.14), and thus
the supersymmetry is broken to half. This analysis agrees with the results of [44].
STU transformations
All the backgrounds we consider are T 2 fibrations over AdS2 S2, where the fibers
are y. We can reduce along the isometry directions y to four dimensions, to obtain
solutions of a 4d theory with SL(2, R)3 symmetry known as the STU model7 [40]. An
SO(2, 2) = SL(2, R) SL(2, R) part of this symmetry group is nothing but the T-duality
group of the compactification two-torus. The remaining SL(2, R) factor is generated by
the Z2 transformation (2.2) combined with one of the SL(2, R) transformations of the
compactification torus.
The six-dimensional fields can be written in Kaluza-Klein form as
ds62 = g dx dx + G (dy + A)(dy + A)
B = (C A B + A B A) dx dx + 2(B BA) dx dx
which yields, from the four-dimensional perspective, Einstein gravity coupled to four gauge
fields Ai = {A, B} and six scalars descending from G, B, and the four-dimensional
Hodge dual of C . The four scalars which descend from the internal metric and B-field
naturally parameterize the Kahler and complex structure of the compactification torus as
Here = 1 + i2 represents the Kahler structure parameter of the T 2, whereas = 1 + i2
represents the complex structure. The SO(2, 2) = SL(2, R) SL(2, R) continuous version
of the T-duality group thus splits into complex structure transformations
and Kahler structure transformations
ad bc = 1 ,
ad bc = 1 ,
The complex structure transformations are simply reparametrizations of the
compactification torus which leave its volume unchanged. In the language of the STU model,
they correspond to the U transformations. Given that T-duality can be interpreted as a
very simple example of mirror symmetry which is known to exchange the Kahler and
complex structure of the compactification manifold it follows that Kahler structure
transformations can be understood as a T-duality, followed by a complex structure
transformation and a T-duality back. When the parameters of the SL(2, R) transformation are
a = d = 1 and b = 0, which is the situation that will eventually interest us the most, the
Kahler structure transformation corresponds to a TsT transformation, or more precisely
a T-duality along y
a T-duality back along y
Hence, in STU language, Kahler structure transformations correspond to the T
transformation.
Finally, the S transformation of the STU model is represented by a fractional linear
transformation which acts of the four-dimensional axion-dilaton, with and held fixed.
This transformation can be easily obtained by combining a Kahler transformation with
the six-dimensional electromagnetic duality (2.2), in the order: electromagnetic duality,
Kahler transformation, electromagnetic duality back. When M4 = T 4, the six-dimensional
electromagnetic duality simply corresponds to a ten-dimensional S-duality, four T-dualities
on T 4 and an S-duality back. Thus, we have a quite clear understanding of the string
theory interpretation of the STU transformations in this setting, namely type IIB frame
with purely NS-NS flux:
S: electromagnetic duality+ Kahler transformation + electromagnetic duality
T : Kahler transformation (T-duality, coordinate transformation, T-duality back)
U : volume-preserving coordinate transformation
Note that the three transformations commute, as each of them acts on a different
combination of the scalars.
In this subsection we would like to show that all the solutions of the action (2.1)
presented in the previous subsection are related by the above STU transformations. That
this should be true was inspired by the fact that in N = 8 four-dimensional supergravity
there are only two orbits of the U-duality group which relate extremal spherical black hole
near-horizons of the form AdS2 S2, one supersymmetric and one non-supersymmetric [45].
While it is not yet known whether a similar statement holds for N = 2 theories [46],
let us assume it is true and understand its implications from a six-dimensional perspective.
All four dimensional solutions of the STU model descend from six-dimensional solutions
of (2.1), which are T 2 fibers over a four dimensional base. For the geometries we consider,
this base is AdS2 S2. Let us consider the particular fibration giving the full solution
AdS3 S3. Before any identifications are made, the AdS3 S3 solution we start from
has sixteen Killing spinors, eight left-moving (which depend explicitly only on , , , )
and eight right-moving (which depend only on y, ) [41]. Compactifying AdS3 down to
AdS2 along y breaks all the right-moving supersymmetries, and this can be seen in two
ways: the first is by observing that the original right-moving spinors do not respect the
newly-imposed periodicity of the y coordinate; the second is by noticing that in order
to make y compact in the near-horizon region one needs to add momentum along this
direction, which breaks half the supersymmetries.
We also need to reduce the S3 down to S2. This can be done by making either
the SU(2)R or the SU(2)L isometry factors manifest, as we have explained in the
previous section. If we compactify along , the resulting AdS2 S2 background has
SL(2, R)L SU(2)L isometry and inherits all the left-moving Killing spinors from six
dimensions. If instead we choose to compactify along , the isometry of the resulting
AdS2 S2 is SL(2, R)L SU(2)R, and even though the background still has the eight
left-moving supersymmetries, the supersymmetry transformations will have to involve
non-trivial Kaluza-Klein modes on the T 2 (since the six-dimensional Killing spinors depend
explicitly on ), and will be completely non-obvious from a four dimensional perspective.
Thus, the same AdS3 S3 total space gives rise to two inequivalent (i.e. not
related by an STU transformation) AdS2 S2 four-dimensional backgrounds, one with
SL(2, R)L SU(2)L isometry, and the other with SL(2, R)L SU(2)R symmetry. The
STU transformations associated with the explicitly SL(2, R)L SU(2)L invariant
reduction will always preserve the eight Killing spinors and generate the supersymmetric
orbit(s), while the STU transformations which respect SL(2, R)L SU(2)R will generate the
non-supersymmetric one(s). In the language of the previous section, the supersymmetric
orbit(s) consist of the six dimensional backgrounds with = 1, all of which are locally
AdS3 S3, whereas the non-supersymmetric ones contain the = 1 backgrounds. We
have checked explicitly that in the STU model there is only one orbit of each kind, and thus
all = 1 solutions with different values of B, g are related by STU transformations.8
Kahler transformations of the compactification T 2
We start from AdS3 S3, characterized by the string-frame length , B = g = 0 and
identification matrix M0. We perform a Kahler transformation with parameter
ad bc = 1
Using the formulae in appendix B, we find that after the transformation
B = g = x
where we introduced the shorthand
and let V = 2 det M0. On the other hand,
8We thank A. Strominger for insightful discussions of this point.
g = B = 0
This result agrees with the fact that for = 1 all solutions of the equations of motion are
locally AdS3 S3. The flux through the three-sphere, 2, is unchanged. The coordinate
identifications following this transformation are given by
M1 = d2d+ccV2V 2 M0
The electromagnetic transformation
The action of the six-dimensional electromagnetic duality on the various fields is given
in (2.2). From now on we will only work with the = 1 backgrounds, as no new
= 1 backgrounds can be generated through the transformations that follow.9 Using the
formulae in appendix A, we find that the new background has
g = g = x ,
B = 0
L2 = e21 2 = (d2 c2V2)e20 2
Since the electromagnetic duality acts at the level of the field strength, we can simply
assume that after the duality there is no constant B-field in the internal directions. Thus,
the resulting Kahler parameter is
1 g2 det M1 = L2 det M1 V
Kahler transformation after the electromagnetic duality
Now, we take the background we have just described and perform one more Kahler
transformation on it, given by
The parameters of the resulting background are
ad bc = 1
g = 1x++xxx ,
9The reason is that all geometries with = 1 are locally AdS3 S3, and that even at the level of
identifications, the effect of a combination of T and S transformations is entirely reproducible by just a T
transformation with an appropriately chosen parameter.
where we have defined
The other quantities of interest are
h = h = p1 x2 ,
L = L
e22 = c2V21+ d2 e2(1) = cc22VV22 ++ dd22 e20
while the identifications and the constant internal B-field shift are given by
The final electromagnetic transformation
We can perform one last electromagnetic duality on the background, such that we can
encompass the last three transformations as an S transformation in the STU sense. Its
effect is simply to interchange x and x in the final expressions, so we now have a background
with
whereas the final string frame radius of the geometry is
By applying a U transformation one can also bring the identifications matrix M2 into
a desirable form. We will make use of this last transformation in the next section, for
the specific task of matching to the near-horizon geometry of the non-supersymmetric
extremal five-dimensional Kerr-Newman black hole.
10We define the dipole backgrounds to be those solutions to (2.1) which have g = 0 and B 6= 0. They
are related by an SO(5, 21) U-duality to the usual three-dimensional dipole backgrounds.
Matching to NHEK
In the previous subsection we have shown that SL(2, R)L SU(2)R invariant backgrounds
with arbitrary g, B parameters can be generated via a sequence of S and T
transformations. It has been long known [47] that the near horizon geometry of the six-dimensional
uplift of the non-supersymmetric extremal rotating D1-D5-p black hole (NHEK) is a
geometry of the type (2.10). In this subsection we review the relation between the charges
of the original D1-D5-p black hole and the g,B, , , M parameters characterizing its
near-horizon geometry and find the parameters of the STU transformations that map
AdS3 S3 into six-dimensional NHEK.
We consider the extremal non-supersymmetric D1-D5-p black hole with charges Q1,
Q5, Qp and left-moving angular momentum JL [48, 49]. Its charges can be parameterized as
and its entropy is given by
The uplift to six dimensions of the near-horizon geometry of this black hole can be written
in terms of SL(2, R)L SU(2)R invariant forms as in (2.10), where the various parameters
are given by
The identifications are
Thus, the above identifications can be encompassed in the matrix
1
MNHEK =
0 !
2
In order to compare this geometry to the one in the previous section we need to perform
a type IIB S-duality, which turns the three-form RR flux which supports this geometry
into NS-NS flux. In the new string frame, the flux of H(3) through the three-sphere and
six-dimensional dilaton are
The above represent a complete set of data characterizing the NHEK geometry. Our task
now is to match this data to what we obtain by performing an STU transformation on
AdS3 S3. The three STU matrices are parameterized as
S =
T =
U =
where the unimodularity condition holds for each. The input AdS3 S3, in the NS-NS
frame, is taken to be the near horizon geometry of a stack of q5 NS5 branes and q1
F1-strings, carrying momentum q0. Thus, the input data is
2 = q5 ,
4
M0 =
where the right-moving temperature T0 is given by
The entropy carried by the original black string is
The details of the matching are presented in appendix C. It is quite clear that, given any
final desired Q1, Q5, Qp and JL, one can always find matrices S, T , U SL(2, R) which
map AdS3 S3 to NHEK for some choice of input data q1, q5, q0. In fact, as we show
in appendix C, the matching conditions leave two parameters unspecified, which we can
choose to be d and d in (2.48).
The question is, then, whether we can restrict the form of the S, T , U matrices in
physically interesting ways. An obvious question is whether the three transformations
can be full string dualities, rather than just supergravity ones, that is if we can find
S, T , U SL(2, Z). If such transformations existed, then it would mean that the theory
dual to NHEK is U-dual to the D1-D5 CFT. Nevertheless, we show in appendix C that
the T and S transformation matrices cannot both be integer-valued.
Another interesting way to restrict the SL(2, R)3 transformations is by requiring that
the matrices have a = d = 1 and b = 0. As we will explain in the next section, the S
and T transformations have a simple interpretation in terms of string/M-theory dualities
and a possibly tractable microscopic description if the matrices take this particular
form. We can apply these restrictions to the S and T transformations but, as it can be
seen from (C.22), the U transformation has to be left general (because b > 0). A simple
example is worked out below.
To give the reader a rough idea about how the match works, we present herein the simplest
example: the STU transformations that map AdS3 S3 to the 6d NHEK geometry with
equal charges Q1 = Q5 = Qp = Q and angular momentum JL, assuming the first two
transformations are TsTs. As we show in the appendix, the input geometry must have
q1 = q5 = q ,
q0 =
where q is the real, positive, solution to the cubic equation11
(q Q)(4q Q)2 = JL2 Q3
In addition, the parameter q needs to be integer, given that both Q and JL are. The
central charge of the initial CFT is c = 6q2. The only non-trivial parameters of the T and
S transformations are
Spectral flows and Melvin twists
In this section we begin by discussing spectral flows and generalized spectral flows, and
their action on our geometries. We then show that the STU duality transformations
or the STsTS transformations that take one from AdS3 S3 to 6d NHEK are in fact
a combination of two generalized spectral flows. We also observe that the action of
generalized spectral flows on six-dimensional geometries with D1 and D5 charges and
two commuting isometries has a very simple geometrical interpretation, and use this to
write down a straightforward formula for the action of generalized spectral flows on such
geometries. We also show that these generalized spectral flows (or STsTS transformations)
can be seen as a combination of T-dualities and Melvin twists.
Spectral flows and their generalizations
11Interestingly, the mass of the extremal non-supersymmetric D1-D5-p black hole satisfies a similar
equation. The parameter q above is related to M via
represented by large diffeomorphisms which mix the the sphere coordinates with the
boundary coordinates of AdS3. These coordinate transformations take the form
where the parameter of the diffeomorphism in spacetime is related to the left/ right
spectral flow parameter by = 2, = 2 and the correspondence between the
Euclideanized boundary coordinates (z, z) and the Lorentzian light-like ones (y, t) is z t
and z y. The angular momenta , represent the zero-modes of the J 3 component of
the SU(2)L and SU(2)R R-symmetry currents, respectively. The relationship between the
gauge transformations (3.2) and the CFT automorphisms (3.1) is nicely explained in [52]
in terms of the holographic dictionary.
It is interesting to remark that the large diffeomorphisms we consider in this paper
(for = 1) are of the form
+ z (3.3)
rather than (3.2). Using the holographic dictionary for SU(2) Chern-Simons gauge fields
in AdS3, one finds that the above transformation corresponds to deforming the original
CFT action S by the left-moving current
This deformation can be absorbed into a redefinition of the operators of the CFT,
and bears no effect on the R-charges or conformal dimensions. Therefore, it does not
correspond to a CFT spectral flow. Nevertheless, we will still use the terminology of
spectral flows, even for diffeomorphisms of the type (3.3).
The spectral flow diffeomorphisms have been also widely used as solution-generating
techniques of five-dimensional asymptotically locally flat geometries. The idea is roughly
as follows. In string theory, the AdS3 S3 geometry arises in the near-horizon limit of a
stack of parallel D1 and D5 branes, where the D5s are additionally wrapping an internal
four-dimensional manifold M4. In general, there is also (right-moving) momentum along
the common direction of the D1 and D5 branes call it y and the entire configuration
is BPS. If we imagine the coordinate y to be compactified, the asymptotics of this solution
are R1,4 S1. From a five-dimensional perspective obtained by Kaluza-Klein reduction
along y the D1-D5-P black string becomes a three-charge asymptotically flat black hole.
The full solution has an S3 factor all the way from the near-horizon AdS3 S3 to the
asymptotic spatial R4 (the latter has an S3 factor when written in spherical coordinates),
and hence has SO(4) symmetry. Let for now denote either the or the angle of the
S3. Since both and y are isometry directions throughout the solution, one may try to
investigate the effect of the spectral flow transformation
on the full geometry. Asymptotically, the metric is R1,4 Sy1 M4
dsr2 = dt2 + dy2 + dr2 + r2d32 + ds2M
= dt2 + dy2 + (d + cos d)2 + (d2 + sin2 d2) +
dss2p.fl. = (1 + 2) dy + 1 + 2 (d + cos d)
(3.9)
Thus, from the perspective of five-dimensional supergravity, the geometry is still
asymptotically R1,3 S1, and only the asymptotic values of the dilaton and the Kaluza-Klein
gauge field change. Note that while this is a rather non-trivial modification from a
five-dimensional perspective, in the six-dimensional picture it corresponds to a simple
diffeomorphism. Note also that the embedding in Taub-NUT space does not affect the
near-horizon geometry of the D1-D5 system, since close to its center, Taub-NUT is
indistinguishable from R4.
Let us now discuss the generalization of global spectral flows introduced in [29].
The supergravity fields sourced by the D1-D5 configuration are solution to a simpler 6d
consistent truncation of the type IIB action containing only the metric, the RR two-form
potential C(2) with field strength F = dC(2) and a scalar12
Z
Upon dimensional reduction to five dimensions, this action yields N = 2 five-dimensional
supergravity coupled to two vector multiplets. The bosonic content of this theory consists
of the metric, three gauge fields A(i) and two scalars. One of the gauge fields is the
KaluzaKlein gauge field one obtains by reducing the metric, another one comes from the reduction
of the C(2) field, and the third is the five-dimensional Hodge dual of the RR two-form.
SRR =
d6xg
A(2) = Cy(2) ,
dA(3) = 5dC(2)
As already discussed, the spectral flow (3.5) has a non-trivial action on the five-dimensional
fields, whereas it is a simple coordinate transformation in the six-dimensional space-time
ds62 = ds52 + gyy (dy + A(1)dx )2 .
The observation of [29] was that the above five-dimensional model has a discrete symmetry
that interchanges the three gauge fields. Consequently, one should be able to have a spectral
flow associated to a diffeomorphism of the U-dual six-dimensional metric
ds62 = ds52 + gyy(dy + A(2)dx )2
SNSNS =
d6xg
where H = dB is the Neveu-Schwarz three-form field and is the six-dimensional dilaton.
The reduction to five dimensions works as before, with C(2) replaced by B(2). Now
suppose we want to interchange the 5d gauge fields A(1) and A(2). Given the equivalence
of type IIA string theory compactified on a circle with type IIB on S1, it is trivial to see
that the necessary transformation is a T-duality in the y direction. Consequently, the first
generalized spectral flow can be obtained from the following sequence of transformations:
The second generalized spectral flow, obtained by interchanging A(1) with A(3), is obtained
by first performing four T-dualities on M4, an operation which implements Hodge duality
in six dimensions (F3 6F3) and exchanges A(2) and A(3) from the five-dimensional
perspective, followed by the same transformations as before. Consequently, the second
generalized spectral flow can be summarized as: T 4S T sT ST 4. In the next section, we
will use this definition in terms of dualities to obtain the action of each spectral flow on
a generic six-dimensional metric with two compact isometry directions.
Before ending this section, let us make a few comments concerning supersymmetry.
The D1-D5-p solution preserves four supersymmetries, and the Taub-NUT solution sixteen.
Four supersymmetries can be preserved in the juxtaposition assuming that the Taub-NUT
space is properly aligned with respect to the isometries of the D1-D5-p solution. More
concretely, let us assume that the momentum is right-moving, so from a near-horizon
perspective the supersymmetries of the D1-D5-p system are associated with SU(2)L only. If
the Taub-NUT circle is aligned with , then the entire solution preserves SU(2)L, and
supersymmetry is preserved throughout. Nevertheless, if the Taub-NUT circle is , then
SU(2)L is not preserved in the full solution and supersymmetry is broken. At the level of
the metric, the two embeddings differ by a trivial interchange of coordinates , and the
only difference, which is responsible for supersymmetry breaking, occurs in a relative sign in
the two-form gauge potential. Thus, the non-supersymmetric solution is also called
almostBPS [54]. The sign difference becomes important, nevertheless, when performing
generalized spectral flows. The BPS solutions remain BPS, and the generalized spectral flows just
act by interchanging the eight harmonic functions [5557] underlying these solutions [29].
However, the almost-BPS solutions are transformed into solutions that do not belong to
the almost-BPS class; for example, one spectral flow gives a solution with an Israel-Wilson
base [58], and three generalized spectral flows give the rather complicated solutions of [31].
The spectral-flowed geometries
In this section we derive the effect of the generalized spectral flows we have discussed,
namely S T sT S and T 4S T sT ST 4, on an arbitrary type IIB background supported by
purely RR three-form flux. The only requirement is that the background in question have
two compact, commuting isometries, so that the metric can be written as a T 2 fibration
over an eight-dimensional base
ds120 = ds82 + G (dy + A)(dy + A) ,
In addition, we assume that only the dilaton and the two-form potential are turned on.
The latter can be decomposed as
The matrix = i2 represents the two-dimensional symbol, whereas the unhatted
= G is the corresponding tensor density. Let us now study the effect of the first
generalized spectral flow on the above generic field configuration.
The first generalized spectral flow: S T sT S
After a type IIB S-duality, we obtain
BMN = CMN
Now we perform a TsT transformation on the resulting metric. As we have already
discussed, this TsT transformation is obtained as a Kahler transformation on the T 2, with
parameter13
Consequently, after the transformation we have
The new dilaton is
13In terms of the spectral flow parameter in (3.5), 1 = 21 1. The factor of 21 takes care of the fact that
the periodicity of the Hopf fiber coordinate is 4 rather than 2.
where we have dropped the superscript f from all fields. We also need the components of
(F ), which in light of the above expression are simply given by
(F ) = a 4 H(2) (4H(3)) A
The associated charges are
Q5 =
Q1 =
Q5;dip =
Q1;dip =
where the extra factor of accounts for interchanging and . These charges have been
computed before we perform the final U transformation. Note that when q1 = q5, 1 = 2,
the solution (4.20) is related to the solution of [30] by a constant rescaling on both the
metric and the gauge field. The solution also carries nontrivial Taub-NUT charge, which
we do not compute. In [30], the Taub-NUT charge was fixed to one.
Under the final U transformation, the charges transform as
and similarily for Q1, where the matrix U of the transformation is given by (C.22).
An infinite family of NHEK embeddings in string theory
Having shown that one can start from a D1-D5-p black hole embedded in Taub-NUT in a
non-supersymmetric almost-BPS fashion and obtain a spacetime with a NHEK geometry
in the infrared by two generalized spectral flows, it is clear that there should exist a much
larger family of solutions that have such an infrared geometry. Indeed, the NHEK geometry
is obtained by transforming the near-horizon geometry of the original D1-D5-p solution,
and it has been known for a long time [6164] that this near-horizon geometry does not
change if one changes the moduli of the solution as long as the charges remain the same.
Thus, by starting with an asymptotically-Taub-NUT D1-D5-p solution with arbitrary
moduli and performing two generalized spectral flows with the coefficients above, one can
obtain an asymptotically Taub-NUT solution with a NHEK infrared. The example worked
out in the previous section corresponds to a subclass of this infinite family, in which the only
moduli that are allowed to vary at infinity are the sizes of various cycles, and correspond to
the constants in the D1, D5, p and Taub-NUT harmonic functions. However, it is clear that
there should exist solutions that also have nontrivial axions and have a NHEK infrared.
The idea is to start from the most general three-charge black hole geometry embedded
non-supersymmetrically in Taub-NUT, which belongs to the so-called almost-BPS class of
solutions found in [54, 65]. This black hole is a generalization of the one considered in the
previous section in that various moduli (axions) are turned on at infinity. The effect of
three (generalized) spectral flows on arbitrary almost-BPS backgrounds has been worked
out in [31] and, rather than repeating the computation of section 4 with this more general
input data, we can simply recover the final answer by setting certain parameters of the
solution found in [31] to their appropriate values.
To relate the formalism and notation of [31] to that used in this paper we first extract
the solution corresponding to the generalized spectral flows of a D1-D5-p-TN geometry
with no axions, and relate it to the solution we obtained in the previous section. We then
show how to obtain the most general geometry with a NHEK infrared.
The solution with no axions
An almost-BPS solution with no axions is determined by five harmonic functions: Z1, Z2,
Z3, V and M , corresponding respectively to D1, D5, p, KK-Monopole and KK-momentum
charges. In the eleven-dimensional duality frame in which the D1, D5, and p charges
correspond to three different species of M2 branes wrapping three orthogonal T 2s inside a
T 6, the metric and fields of the solution both before and after the generalized spectral flows
are given by equations (6.6) and (6.7) of [31], with the implicit understanding that un-tilded
quantities describe the solution before the spectral flows and tilded ones the one after.
It is rather straightforward to dualize the solution before the spectral flow to the
D1-D5P frame solution by dimensionally-reducing along one of the torus directions, and then
performing three T-dualities, as explained in detail in [66]. Since the solution has neither axions
nor rotation, and since the four-dimensional base space is Taub-NUT, the metric is simply
1
ds2 =
Z2 i=1
H1 = Z1 ,
H5 = Z2 ,
H0 = Z3 ,
V = V.
and the relation with the harmonic functions we used in section 4 is quite clear:
Ae3 =
and the forms Ae1 and Ae2, which only appear in the expression for the RR three-form,
have similar expressions. The resulting solution after three spectral flows on an arbitrary
almost-BPS solution can be found in [31].
Since in the previous section we have performed the two spectral flows directly
in six-dimensional supergravity, and in [31] they were performed by a combination of
six T-dualities on the compactification six-torus and three gauge transformations, it
is instructive to confirm that the final result is the same. The parameters of the new
solution, in the language of section 6 of [31], are:
The three warp factors are
, Ze2 =
V Z3 (1Z2 +2Z1)
N3 = V Z3 (5.6)
Ze1 =
, Ze3 =
V Z3
the three scalar functions giving the electric field are
Wf1 = 12VZ2Z31+2VZZ31 = Ze1 , Wf2 = 22VZ1Z31+2VZZ32 = Ze2 , Wf3 =
V Z3
Pe1 = 1ZN21Z3 + Wfe1 , Pe2 = 2ZN11Z3 + Wfe2 , Pe3 = Wfe3
and the three vectors giving the R3 component of the magnetic fields are
The six-dimensional part of the metric (5.4) can then be simplified to
dsI2IB = (dt + qe(d + Ae))2 + q
dz
which one can check straightforwardly that is the same as the metric obtained after two
spectral flows in the previous section in equation (4.20). To see this one should use the
fact that 1 = 1R and 2 = 2R and make use of rather nontrivial relations such as
The main reason why the two metrics (4.20) and (5.13) look so different is that the
fibers are completed in different orders: in (4.20) the y and fibers are completed before
the t fiber, while in (5.13) the t fiber is completed after the z(= y) fiber but before the
fiber, as it is common for supersymmetric solutions.
A more general solution
Having shown how to obtain the solution of section 4 from the class of solutions found
in [31], we now write down a much larger family of solutions that have a NHEK infrared.
As it is well known [54, 65], if one turns on nontrivial Wilson lines in an almost-BPS
solution, the metric is not affected at all, and neither are any of the field strengths. From
a four-dimensional perspective, these Wilson lines corresponds to some combination of
axions, and in the language of the harmonic functions used to construct such solutions,
they is given by a constant in the KI .
Performing two generalized spectral flow transformations18 on an almost-BPS solution
with axions turned on, we find a geometry whose infrared is still NHEK. However, the
full asymptotically-flat solution is changed, and depends non-trivially on the KI . Hence
one can obtain a much larger family of NHEK embeddings into string theory, determined
a-priori by three extra continuous parameters.
The solution is a straightforward modification of the one in the previous subsection
N2 = 22Z1Z3 + V T22Z2 , N3 = V Z3
where T 3 T1T2. The three warp factors are
Ze1 =
, Ze2 =
, Ze3 =
V Z3
the three scalar functions giving the electric field are
V Z3
= Ze1 , Wf2 =
= Ze2
18And a U coordinate transformation, which we will neglect in this section.
The three scalars giving the components of the magnetic fields along the direction are
now
and the three vectors giving the R3 component of the magnetic fields are unchanged
The six-dimensional part of the metric (5.4) can again be simplified to
dsI2IB = (dt + qe(d + Ae))2 + q
dz
It is interesting to observe in (5.10) that the solutions obtained after two generalized
spectral flows still have two of the electric field functions equal to the corresponding
warp factors, and hence they still admit floating D1 and D5 branes, that can be placed
anywhere in the solution without feeling a force. This is visible in equation. (5.10) from
the fact that Wf1 = Ze1 and Wf2 = Ze2.
The most general solution of minimal 6d supergravity with a NHEK infrared should
be a slight generalization of the above one, in that one can allow 3 to be nonzero and
also M 6= 0. All the necessary formulae can be found in section 6 of [31]. While the
most general solution appears to be parameterized by the eight constants in the harmonic
functions, two of these parameters are redundant, as the moduli space of the STU model
is just six-dimensional.
Microscopic features of NHEK spacetimes
As mentioned in the Introduction, the main purpose of our endeavor is to obtain a
microscopic theory dual to Kerr black holes. Our construction opens two different routes
towards this: the first is to explore the effect of our pseudo-duality transformations on
the D1-D5 field theory, and to attempt to construct a theory that is a deformation of
the D1-D5 field theory and flows in the infrared to the CFT dual to NHEK. Indeed, the
effect of a single Melvin twist on the super Yang-Mills theory living on the worldvolume
of a stack of D4 branes is to deform it by a hypermultiplet mass term proportional to
the strength of the Melvin twist [34]. It is reasonable then to expect that the effect of a
combination of T-dualities and Melvin twists on a stack of D5 branes is likewise to add
a relevant operator to the six-dimensional Super-Yang-Mills theory living on this stack of
branes. Similarly, the effect of 5 T-dualities, a Melvin twist and 5 T-dualities back will
deform the 1+1 dimensional Super-Yang-Mills theory living on a stack of D1 branes by a
certain operator. The effect of the T-Melvin-T transformation on D1 branes may perhaps
be incorporated by studying instantons in the deformed D5-brane gauge theory, or possibly
by incorporating more exotic effects along the lines of [27, 28]. Similarly, one can try to
find the effect of the pseudo-dualities transformations on the 1-5 strings. The net result of
this analysis (which is achievable, but lies beyond the scope of the present paper) should
be an explicit deformation of the Lagrangian of the D1-D5 field theory, which redirects
the RG flow in the infrared from the usual D1-D5 CFT to the CFT dual to NHEK.
Another route to the microscopic theory is to use the infinite family of brane
embeddings found in the previous section. Clearly the physics of these branes is described
in the regime of parameters where the branes do not backreact on the the geometry by
a certain theory (most likely a gauge theory), and this theory should flow in the infrared
to the CFT dual to NHEK. However, given a certain non-supersymmetric combination of
many types of branes in many types of background electric and magnetic fields, reading off
this theory is not easy. The advantage of having a large family of brane configurations, like
the ones we have explicitly constructed, is that one can focus on particular ones (where for
example the background magnetic fields after the dualities are zero) for which reading off
the corresponding field theory is much easier than for the general configuration. Finding
these simple brane configurations in the haystack of solutions constructed in section 5 is
quite tedious, and we leave it to future work.
Even though we lack so far a theory dual to the Kerr black hole, we can nevertheless use
our construction to predict from the dual bulk solutions certain features that this theory
will have to corroborate. In particular, we will show that this theory will have a moduli
space of deformations parameterized by at least several continuous parameters. These
deformations will change the topology but not the asymptotics of the NHEK spacetime,
and hence will not be visible in perturbation theory. Understanding the structure of the
space of asymptotically-NHEK solutions is also likely to reveal many features of the dual
theory, much like it happens for example in the D1-D5 CFT [67, 68].
What interests us in particular is to understand what happens to the Coulomb and
Higgs branches of the original D1-D5 gauge theory under generalized spectral flow, and how
to characterize the moduli space of deformations around the geometries with an NHEK IR.
Spectral flows of the Coulomb branch
In this subsection we study the effect of two generalized spectral flows on various
configurations on the Coulomb branch of the D1-D5 gauge theory, and find the objects
parameterizing the corresponding branch of the moduli space in the theory dual to NHEK.
One can easily use the machinery of section 5 to write down the solutions for the most
general configurations, and then proceed to analyze in detail these solutions. However, it is
much more useful to develop first a physical intuition of what T-Melvin-T transformations
do to the D1 and D5 branes that make up the original solution, and then to use this to
understand the physics of the full solution.
The effect of a single Melvin twist/generalized spectral flow on D5 branes
In order to understand the effect of Melvin twists on the microscopic features of the
solution it is useful to remember the action of Melvin twists on a stack of D4 branes. When
one spreads these D4 branes uniformly on a circle, uplifts to M-theory, and reduces with a
Melvin twist on the circle on which the D4 branes are spread, the resulting configuration
is an NS5 brane wrapping this circle, with the D4 brane charge dissolved in it. Only for
certain Melvin twist strengths does this NS5 brane have an integer dipole charge, and
hence this configuration is physical.
From a ten-dimensional perspective the Melvin twist induces some nontrivial fields,
and if one places a stack of D4 branes in these fields they can polarize into a circular
NS5 brane by the Myers effect [69]. Normally, this circular NS5 brane would collapse, and
these fields prevent it from doing so.
Hence, what before the Melvin twist is a particular configuration on the Coulomb
branch of the D4 branes, becomes after the Melvin twist a configuration on a nontrivial
branch of the moduli space of the new theory [34]. Note that other configurations on the
original Coulomb branch do not survive the Melvin twist, so only certain Coulomb branch
configurations will map to the moduli space of the new theory. Moreover, it is likely that
these configurations do not map to the entire moduli space of the new theory, but only to
a small portion thereof.
Note that the configurations we find have an NS5 brane dipole charge, and hence are
intrinsically nonperturbative: they are not visible in the Lagrangian of the field theory
living on the D4 branes, and, as explained in [70], their existence can only be inferred
using integrability [71] or the Dijkgraaf-Vafa relation between five-dimensional theories
and Matrix Quantum Mechanics [72, 73]. If one dualizes this configuration back to the
D1-D5 frame, the D4 brane becomes a D5 brane, and the NS5 dipole brane becomes a
KK-monopole whose special direction is along the common D1-D5 direction. Hence, after
the T-Melvin-T transformation the Coulomb branch of the D5 branes is mapped into a
nonperturbative branch of the moduli space, in which the D5 branes polarize into a KKM
wrapping an S1 inside the space transverse to the branes.
Now, as we have shown in section 4, the T-Melvin-T transformation described above
is the same as a generalized spectral flow with parameter 1. Hence, one can also translate
the mapping of the moduli spaces described above in the language of multicenter solutions
and spectral flows thereof. The solution describing D5 branes in R4 can be embedded
in Taub-NUT, where it becomes a solution describing D5 branes at the center of
TaubNUT. Before the spectral flow the D5 branes can move anywhere in Taub-NUT, and this
corresponds to motion on the Coulomb branch. We can now choose a specific Coulomb
branch configuration, in which the D5 branes have moved at a certain distance away from
the Taub-NUT center, and are uniformly distributed on the Taub-NUT fiber, so as to
preserve the Taub-NUT isometry. Hence, from the point of view of the R3 base of the
Taub-NUT space, the D5 branes sit at a point away from the pole of the Taub-NUT
harmonic function V . This solution depends on two harmonic functions in R3: the D5
harmonic function Z2 is sourced at at the location of the D5 branes, and the Taub-NUT
harmonic function V is sourced at the center of Taub-NUT. After the spectral flow, the new
solution can be straightforwardly obtained from (5.13) by setting Z1 = Z3 = 1 and 2 = 0.
The new warp factors and rotation parameter are
e = 1Z2V 1 , Ze1 = 1 + 12Z2V 1 , Ze2 = Z2 , Ze3 = 1
and the metric describes a supersymmetric D1-D5 supertube in a Taub-NUT space with
nontrivial Wilson lines.
dsI2IB = q
(dt + e(d + Ae))2 + (dy dt 1 v2)2
In the new solution both the D5 and the D1 warp factors Ze2 and Ze1 are sourced at the
previous location of the D5 branes, and the Taub-NUT harmonic function V is sourced at
the center of Taub-NUT. The solution also has a nontrivial KKM dipole charge with special
direction along the common D1-D5 direction and wrapping the Taub-NUT fiber, as well
as a nontrivial momentum along the fiber. Note that this solution differs from that of a
usual supertube in Taub-NUT [74], in that only the D5 harmonic function L2 has a pole at
the location of the tube. The D1 harmonic function L1 does not have a pole; the pole in Ze2
comes rather from the magnetic dipole charge of the supertube interacting with the
magnetic flux of the background. Nevertheless, as explained in [66],19 this Taub-NUT supertube
is smooth in this duality frame. In fact, the six-dimensional solution has no singular sources.
On the other hand, since the fiber shrinks at the pole of V and the y fiber shrinks at the
supertube location, the solution has a topologically nontrivial three-sphere wrapped by F3
flux in the infrared, and the D5 charge of the solution comes now this nontrivial F3 flux.
Hence, what before the generalized spectral flow was a Coulomb branch motion of a D5
brane is now a nucleation of a nontrivial three-sphere. The memory of the D5 brane is only
preserved in the RR 3-form flux on this 3-sphere. This is in fact a textbook example of a
geometric transition: we started from D5 branes, and we have obtained a the new geometry
that has a different topology and the D5 brane charge has been exchanged for flux.
Another configuration in this class would correspond to putting two stacks of D5
branes smeared along the Taub-NUT fiber, at different points in the R3 base of Taub-NUT.
These would give rise to two KK monopoles, each one at the position of the D5s. There
will be two 3-spheres between these KKMs and the origin, and the D5 charge will come
from F3 flux on these three-spheres.
It is also very likely that this round supertube in Taub-NUT will represent just a
particular configuration on the moduli space of the new theory. As one can find both from
their DBI description [75] and from their supergravity solution [66], supertubes can have
arbitrary shape, and their classical moduli space is parameterized by several continuous
functions, and its dimension is therefore infinity. It would be interesting to perform a
DBI analysis of the supertube we have found to check whether this expectation is indeed
confirmed or whether, due to the absence of a pole in the D1 harmonic function L1, this
supertube is in fact rigid.
The effect of a the second Melvin twist on D1 branes
Let us consider now a solution describing D1 branes on a particular Coulomb branch
configuration where they are smeared on the Taub-NUT circle at a certain location in the
19And as it can be checked directly from equations (3.36), (3.37) and (3.40) in that paper.
Taub-NUT base, and perform the 2 transformation which corresponds to 5 T-dualities,
a Melvin twist and 5 T-dualities back, or a generalized spectral flow with a coefficient 2.
The original solution has a pole in V at the center of Taub-NUT, and a pole in Z1 at the
D1 location in the R3 base of Taub-NUT, while Z2 = Z3 = 1 and 1 = 0. The resulting
solution is again given by (6.2), except that now
Ze1 = Z1 ,
Ze3 = 1
This solution describes again a smooth D1-D5 supertube in Taub-NUT, and this supertube
again differs from the usual one in that now the D5 harmonic function, L2, has no pole
at the location of the tube, and the divergence in the D5 warp factor Ze2 comes from
the interaction of the magnetic dipole charge of the supertube with the magnetic field
of the background. This is again a smooth supersymmetric solution, as can be checked
either directly or using equations (3.36), (3.37) and (3.40) in [66]. The difference with
respect to the previous solution is that now the geometric transition has exchanged the
singular D1 brane charges for a nontrivial flux of 6F3 on the S3 in the infrared (or from
a ten-dimensional perspective with a nontrivial flux of F7 on S3 T 4). Again, we expect
a DBI analysis of these supertubes to reveal a much larger moduli space.
Two generalized spectral flows on D1 and D5 branes
Given that we now have a powerful way of following the solutions through the Melvin and
spectral flow transformations, one can also ask what happens to the Coulomb branch of the
original D1-D5 system after the two generalized spectral flows that take us to geometries
with a NHEK infrared.
One can consider first a circular Coulomb branch distribution, in which the D1s and
D5s are smeared on the Taub-NUT fiber at different positions in the R3 base. The new
solution will have KKM dipole charges along the common D1-D5 direction at the location of the
D1 and the D5 branes. Moreover, since the original stacks of D1 and D5 branes were both
locally preserving 16 supersymmetries, the resulting near-brane solution will also preserve 16
supersymmetries. Furthermore, after the two spectral flows, the centers will acquire a
nontrivial KKM charge with a special direction, and hence will give rise to a smooth bubbling
solution [29], of the type constructed in [7678] to describe black hole microstate solutions.20
In our IIB frame this bubbling solution will have nontrivial three-cycles wrapped by
flux. These three-cycles can be thought of as coming from the geometric transition of the
D1 branes and the D5 branes. The three-cycles between the center of Taub-NUT and the
D5 locations will have a nontrivial F3 flux, equal to the numbers of D5 branes before the
geometric transition. The three-cycles between the center of Taub-NUT and the D1 locations
will have a nontrivial flux of 6F3, equal to the numbers of D1 branes before the transition.
Hence, at generic points on this bubbling branch of the moduli space, where the
D1 and the D5 shells do not coincide, the overall solution will be smooth. When the
20If one dualizes this solution to the frame where the D1, D5 and P charges correspond to three sets of
M2 branes on T 2s inside T 6, and then reduces this solution to ten dimensions along , each smooth center
will become a fluxed D6 brane [57, 79]. However, unlike the usual bubbling solutions, the positions of our
bubbles are not constrained by any bubble equations.
two shells coincide, the resulting center on the Taub-NUT base will locally have eight
supersymmetries, and despite the presence of KKM charges will not be smooth. Much
like the configurations in the previous subsections, we expect these bubbling geometries to
represent but a small subset of the configurations of the new moduli space. Indeed, from
the physics of supertubes it is likely that there should exist supersymmetric deformations
of bubbling geometries parameterized by several continuous functions. It would be clearly
interesting to construct them.
More general configurations in the new moduli space
For a more general configuration, the resulting charges and Coulomb branch configurations
will be more complicated. After performing two spectral flows, the resulting configuration
will generically have all the possible charges and dipole charges it can carry. If the
solution near one of the centers had 16 supersymmetries before the spectral flow, the
resulting solution will be generically smooth. However, centers that have more than
one type of branes before the spectral flows (and hence will only preserve eight or four
supersymmetries) will generically not be smooth after the flows.
It is also important to note that the branch of the moduli space we discussed above
will always fit into the NHEK region of the solution, and will therefore correspond to
deformations of the asymptotically NHEK solution. This is because the distance between the
center of Taub-NUT and the branes was not constrained in the Coulomb branch
configurations we started from (in the language of multicenter solutions the charges at all centers are
mutually local, and hence there are no bubble/integrability equations to constrain their
positions). Hence, after the generalized spectral flows one still does not have any integrability
conditions to satisfy, and the size of the bubbles will again be a free parameter.
Note that this will not necessarily be true for the Higgs branch configurations. Before
the generalized spectral flows some of these configurations are supertubes, whose distance
from the Taub-NUT center are constrained. Hence, they may or may not survive when
taking the near-horizon limit that brings us to the NHEK geometries. We leave the
exhaustive exploration of these configurations to a future publication.
We are grateful to Sheer El-Showk, Stefano Giusto, Kyriakos Papadodimas, Clement Ruef
and Andrew Strominger for interesting conversations, and to Andrew Strominger in
particular for useful comments on the draft. M.G. would like to thank the IPhT, Saclay and the
Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature at Harvard for their kind hospitality. The work
of I.B. is supported in part by the ANR grant 08-JCJC-0001-0, and by the ERC Starting
Independent Researcher Grant 240210 String-QCD-BH. The work of M.G. is supported
in part by the DOE grant DE-FG02-95ER40893, and the work of W.S. by the Harvard
Society of Fellows and the DOE grant DE-FG02-91ER40654. I.B. and M.G. are also grateful
to the Aspen Center for Physics for hospitality and support via the NSF grant 1066293.
Hodge duals
We present the Hodge duals of various three-forms of interest with respect to the
metric (2.10). Our conventions are such that y = 1.
(w+ w w3) = q
1 g2
(w+ w 3) = q1 g2
+(g + hB ) 1 2 w3 + 12 w+ w 3
The above three-form field is no longer of the form (2.10): it differs by an overall sign.
Nevertheless, the interchange of and which we are supposed to perform for the
= 1 backgrounds effectively reverses the sign of the Levi-Civita tensor, thus yielding
a three-form field of the expected form.
SO(2, 2) transformations
In general, under an SO(d, d) T-duality transformation, the internal metric, B-field and
the Kaluza-Klein gauge fields transform as [80]
X (22X + 21)(11 + 12X)1 ,
where Ai = {A, B} has been defined below (2.16) and we let
The SO(2, 2) transformations are particularly simple [81]. Parameterizing
X G + B
act on X simply as
Meanwhile, the Kahler structure transformations
a + b
c + d
are implemented by
= d c ! , = 0 1 ! . (B.8)
b a 1 0
Let us now discuss the structure of the SL(2, R)L SU(2) invariant backgrounds that
we would like to study. There are two coordinate systems that we can consider. The
solutions (2.10) yield a metric gmn and B-field that have a relatively simple structure.
Nevertheless, the SO(2, 2) transformations naturally act on the metric written in the y
coordinate system, where all compact coordinates have period 2. Given the coordinate
transformation (2.14) between the two, the quantities of interest are related by
G = M T GM , B = M T B M = B det M ,
A = M 1A , B = M T B
The internal metric (G), B-field (B) and Kaluza-Klein gauge fields A, B in the y coordinate
system, evaluated on the backgrounds (2.10), take a particularly simple form
Ay = rdt , A = cos d (B.10)
The gauge fields which descend from the Kaluza-Klein reduction of the 6d B-field are
defined as [80]
(B.11)
where B is the six-dimensional gauge field in the respective coordinate system, given by
Put more simply, if we consider A in (B.10) to be a reference gauge field for these
backgrounds, due to its simple form, then
Kahler transformations
We start from a spacetime whose curvature is characterized by g, B and , and global
structure given by the identification matrix M , of determinant det M = 2V. We will
assume that the starting B = 0, which can be always achieved by a constant gauge
transformation. The starting Kaluza-Klein gauge fields are thus
A = M 1A ,
After acting with a Kahler transformation of the type (B.8), the new Kaluza-Klein gauge
fields must take the form
A = M 1A ,
These equations determine the new identification matrix M , which is given by
V = 2 det M
= ,
Let us moreover assume that the original background has B = 0. Then the internal B-field
1 = 0 and
h = q1 g2 ,
2 = det G = 2 det M = V
Acting with the Kahler structure transformation (B.7), we find
1 g2
= cdd2V(1c2V2) , for |d| > |c|V
The extra equation we need in order to determine the geometry is obtained from the fact
that Kahler transformations do not change the complex structure of the compactification
torus
This equation immediately allows us to determine g in terms of g.
In practice, what we need to know are the parameters g, B, , M , B ad of the
new background that results from performing a Kahler transformation upon a background
characterized by g, , M, and B = B = 0.
The answer is that g is determined by g via (B.27). For = 1, one finds that
g =
x =
For = 1 we simply obtain the consistency check that if we start with g = 0, or M = I2,
we also end up with M = I2, or g = 0. For = 1 the expression for B is determined
by (B.23) and the above expression for g to be
B =
xq1 g2
1 x g
The remaining parameters are given in (B.18), (B.19). The value of the dilaton for the new
background is computed from the requirement that the four-dimensional dilaton e24 =
e2det G be unchanged by the Kahler transformation, yielding
Details of the matching
Consequently, we have
M T M M =
M = d2+c12V2 (d cVI) M (d + IcV)
We first match the parameters of the T and S transformations by requiring that the final
g,B be given by (2.43). From the formulae in section 2.2, we immediately deduce that
from which we find that the parameters of the two transformations are
From here, we obtain the following relations
d =
2 = q5 , e20 = q5 (C.5)
4 q1
we can use the above relations to express the parameters Q1, Q5, Qp and JL of the resulting
Kerr black hole in terms of q1, q5, q0, c, d, c, d. We find that
cd = c d
a2 = cdS0
where we have defined the reduced entropy
This implies that the integer charges Q1 and Q5 are
S0 q1q5q0
Q1 = q1d2 q5q0c2 ,
Q5 = q5d2 q1q0 c2
Thus, if the input charges and the coefficients of the transformations are integer, then the
D1 and D5 charges of the resulting NHEK background are also automatically integer. Let
us now proceed to matching the identifications. We have
Given that in the limit i , a 0 with the charges kept fixed we are supposed to
recover AdS3 S3 automatically, we choose the lower signs. After performing an S-duality
to the NS1-NS5 system we have
S0 =
= qJL2 Q1Q5Qp = q1q5q0
M2 =
In order for the match to happen, we need
M2 U = MNHEK =
0 !
2
where U is the unimodular matrix (2.48) representing the final U transformation. First,
note that
det M2 =
where S is the entropy of the 5d Kerr black hole, given in (2.42). Manipulating the above
equation we find, as expected, that the entropy of the black hole is invariant under the
series of STU dualities
This fact lets us determine the remaining charges, Qp and JL, in terms of qi, c, c, d, d.
Remember that the expression for the entropy S0 in terms of the i is
S0 = 4a3(c1c5cp s1s5sp)
Using (C.6), one can simplify the discriminant of this equation to
2a3 cosh(1 5) e2p S0 ep + 2a3 cosh(1 + 5) = 0
= S02 h1 4c2(d2q1 + d2q5)(d2 + c2q0)i
In order to have real solutions for ep, the discriminant must be positive; this requirement
cannot be satisfied for integer qi, c, c, d, d. Consequently, there does not exist a string theory
duality which maps AdS3 S3 to NHEK, but only a supergravity one. This being said,
one can solve the above equation for p and then calculate Qp and JL, using
JL = 4a3(c1c5cp + s1s5sp)
The simplest way to write the resulting formulae seems to be
JL = c2ocsohs2h((11++5)5+) ccoosshh(2(1155)) S0 + cosh2(1 +5)cosh2(1 5) (C.17)
2 cosh(1 + 5) cosh(1 5)
Qp = 161a4 co(Ssh02+(1)25) co(Ssh02(1+)25) ! (C.18)
U =
ad bc = 1
c = ddTQ e21 +e25 1+eT2R125
Example: equal charges
We would like to find the STU transformations needed to untwist the near horizon
geometry of an extremal Kerr black hole with Q1 = Q5 = Qp = Q and angular momentum
JL. We will only work out the S and T transformations, as they are the most nontrivial
ones in going from AdS3 S3 to 6d NHEK. Setting 1 = 5 and using (C.6) we find that
q1d2 = q5d2
We can think of this equation as determining q5 in terms of q1, d and d. Next, plugging
in the solution (C.6) for 1 and a into the equation (C.13) with p = 5 = 1 we find that
The equation (C.8) implies that
which can be used to manipulate (C.24) into a cubic equation for q1d2
= 1
(4q1d2 Q)2(q1d2 Q) = S02
where now S0 should be thought of as a function of Q and JL, namely (C.12). The above
equation has one real solution with q1d2 > Q. Once this solution is known, one can
determine the combinations
Using the fact that the solution for q1d2 > Q > 1, one immediately notes that |c d| < 1,
so again we confirm that the transformations parameters cannot all be integer. The
remaining charges are determined as
c d =
q0 =
Thus, the charges Q, JL of the Kerr-Newman black hole we aim for determine the
combinations q1d2, q5 d2, q0 d2d2, c d, cd, but do not seem to impose any constraint on
d, d. A natural choice is then to take d = d = 1. Since the only constraint on a, a, b, b is
the unimodularity one, we can also choose for simplicity a = a = 1, b = b = 0, and thus
the S and T transformations become TsTs.
An identity among dualities
In section 3.2 we showed how the metric and three-form flux transform under the first
generalized spectral flow, or S TsT S. Now we will show that a T-duality, followed by a
Melvin twist and a T-duality back in a purely RR background has the same effect on a
given geometry.
After a T duality along y2, the background (3.15) becomes
B =
dy2 ,
C(3) =
12 C(2)dx dx + C(21) dy1
dy2
Next, we lift to M-theory, using
2 4
ds121 = e 3 ds120 + e 3 (dx11 + C(1))2
C(3) =
2 C
dy1 ,
C(1) = A1A
1 = (1 + 1)2 + 12e2 det G , A = A 1B
A1A = 11 (1 + 1)(B2 + (dy1 + A1)) + 1 det Ge2(dy1 + A1)
= B2 + (dy1 + A1 )
The above solution is the same as the solution after STsTS given by (3.22). Therefore, we
have explicitly shown that STsTS on a IIB background with only RR three-form flux is
equivalent to a T-duality, Melvin twist, and another T-duality.
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