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From conformal blocks to path integrals in the Vaidya geometry

Correlators in conformal field theory are naturally organized as a sum over conformal blocks. In holographic theories, this sum must reorganize into a path integral over bulk fields and geometries. We explore how these two sums are related in the case of a point particle moving in the background of a 3d collapsing black hole. The conformal block expansion is recast as a sum over ...

Averaged null energy condition from causality

Unitary, Lorentz-invariant quantum field theories in flat spacetime obey mi-crocausality: commutators vanish at spacelike separation. For interacting theories in more than two dimensions, we show that this implies that the averaged null energy, ∫ duT uu , must be non-negative. This non-local operator appears in the operator product expansion of local operators in the lightcone ...

A new spin on causality constraints

Causality in a shockwave state is related to the analytic properties of a four-point correlation function. Extending recent results for scalar probes, we show that this constrains the couplings of the stress tensor to light spinning operators in conformal field theory, and interpret these constraints in terms of the interaction with null energy. For spin-1 and spin-2 conserved ...

Causality constraints in conformal field theory

Causality places nontrivial constraints on QFT in Lorentzian signature, for example fixing the signs of certain terms in the low energy Lagrangian. In d dimensional conformal field theory, we show how such constraints are encoded in crossing symmetry of Euclidean correlators, and derive analogous constraints directly from the conformal bootstrap (analytically). The bootstrap setup ...

Black hole collapse in the 1/c expansion

We present a first-principles CFT calculation corresponding to the spherical collapse of a shell of matter in three dimensional quantum gravity. In field theory terms, we describe the equilibration process, from early times to thermalization, of a CFT following a sudden injection of energy at time t = 0. By formulating a continuum version of Zamolodchikov’s monodromy method to ...

Entanglement scrambling in 2d conformal field theory

We investigate how entanglement spreads in time-dependent states of a 1+1 dimensional conformal field theory (CFT). The results depend qualitatively on the value of the central charge. In rational CFTs, which have central charge below a critical value, entanglement entropy behaves as if correlations were carried by free quasiparticles. This leads to long-term memory effects, such ...

Universal spectrum of 2d conformal field theory in the large c limit

Two-dimensional conformal field theories exhibit a universal free energy in the high temperature limit T → ∞, and a universal spectrum in the Cardy regime, Δ → ∞. We show that a much stronger form of universality holds in theories with a large central charge c and a sparse light spectrum. In these theories, the free energy is universal at all values of the temperature, and the ...

Holographic entanglement entropy from 2d CFT: heavy states and local quenches

We consider the entanglement entropy in 2d conformal field theory in a class of excited states produced by the insertion of a heavy local operator. These include both high-energy eigenstates of the Hamiltonian and time-dependent local quenches. We compute the universal contribution from the stress tensor to the single interval Renyi entropies and entanglement entropy, and ...

Topological aspects of generalized gravitational entropy

The holographic prescription for computing entanglement entropy requires that the bulk extremal surface, whose area encodes the amount of entanglement, satisfies a homology constraint. Usually this is stated as the requirement of a (spacelike) interpolating surface that connects the region of interest and the extremal surface. We investigate to what extent this constraint is upheld ...

Gravitation from entanglement in holographic CFTs

Entanglement entropy obeys a ‘first law’, an exact quantum generalization of the ordinary first law of thermodynamics. In any CFT with a semiclassical holographic dual, this first law has an interpretation in the dual gravitational theory as a constraint on the spacetimes dual to CFT states. For small perturbations around the CFT vacuum state, we show that the set of such ...