We explore a formulation of the Smatrix in terms of the path integral with specified asymptotic data, as originally proposed by Arefeva, Faddeev, and Slavnov. In the tree approximation the Smatrix is equal to the exponential of the classical action evaluated onshell. This formulation is wellsuited to questions involving asymptotic symmetries, as it avoids reference to nongauge/diffeomorphism invariant bulk correlators or sources at intermediate stages. We show that the soft photon theorem, originally derived by Weinberg and more recently connected to asymptotic symmetries by Strominger and collaborators, follows rather simply from invariance of the action under large gauge transformations applied to the asymptotic data. We also show that this formalism allows for efficient computation of the Smatrix in curved spacetime, including particle production due to a time dependent metric.
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A<sc>bstract</sc> Free, publiclyaccessible full text available October 1, 2024 
A bstract We undertake a general study of the boundary (or edge) modes that arise in gauge and gravitational theories defined on a space with boundary, either asymptotic or at finite distance, focusing on efficient techniques for computing the corresponding boundary action. Such actions capture all the dynamics of the system that are implied by its asymptotic symmetry group, such as correlation functions of the corresponding conserved currents. Working in the covariant phase space formalism, we develop a collection of approaches for isolating the boundary modes and their dynamics, and illustrate with various examples, notably AdS 3 gravity (with and without a gravitational ChernSimons terms) subject to assorted boundary conditions.more » « less

A bstract Pure gravity in AdS 3 is a theory of boundary excitations, most simply expressed as a constrained free scalar with an improved stress tensor that is needed to match the BrownHenneaux central charge. Excising a finite part of AdS gives rise to a static gauge NambuGoto action for the boundary graviton. We show that this is the $$ T\overline{T} $$ T T ¯ deformation of the infinite volume theory, as the effect of the improvement term on the deformed action can be absorbed into a field redefinition. The classical gravitational stress tensor is reproduced order by order by the $$ T\overline{T} $$ T T ¯ trace equation. We calculate the finite volume energy spectrum in static gauge and find that the trace equation imposes sufficient constraints on the ordering ambiguities to guarantee agreement with the lightcone gauge prediction. The correlation functions, however, are not completely fixed by the trace equation. We show how both the gravitational action and the $$ T\overline{T} $$ T T ¯ deformation allow for finite improvement terms, and we match these to the undetermined total derivative terms in Zamolodchikov’s point splitting definition of the $$ T\overline{T} $$ T T ¯ operator.more » « less

A bstract We revisit the proposal that the ensemble average over free boson CFTs in two dimensions — parameterized by Narain’s moduli space — is dual to an exotic theory of gravity in three dimensions dubbed U(1) gravity. We consider flavored partition functions, where the usual genus g partition function is weighted by Wilson lines coupled to the conserved U(1) currents of these theories. These flavored partition functions obey a heat equation which relates deformations of the Riemann surface moduli to those of the chemical potentials which measure these U(1) charges. This allows us to derive a SiegelWeil formula which computes the average of these flavored partition functions. The result takes the form of a “sum over geometries”, albeit with modifications relative to the unflavored case.more » « less

Pure threedimensional gravity is a renormalizable theory with twofree parameters labelled by
andG $G$ .As a consequence, correlation functions of the boundary stress tensor inAdS\Lambda $\Lambda $ are uniquely fixed in terms of one dimensionless parameter, which is thecentral charge of the Virasoro algebra. The same argument implies thatAdS_3 ${}_{3}$ gravity at a finite radial cutoff is a renormalizable theory, but nowwith one additional parameter corresponding to the cutoff location. Thistheory is conjecturally dual to a_3 ${}_{3}$ deformedCFT, assuming that such theories actually exist. To elucidate this, westudy the quantum theory of boundary gravitons living on a cutoff planarboundary and the associated correlation functions of the boundary stresstensor. We compute stress tensor correlation functions to twoloop order(T\overline{T} $T\overline{T}$ being the loop counting parameter), extending existing tree levelresults. This is made feasible by the fact that the boundary gravitonaction simplifies greatly upon making a judicious field redefinition,turning into the NambuGoto action. After imposing Lorentz invariance,the correlators at this order are found to be unambiguous up to a singleundetermined renormalization parameter.G $G$ 
null (Ed.)A bstract The $$ T\overline{T} $$ T T ¯ deformation can be formulated as a dynamical change of coordinates. We establish and generalize this relation to curved spaces by coupling the undeformed theory to 2d gravity. For curved space the dynamical change of coordinates is supplemented by a dynamical Weyl transformation. We also sharpen the holographic correspondence to cutoff AdS 3 in multiple ways. First, we show that the action of the annular region between the cutoff surface and the boundary of AdS 3 is given precisely by the $$ T\overline{T} $$ T T ¯ operator integrated over either the cutoff surface or the asymptotic boundary. Then we derive dynamical coordinate and Weyl transformations directly from the bulk. Finally, we reproduce the flow equation for the deformed stress tensor from the cutoff geometry.more » « less

The quantization of pure 3D gravity with Dirichlet boundaryconditions on a finite boundary is of interest both as a model ofquantum gravity in which one can compute quantities which are ``morelocal" than Smatrices or asymptotic boundary correlators, and forits proposed holographic duality to T\overline{T} T T ¯ deformedCFTs. In this work we apply covariant phase space methods to deduce thePoisson bracket algebra of boundary observables. The result is aoneparameter nonlinear deformation of the usual Virasoro algebra ofasymptotically AdS _3 3 gravity. This algebra should be obeyed by the stress tensor in any T\overline{T} T T ¯ deformedholographic CFT. We next initiate quantization of this system within thegeneral framework of coadjoint orbits, obtaining — in perturbationtheory — a deformed version of the AlekseevShatashvili symplectic formand its associated geometric action. The resulting energy spectrum isconsistent with the expected spectrum of T\overline{T} T T ¯ deformedtheories, although we only carry out the explicit comparison to \mathcal{O}(1/\sqrt{c}) 𝒪 ( 1 / c ) in the 1/c 1 / c expansion.more » « less

null (Ed.)A bstract We develop an efficient method for computing thermal partition functions of weakly coupled scalar fields in AdS. We consider quartic contact interactions and show how to evaluate the relevant twoloop vacuum diagrams without performing any explicit AdS integration, the key step being the use of KällénLehmann type identities. This leads to a simple method for extracting doubletrace anomalous dimensions in any spacetime dimension, recovering known firstorder results in a streamlined fashion.more » « less