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  1. A bstract In the AdS/CFT correspondence, single trace operators of large- N gauge theories at large spin J can be described by classical spinning strings, giving a geometric and classical description of their spectrum at strong coupling. We observe that in AdS 3 these strings have significant gravitational back-reaction at sufficiently large spin, since the gravitational force does not decay at long distances. We construct solutions for folded spinning strings coupled to gravity in AdS 3 and compute their spectrum, corresponding to the leading Regge trajectory of Virasroro primary operators. These solutions exist only below a maximal spin J < J max , and as J → J max the solution approaches an extremal rotating BTZ black hole.
  2. A bstract We reformulate recent insights into black hole information in a manner emphasizing operationally-defined notions of entropy, Lorentz-signature descriptions, and asymptotically flat spacetimes. With the help of replica wormholes, we find that experiments of asymptotic observers are consistent with black holes as unitary quantum systems, with density of states given by the Bekenstein-Hawking formula. However, this comes at the cost of superselection sectors associated with the state of baby universes. Spacetimes studied by Polchinski and Strominger in 1994 provide a simple illustration of the associated concepts and techniques, and we argue them to be a natural late-time extrapolation of replica wormholes. The work aims to be self-contained and, in particular, to be accessible to readers who have not yet mastered earlier formulations of the ideas above.
  3. A bstract We obtain an asymptotic formula for the average value of the operator product expansion coefficients of any unitary, compact two dimensional CFT with c > 1. This formula is valid when one or more of the operators has large dimension or — in the presence of a twist gap — has large spin. Our formula is universal in the sense that it depends only on the central charge and not on any other details of the theory. This result unifies all previous asymptotic formulas for CFT2 structure constants, including those derived from crossing symmetry of four point functions, modular covariance of torus correlation functions, and higher genus modular invariance. We determine this formula at finite central charge by deriving crossing kernels for higher genus crossing equations, which give analytic control over the structure constants even in the absence of exact knowledge of the conformal blocks. The higher genus modular kernels are obtained by sewing together the elementary kernels for four-point crossing and modular transforms of torus one-point functions. Our asymptotic formula is related to the DOZZ formula for the structure constants of Liouville theory, and makes precise the sense in which Liouville theory governs the universal dynamics ofmore »heavy operators in any CFT. The large central charge limit provides a link with 3D gravity, where the averaging over heavy states corresponds to a coarse-graining over black hole microstates in holographic theories. Our formula also provides an improved understanding of the Eigenstate Thermalization Hypothesis (ETH) in CFT 2 , and suggests that ETH can be generalized to other kinematic regimes in two dimensional CFTs.« less