Theses Doctoral

A group theoretical approach to quantum gravity in (A)dS

Sun, Zimo

This thesis is devoted to developing a group-theoretical approach towards quantum gravity in (Anti)-de Sitter spacetime. We start with a comprehensive review of the representation theory of de Sitter (dS) isometry group, focusing on the construction of unitary irreducible representations and the computation of characters. The three chapters that follow present the results of novel research conducted as a graduate student.

Chapter 4 is based on [1]. We provide a general algebraic construction of higher spin quasinormal modes of de Sitter horizon and identify the boundary operator insertions that source the quasinormal modes from a local QFT point of view. Quasinormal modes of a single higher spin field in dSD furnish two nonunitary lowest-weight representations of the dS isometry group SO(1,D). We also show that quasinormal mode spectrums of higher spin fields are precisely encoded in the Harish-Chandra characters of the corresponding SO(1,D) unitary irreducible representations.

Chapter 5 is based on work with D. Anninos, F. Denef and A. Law [2]. With potential application to constraining UV-complete microscopic models of de Sitter quantum gravity, we compute de Sitter entropy as the logarithm of the sphere path integral, for any possible low energy effective field theory containing a massless graviton, in arbitrary dimensions. The path integral is performed exactly at the one-loop level. The one-loop correction to the dS entropy is found to take a universal “bulk−edge” form, with the bulk part being an integral transformation of a Harish-Chandra character encoding quasinormal modes spectrum in a static patch of dS and the edge part being the same integral transformation of an edge character encoding degrees of freedom frozen on the dS horizon. In 3D de Sitter spacetime, the one-loop exact entropy is promoted to an all-loop exact result for truncated higher spin gravity, the latter admitting an SL(n,C) Chern-Simons formulation with n being the spin cut-off.

Chapter 6 is based on [3]. Inspired by [2], we revisit the one-loop partition function of any higher spin field in (d + 1)-dimensional Anti-de Sitter spacetime and show that it can be universally expressed as an integral transform of an SO(2, d) bulk character and an SO(2, d − 2) edge character. We apply this character integral formula to various higherspin Vasiliev gravities and find miraculous (almost) cancellations between bulk and edge characters, leading to striking agreement with the predictions of higher spin holography. We also comment on the relation between our character integral formula and Rindler-AdS [4] thermal partition functions.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Denef, Frederik M.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 18, 2021