Daniel Harlow

Daniel Harlow

Harvard University

Symmetries in Quantum Field theory and Gravity

I use the AdS/CFT correspondence to study a set of standard conjectures about symmetry and quantum gravity. I’ll give a general argument that all CFT global symmetries, discrete or continuous, must arise asymptotically from gauge symmetries in the bulk. Conversely, I’ll argue that any global symmetry in the bulk would lead to an inconsistency in the CFT. I’ll also argue that the correspondence requires dynamical objects that transform in all finite-dimensional irreducible representations of the gauge group. An essential point, which I’ll dwell on at some length, is precisely defining what we mean by gauge and global symmetries in the bulk and boundary. Time permitting, I will also discuss the compactness of internal global symmetry groups in quantum field theory.