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Strings with non-relativistic conformal symmetry and limits of the AdS/CFT correspondence

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  • Troels Harmark
  • Jelle Hartong
  • Lorenzo Menculini
  • Niels A. Obers
  • Ziqi Yan

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Original languageEnglish
Article number190
Journal Journal of High Energy Physics
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2018


We find a Polyakov-type action for strings moving in a torsional Newton-Cartan geometry. This is obtained by starting with the relativistic Polyakov action and fixing the momentum of the string along a non-compact null isometry. For a flat target space, we show that the world-sheet theory becomes the Gomis-Ooguri action. From a target space perspective these strings are non-relativistic but their world-sheet theories are still relativistic. We show that one can take a scaling limit in which also the world-sheet theory becomes non-relativistic with an infinite-dimensional symmetry algebra given by the Galilean conformal algebra. This scaling limit can be taken in the context of the AdS/CFT correspondence and we show that it is realized by the ‘Spin Matrix Theory’ limits of strings on AdS5 × S5. Spin Matrix theory arises as non-relativistic limits of the AdS/CFT correspondence close to BPS bounds. The duality between non-relativistic strings and Spin Matrix theory provides a holographic duality of its own and points towards a framework for more tractable holographic dualities whereby non-relativistic strings are dual to near BPS limits of the dual field theory.

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