TTT in CFT: Trace identities and the conformal anomaly effective action

Corianò, Claudio (Università del Salento, INFN Lecce, Via Arnesano, Lecce, 73100, Italy) ; Maglio, Matteo Maria (Università del Salento, INFN Lecce, Via Arnesano, Lecce, 73100, Italy) ; Mottola, Emil (Theoretical Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, T-2, MS B285, Los Alamos, NM, 87545, USA)

29 March 2019

Abstract: Stress-energy correlation functions in a general Conformal Field Theory (CFT) in four dimensions are described in a fully covariant approach, as metric variations of the quantum effective action in an arbitrary curved space background field. All Conservation, Trace and Conformal Ward Identities (CWIs), including contact terms, are completely fixed in this covariant approach. The Trace and CWIs are anomalous. Their anomalous contributions may be computed unambiguously by metric variation of the exact 1PI quantum effective action determined by the conformal anomaly of 〈Tμν〉 in d=4 curved space. This action implies the existence of massless propagator poles in three and higher point correlators of Tμν . The metric variations of the anomaly effective action in its local form in terms of a scalar conformalon field are carried out explicitly for the case of the correlator of three CFT stress-energy tensors, and the result is shown to coincide with the algebraic reconstruction of 〈TTT〉 from its transverse, tracefree parts, determined independently by the solution of the CWIs in d dimensional flat space in the momentum representation. This demonstrates that the specific analytic structure and massless poles predicted by the general curved space anomaly effective action are in fact a necessary feature of the exact solution of the anomalous CWIs in any d=4 CFT.

Published in: Nuclear Physics B 942 (2019) 303-328
Published by: Elsevier
DOI: 10.1016/j.nuclphysb.2019.03.019
License: CC-BY-3.0

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