## Scale invariance

We investigate the quantum conformal algebras of N=2 and N=1 supersymmetric gauge theories. Phenomena occurring at strong coupling are analysed using the Nachtmann theorem and very general, model-independent, arguments. The results lead us to introduce a novel class of conformal field theories, identified by a closed quantum conformal algebra. We conjecture that they are the exact solution to the strongly coupled large-$N_c$ limit of the open conformal field theories. We study the basic properties of closed conformal field theory and work out the operator product expansion of the conserved current multiplet T. The OPE structure is uniquely determined by two central charges, $c$ and $a$. The multiplet T does not contain just the stress-tensor, but also R-currents and finite mass operators. For this reason, the ratio $c/a$ is different from 1. On the other hand, an open algebra contains an infinite tower of non-conserved currents, organized in pairs and singlets with respect to renormalization mixing. T mixes with a second multiplet T* and the main consequence is that c and a have different subleading corrections. The closed algebra simplifies considerably at $c=a$, where it coincides with the N=4 one.

Nucl.Phys. B554 (1999) 415-436 | DOI: 10.1016/S0550-3213(99)00300-4

We determine the spectrum of currents generated by the operator product expansion of the energy-momentum tensor in N=4 super-symmetric Yang-Mills theory. Up to the regular terms and in addition to the multiplet of the stress tensor, three current multiplets appear, Sigma, Xi and Upsilon, starting with spin 0, 2 and 4, respectively. The OPE’s of these new currents generate an infinite tower of current multiplets, one for each even spin, which exhibit a universal structure, of length 4 in spin units, identified by a two-parameter rational family. Using higher spin techniques developed recently for conformal field theories, we compute the critical exponents of Sigma, Xi and Upsilon in the TT OPE and prove that the essential structure of the algebra holds at arbitrary coupling. We argue that the algebra closes in the strongly coupled large-$N_c$ limit. Our results determine the quantum conformal algebra of the theory and answer several questions that previously remained open.

Nucl.Phys. B541 (1999) 369-385 | DOI: 10.1016/S0550-3213(98)00848-7

We study higher spin tensor currents in quantum field theory. Scalar, spinor and vector fields admit unique “improved” currents of arbitrary spin, traceless and conserved. Off-criticality as well as at interacting fixed points conservation is violated and the dimension of the current is anomalous. In particular, currents $J^{(s,I)}$ with spin $s$ between 0 and 5 (and a second label $I$) appear in the operator product expansion of the stress tensor. The TT OPE is worked out in detail for free fields; projectors and invariants encoding the space-time structure are classified. The result is used to write and discuss the most general OPE for interacting conformal field theories and off-criticality. Higher spin central charges $c_{(s,I)}$ with arbitrary $s$ are defined by higher spin channels of the many-point T-correlators and central functions interpolating between the UV and IR limits are constructed. We compute the one-loop values of all $c_{(s,I)}$ and investigate the RG trajectories of quantum field theories in the conformal window following our approach. In particular, we discuss certain phenomena (perturbative and nonperturbative) that appear to be of interest, like the dynamical removal of the $I$-degeneracy. Finally, we address the problem of formulating an action principle for the RG trajectory connecting pairs of CFT’s as a way to go beyond perturbation theory.

Nucl.Phys. B541 (1999) 323-368 | DOI: 10.1016/S0550-3213(98)00783-4

Central functions $c(g)$ and $c'(g)$ are constructed in quantum field theory. These quantities justify and generalize the notions of central charges recently introduced at criticality, which, together with suitable anomalous dimensions $h$, identify a conformal field theory in four dimensions (CFT$_4$). They are encoded in the four-point function of the stress-energy tensors. The behavior of the central functions is analysed to two-loops in perturbation theory. The central function is the fundamental notion for a description of quantum field theory as a radiative interpolation between pairs of CFT$_4$’s. The problem of computating their RG flow in the far IR limit starting from the UV fixed point is addressed in the context of supersymmetric gauge theories and electric-magnetic duality.

JHEP 9805:005 (1998) | DOI: 10.1088/1126-6708/1998/05/005