21.02.2019 (Thursday)

3d Abelian Gauge theories at the Boundary

Exceptional Seminar Edoardo Lauria (Durham)

14:00 KCL
room Bush House S 2.01

A four-dimensional abelian gauge theory can be coupled to a 3d CFT with a U(1) symmetry living on a boundary. This coupling gives rise to a continuous family of boundary conformal field theories (BCFTs) parametrized by the gauge coupling τ and by the choice of the CFT in the decoupling limit. Upon performing an Electric-Magnetic duality in the bulk and going to the decoupling limit in the new frame, one finds a different 3d CFT on the boundary, related to the original one by Witten's SL(2, Z) action. In particular the cusps on the real τ axis correspond to the 3d gauging of the original CFT. We study general properties of this family of BCFTs. We show how to express bulk one and two-point functions, and the hemisphere free-energy, in terms of the two-point functions of the boundary electric and magnetic currents. Finally, upon assuming particle-vortex duality (and its fermionic version), we show how to turn this machinery into a powerful computational tool to study 3d gauge theories.