Colloquium: Higher spin theories and holography
Main Content
 When
 10 April 2014 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
 Where
 117 Osmond Laboratory
 Contact Name
 Radu Roiban
 Contact Phone
 8148635811
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Higher spin gravity theories are generalizations of Einstein gravity that involve
towers of interacting massless fields of all spins (including, in particular, the graviton)
and can be consistently constructed in the presence of a nonzero cosmological constant.
In recent years, these theories have received particular attention in the context of the
so called AdS/CFT correspondence, a remarkable "holographic" duality between a quantum theory of gravity
in antide Sitter space and a quantum field theory in one lower dimension.
This correspondence suggests that, despite appearing highly nontrivial,
higher spin gravity theories in AdS may in fact be equivalent to rather simple quantum field
theories, as simple as a free field theory. At the same time, they also provide a dual
gravitational description of interesting interacting quantum field theories, such as the
WilsonFisher fixed point of the O(N) scalar field theory in 3 dimensions. In this talk, I will give an overview of higher spin
theories with a focus on their role in the AdS/CFT correspondence. In particular, I will review some recent results on testing the duality when oneloop quantum effects of the higher spin fields are included. Besides their interest for the AdS/CFT duality,
these calculations suggest that higher spin gravity theories have better ultraviolet properties than pure Einstein gravity,
and may be interesting models of quantum gravity in their own right.