A Conformal Truncation Framework for Infinite-Volume Dynamics

Emanuel Katz, Zuhair U. Khandker, Matthew T. Walters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


We present a new framework for studying conformal field theories deformed by one or more relevant operators. The original CFT is described in infinite volume using a basis of states with definite momentum, P , and conformal Casimir, C. The relevant deformation is then considered using lightcone quantization, with the resulting Hamiltonian expressed in terms of this CFT basis. Truncating to states with CCmax, one can numerically find the resulting spectrum, as well as other dynamical quantities, such as spectral densities of operators. This method requires the introduction of an appropriate regulator, which can be chosen to preserve the conformal structure of the basis. We check this framework in three dimensions for various perturbative deformations of a free scalar CFT, and for the case of a free O(N ) CFT deformed by a mass term and a non-perturbative quartic interaction at large-N . In all cases, the truncation scheme correctly reproduces known analytic results. We also discuss a general procedure for generating a basis of Casimir eigenstates for a free CFT in any number of dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number140
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2016


  • hep-th
  • cond-mat.str-el


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