We study thermodynamic and transport observables of quantum critical states that arise in the infrared limit of holographic renormalization group flows. Although these observables are expected to exhibit quantum critical scaling, there are a number of cases in which their frequency and temperature dependences are in apparent contradiction with scaling theories. We study two different classes of examples and show in both cases that the apparent breakdown of scaling is a consequence of the dependence of observables on an irrelevant deformation of the quantum critical state. By assigning scaling dimensions to the near-horizon observables, we formulate improved scaling theories that are completely consistent with all explicit holographic results once the dependence on the dangerously irrelevant coupling is properly accounted for. In addition to governing thermodynamic and transport phenomena in these states, we show that the dangerously irrelevant coupling also controls late-time equilibration, which occurs at a rate parametrically slower than the temperature 1/τeqT. At very late times, transport is diffusion-dominated, with a diffusivity that can be written simply in terms of τeq and the butterfly velocity, D∼vB2τeq. We conjecture that in such cases there exists a long-lived, propagating collective mode with velocity vs, and in this case the relation D=vs2τeq holds exactly in the limit τeqT≫1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)