Momentum dissipation and effective theories of coherent and incoherent transport

Richard A. Davison*, Blaise Goutéraux

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


We study heat transport in two systems without momentum conservation: a hydrodynamic system, and a holographic system with spatially dependent, massless scalar fields. When momentum dissipates slowly, there is a well-defined, coherent collective excitation in the AC heat conductivity, and a crossover between sound-like and diffusive transport at small and large distance scales. When momentum dissipates quickly, there is no such excitation in the incoherent AC heat conductivity, and diffusion dominates at all distance scales. For a critical value of the momentum dissipation rate, we compute exact expressions for the Green’s functions of our holographic system due to an emergent gravitational self-duality, similar to electric/magnetic duality, and SL(2,ℝ) symmetries. We extend the coherent/incoherent classification to examples of charge transport in other holographic systems: probe brane theories and neutral theories with non-Maxwell actions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2015


  • AdS-CFT Correspondence
  • Holography and condensed matter physics (AdS/CMT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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