Holographic geometry of the renormalization group and higher spin symmetries

Robert G. Leigh, Onkar Parrikar, Alexander B. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider the Wilson-Polchinski exact renormalization group (RG) applied to the generating functional of single-trace operators at a free-fixed point in d=2+1 dimensions. By exploiting the rich symmetry structure of free-field theory, we study the geometric nature of the RG equations and the associated Ward identities. The geometry, as expected, is holographic, with anti-de Sitter spacetime emerging correspondent with RG fixed points. The field theory construction gives us a particular vector bundle over the d+1-dimensional RG mapping space, called a jet bundle, whose structure group arises from the linear orthogonal bilocal transformations of the bare fields in the path integral. The sources for quadratic operators constitute a connection on this bundle and a section of its endomorphism bundle. Recasting the geometry in terms of the corresponding principal bundle, we arrive at a structure remarkably similar to the Vasiliev theory, where the horizontal part of the connection on the principal bundle is Vasiliev's higher spin connection, while the vertical part (the Faddeev-Popov ghost) corresponds to the S field. The Vasiliev equations are then, respectively, the RG equations and the Becchi-Rouet-Stora-Tyutin equations, with the RG beta functions encoding bulk interactions. Finally, we remark that a large class of interacting field theories can be studied through integral transforms of our results, and it is natural to organize this in terms of a large N expansion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106012
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 28 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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