Eur. Phys. J. C 79: 592 (2019) arXiv link
Scale invariance vs. conformal invariance: holographic two-point functions in Horndeski gravity
Yue-Zhou Li1, H. Lü1,*, Hao-Yu Zhang2
1. Center for Joint Quantum Studies and Department of Physics, School of Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China
2. Department of Physics, Shandong University, Jinan, China
We consider Einstein-Horndeski gravity with a negative bare constant as a holographic model to investigate whether a scale invariant quantum field theory can exist without the full conformal invariance. Einstein-Horndeski gravity can admit two different AdS vacua. One is conformal, and the holographic two-point functions of the boundary energy-momentum tensor are the same as the ones obtained in Einstein gravity. The other AdS vacuum, which arises at some critical point of the coupling constants, preserves the scale invariance but not the special conformal invariance due to the logarithmic radial dependence of the Horndeski scalar. In addition to the transverse and traceless graviton modes, the theory admits an additional trace/scalar mode in the scale invariant vacuum. We obtain the two-point functions of the corresponding boundary operators. We find that the trace/scalar mode gives rise to an non-vanishing two-point function, which distinguishes the scale invariant theory from the conformal theory. The two-point function vanishes in
, where the full conformal symmetry is restored. Our results indicate the strongly coupled scale invariant unitary quantum field theory may exist in
without the full conformal symmetry. The operator that is dual to the bulk trace/scalar mode however violates the dominant energy condition.