Colliders and conformal interfaces

Wednesday, 24 April, 2019

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We set up a scattering experiment of matter against an impurity which separates two generic one-dimensional critical quantum systems. We compute the flux of reflected and transmitted energy, thus defining a precise measure of the transparency of the interface between the related two-dimensional conformal field theories. If the largest symmetry algebra is Virasoro, we find that the reflection and transmission coefficients are independent of the details of the initial state, and are fixed in terms of the central charges and of the two-point function of the displacement operator. The situation is more elaborate when extended symmetries are present. Positivity of the total energy flux at infinity imposes bounds on the coefficient of the two-point function of the displacement operator, which controls the free-energy cost of a small deformation of the interface.


Marco Meineri
Joao Penedones
Antonin Rousset