Brick Walls and AdS/CFT

Bernard S. Kay, Leonardo Ortiz Hernandez

Research output: Working paperPreprint


We discuss the relationship between the bulk-boundary correspondence in Rehren's algebraic holography (and in other 'fixed-background' approaches to holography) and in mainstream 'Maldacena AdS/CFT'. Especially, we contrast the understanding of black-hole entropy from the viewpoint of QFT in curved spacetime -- in the framework of 't Hooft's 'brick wall' model -- with the understanding based on Maldacena AdS/CFT. We show that the brick-wall modification of a Klein Gordon field in the Hartle-Hawking-Israel state on 1+2-Schwarzschild AdS (BTZ) has a well-defined boundary limit with the same temperature and entropy as the brick-wall-modified bulk theory. One of our main purposes is to point out a close connection, for general AdS/CFT situations, between the puzzle raised by Arnsdorf and Smolin regarding the relationship between Rehren's algebraic holography and mainstream AdS/CFT and the puzzle embodied in the 'correspondence principle' proposed by Mukohyama and Israel in their work on the brick-wall approach to black hole entropy. Working on the assumption that similar results will hold for bulk QFT other than the Klein Gordon field and for Schwarzschild AdS in other dimensions, and recalling the first author's proposed resolution to the Mukohyama-Israel puzzle based on his 'matter-gravity entanglement hypothesis', we argue that, in Maldacena AdS/CFT, the algebra of the boundary CFT is isomorphic only to a proper subalgebra of the bulk algebra, albeit (at non-zero temperature) the (GNS) Hilbert spaces of bulk and boundary theories are still the 'same' -- the total bulk state being pure, while the boundary state is mixed (thermal). We also argue from the finiteness of its boundary (and hence, on our assumptions, also bulk) entropy at finite temperature, that the Rehren dual of the Maldacena boundary CFT cannot itself be a QFT and must, instead, presumably be something like a string theory.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages54
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2011


  • High energy physics- theory
  • general relativity
  • quantum cosmology

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