Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
On functional representations of the conformal algebra
Brighton, United Kingdom
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Accepted: 5 July 2017
Published online: 18 July 2017
Starting with conformally covariant correlation functions, a sequence of functional representations of the conformal algebra is constructed. A key step is the introduction of representations which involve an auxiliary functional. It is observed that these functionals are not arbitrary but rather must satisfy a pair of consistency equations corresponding to dilatation and special conformal invariance. In a particular representation, the former corresponds to the canonical form of the exact renormalization group equation specialized to a fixed point whereas the latter is new. This provides a concrete understanding of how conformal invariance is realized as a property of the Wilsonian effective action and the relationship to action-free formulations of conformal field theory. Subsequently, it is argued that the conformal Ward Identities serve to define a particular representation of the energy-momentum tensor. Consistency of this construction implies Polchinski’s conditions for improving the energy-momentum tensor of a conformal field theory such that it is traceless. In the Wilsonian approach, the exactly marginal, redundant field which generates lines of physically equivalent fixed points is identified as the trace of the energy-momentum tensor.
© The Author(s), 2017