On the membrane paradigm and spontaneous breaking of horizon BMS symmetries

Christopher Eling, Yaron Oz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: We consider a BMS-type symmetry action on isolated horizons in asymptotically flat spacetimes. From the viewpoint of the non-relativistic field theory on a horizon membrane, supertranslations shift the field theory spatial momentum. The latter is related by a Ward identity to the particle number symmetry current and is spontaneously broken. The corresponding Goldstone boson shifts the horizon angular momentum and can be detected quantum mechanically. Similarly, area preserving superrotations are spontaneously broken on the horizon membrane and we identify the corresponding gapless modes. In asymptotically AdS spacetimes we study the BMS-type symmetry action on the horizon in a holographic superfluid dual. We identify the horizon supertranslation Goldstone boson as the holographic superfluid Goldstone mode.

Original languageEnglish
Article number65
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Black Holes
  • Holography and condensed matter physics (AdS/CMT)
  • Space-Time Symmetries


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