The a-theorem and conformal symmetry breaking in holographic RG flows

Carlos Hoyos*, Uri Kol, Jacob Sonnenschein, Shimon Yankielowicz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study holographic models describing an RG flow between two fixed points driven by a relevant scalar operator. We show how to introduce a spurion field to restore Weyl invariance and compute the anomalous contribution to the generating functional in even dimensional theories. We find that the coefficient of the anomalous term is proportional to the difference of the conformal anomalies of the UV and IR fixed points, as expected from anomaly matching arguments in field theory. For any even dimensions the coefficient is positive as implied by the holographic a-theorem. For flows corresponding to spontaneous breaking of conformal invariance, we also compute the two-point functions of the energy-momentum tensor and the scalar operator and identify the dilaton mode. Surprisingly we find that in the simplest models with just one scalar field there is no dilaton pole in the two-point function of the scalar operator but a stronger singularity. We discuss the possible implications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number63
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013


  • AdS-CFT Correspondence
  • Anomalies in Field and String Theories
  • Renormalization Group
  • Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking


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