Metastability and instability in holographic gauge theories

Matthew Kleban, Albion Lawrence, Matthew M. Roberts, Stefano Storace

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    We review and extend previous results regarding the stability and thermodynamics of Anti-de Sitter (AdS) spacetime at finite temperature. Using a combination of analytic and numerical techniques, we compute the energy, temperature, and entropy of perfect fluid stars in asymptotically AdS spacetimes. We find that at sufficiently high temperature (in the canonical ensemble) or energy (in the microcanonical ensemble) these configurations develop dynamical instabilities, which presumably lead to the formation of a black hole. We extend our analysis to the case of AdS × S compactifications stabilized by flux (such as those that arise in supergravity and string theory), and find that the inclusion of the sphere does not substantially alter these results. We then map out the phase structure of these theories in the canonical and microcanonical ensembles, paying attention to inequivalence of these ensembles for global anti-de Sitter space. With a certain scaling limit, the critical temperature can be parametrically lower than the string temperature, so that supergravity is a good description at the instability point. We comment on the implications of this for the unitarity of black holes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number152
    JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jun 2014


    • AdS-CFT Correspondence
    • Classical Theories of Gravity
    • Field Theories in Higher Dimensions

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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