Instantons and conformal holography

18 Apr 2018

We study a subsector of the AdS_4/CFT_3 correspondence where a class of solutions in the bulk and on the boundary can be explicitly compared. The bulk gravitational theory contains a conformally coupled scalar field with a Phi^4 potential, and is holographically related to a massless scalar with a Phi^6 interaction in three dimensions. We consider the scalar sector of the bulk theory and match bulk and boundary classical solutions of the equations of motion. Of particular interest is the matching of the bulk and the boundary instanton solutions which underlies the relationship between bulk and boundary vacua with broken conformal invariance. Using a form of radial quantization we show that quantum states in the bulk correspond to multiply-occupied single particle quantum states in the boundary theory. This allows us to explicitly identify the boundary composite operator which is dual to the bulk scalar, at the free theory level as well as in the instanton vacuum. We conclude with a discussion of possible implications of our results.