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Journal Article

Towards AdS Distances in String Theory


Li,  Yixuan
Max Planck Institute for Physics, Max Planck Society and Cooperation Partners;

Palti,  Eran
Max Planck Institute for Physics, Max Planck Society and Cooperation Partners;

Petri,  Nicolò
Max Planck Institute for Physics, Max Planck Society and Cooperation Partners;

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Li, Y., Palti, E., & Petri, N. (2023). Towards AdS Distances in String Theory. Journal of High Energy Physics, 08, 210. doi:10.1007/JHEP08(2023)210.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000F-11AC-C
The AdS Distance Conjecture proposes to assign a notion of distance between AdS vacua in quantum gravity. We perform some initial developments of this idea. We first propose more sharply how to define a metric on conformal variations of AdS through the action. This metric is negative, making the distance ill-defined, a property relating to the famous conformal factor problem of quantum gravity. However, in string theory, variations of the AdS conformal factor are accompanied by variations of the internal dimensions and of the background flux. We propose an $\textit{action metric}$, which accounts for all of these variations simultaneously. Accounting for the variations of the overall volume of the internal dimensions can flip the sign of the action metric making it positive. This positivity is related to the absence of scale separation between the internal and external dimensions: the negative external conformal contribution must be sub-dominant to the positive internal contribution. We then focus specifically on the families of solutions of eleven-dimensional supergravity on AdS$_4 \times S^7$ and AdS$_7 \times S^4$. For these, there is only a single further additional contribution to the action metric coming from variations of the Freund-Rubin flux. This contribution is subtle to implement, and the unique prescription we find requires singling out the radial direction of AdS as special. Adding the flux contribution yields an overall total action metric which becomes positive for both the AdS$_4$ and AdS$_7$ families of solutions. The final result is therefore a procedure which yields a well-defined distance for these families of solutions.