Publications associated with Particle Theory

Transport peak in thermal spectral function of ${\cal N}=4$ supersymmetric Yang-Mills plasma at intermediate coupling

Physical Review Letters American Physical Society (2018)

J Casalderrey-Solana, S Grozdanov, AO Starinets

We study the structure of thermal spectral function of the stress-energy tensor in ${\cal N}=4$ supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory at intermediate 't Hooft coupling and infinite number of colors. In gauge-string duality, this analysis reduces to the study of classical bulk supergravity with higher-derivative corrections, which correspond to (inverse) coupling corrections on the gauge theory side. We extrapolate the analysis of perturbative leading-order corrections to intermediate coupling by non-perturbatively solving the equations of motion of metric fluctuations dual to the stress-energy tensor at zero spatial momentum. We observe the emergence of a separation of scales in the analytic structure of the thermal correlator associated with two types of characteristic relaxation modes. As a consequence of this separation, the associated spectral function exhibits a narrow structure in the small frequency region which controls the dynamics of transport in the theory and may be described as a transport peak typically found in perturbative, weakly interacting thermal field theories. We compare our results with generic expectations drawn from perturbation theory, where such a structure emerges as a consequence of the existence of quasiparticles.

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