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Holographic thermal correlators from supersymmetric instantons

Matthew Dodelson, Alba Grassi, Cristoforo Iossa, Daniel Panea Lichtig, Alexander Zhiboedov

SciPost Phys. 14, 116 (2023) · published 16 May 2023


We present an exact formula for the thermal scalar two-point function in four-dimensional holographic conformal field theories. The problem of finding it reduces to the analysis of the wave equation on the AdS-Schwarzschild background. The two-point function is computed from the connection coefficients of the Heun equation, which can be expressed in terms of the Nekrasov-Shatashvili partition function of an $SU(2)$ supersymmetric gauge theory with four fundamental hypermultiplets. The result is amenable to numerical evaluation upon truncating the number of instantons in the convergent expansion of the partition function. We also examine it analytically in various limits. At large spin the instanton expansion of the thermal two-point function directly maps to the light-cone bootstrap analysis of the heavy-light four-point function. Using this connection, we compute the OPE data of heavy-light double-twist operators. We compare our prediction to the perturbative results available in the literature and find perfect agreement.

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