Abstract:
Motivated by the AdS/CFT correspondence for relativistic CFTs, it seems natural to generalize it to non-relativistic CFTs. Such a dual description could provide insight into strong coupling phenomena observed in condensed matter systems. Scale invariance can be realized in non-relativistic theories in many ways. One freedom is the relative scale dimension of time and space, called the dynamical exponent z. In this thesis, we will mainly focus on the case where z = 2, however gravity duals for other values of z have also been found. In the first part of the thesis, we study NRCFTs that are Galilean invariant. Discrete light cone quantization (DLCQ) of V= 4 super Yang-Mills theory is an example of such a system with z = 2 scaling symmetry. A more realistic example of a system with the same set of symmetries is a system of cold fermions at unitarity. These non-relativistic systems respect a symmetry algebra known as the Schrödinger algebra. We propose a gravity dual that realizes the symmetries of the Schrödinger algebra as isometries. An unusual feature of this duality is that the bulk geometry has two extra dimensions than the CFT, instead of the usual one. The additional direction is a compact direction and shift symmetry along this direction corresponds to the particle number transformation. This solution can be embedded into string theory by performing a set of operations (known as the Null-Melvin twist) on AdS5 x S' solution of type IIB supergravity. This method also provides a way of finding a black hole solution which has asymptotic Schrödinger symmetries. The field theory dual of these gravity solutions happens to be a modified version of DLCQ V = 4 super Yang-Mills theory. The thermodynamics of these theories is very different from that of cold atoms. This happens to be a consequence of realizing the entire Schrödinger group as isometries of the spacetime. We give an example of a holographic realization in which the particle number symmetry is realized as a bulk gauge symmetry. In this proposal, the Schrödinger algebra is realized in the bulk without the introduction of an additional compact direction. Using this proposal, we find a confining solution that describes a non-relativistic system at finite density. We use the holographic dictionary to compute the conductivity of this system and it is found to exhibit somewhat unusual behavior. In the second part of the thesis we study gravity duals of Lifshitz theories. These are non-relativistic scale invariant theories that are not boost invariant. These theories do not have a particle number symmetry unlike the boost invariant NRCFTs. We present solutions of 1OD and 111D supergravity theories that are dual to Lifshitz theories. We present a black hole solution that is dual to a strongly interacting Lifshitz theory at finite temperature. We show that the finite temperature correlators in the interacting theories do not exhibit ultra-local behavior which was observed in free Lifshitz theories.

Description:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Physics, 2012.; Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.; Includes bibliographical references (p. 167-177).