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3D gravity in a box

Per Kraus, Ruben Monten, Richard M. Myers

SciPost Phys. 11, 070 (2021) · published 27 September 2021


The quantization of pure 3D gravity with Dirichlet boundary conditions on a finite boundary is of interest both as a model of quantum gravity in which one can compute quantities which are "more local" than S-matrices or asymptotic boundary correlators, and for its proposed holographic duality to $T \overline{T}$-deformed CFTs. In this work we apply covariant phase space methods to deduce the Poisson bracket algebra of boundary observables. The result is a one-parameter nonlinear deformation of the usual Virasoro algebra of asymptotically AdS$_3$ gravity. This algebra should be obeyed by the stress tensor in any $T\overline{T}$-deformed holographic CFT. We next initiate quantization of this system within the general framework of coadjoint orbits, obtaining - in perturbation theory - a deformed version of the Alekseev-Shatashvili symplectic form and its associated geometric action. The resulting energy spectrum is consistent with the expected spectrum of $T\overline{T}$-deformed theories, although we only carry out the explicit comparison to $\mathcal{O}(1/\sqrt{c})$ in the $1/c$ expansion.

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