Holographic zero sound from spacetime-filling branes

  • Nikola I. Gushterov
  • Andy O’Bannon
  • Ronnie RodgersEmail author
Open Access
Regular Article - Theoretical Physics


We use holography to study sound modes of strongly-interacting conformal field theories with non-zero temperature, T , and U(1) chemical potential, μ. Specifically, we consider charged black brane solutions of Einstein gravity in (3+1)-dimensional Anti-de Sitter space coupled to a U(1) gauge field with Dirac-Born-Infeld action, representing a spacetime-filling brane. The brane action has two free parameters: the tension and the non-linearity parameter, which controls higher-order terms in the field strength. For all values of the tension, non-linearity parameter, and T /μ, and at sufficiently small momentum, we find sound modes with speed given by the conformal value and attenuation constant of hydrodynamic form. In particular we find sound at arbitrarily low T /μ, outside the usual hydrodynamic regime, but in the regime where a Fermi liquid exhibits Landau’s “zero” sound. In fact, the sound attenuation constant as a function of T /μ qualitatively resembles that of a Fermi liquid, including a maximum, which in a Fermi liquid signals the collisionless to hydrodynamic crossover. We also explore regimes of the tension and non-linearity parameter where two other proposed definitions of the crossover are viable, via pole collisions in Green’s functions or peak movement in the charge density spectral function.


AdS-CFT Correspondence Gauge-gravity correspondence Holography and condensed matter physics (AdS/CMT) 


Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics, University of Oxford, Department of Physics, Clarendon LaboratoryOxfordU.K.
  2. 2.STAG Research Centre, Physics and AstronomyUniversity of Southampton HighfieldSouthamptonU.K.

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