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Title: Hydrodynamics : from effective field theory to holography
Author: Grozdanov, Saso
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 8149
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Hydrodynamics is an effective theory that is extremely successful in describing a wide range of physical phenomena in liquids, gases and plasmas. However, our understanding of the structure of the theory, its microscopic origins and its behaviour at strong coupling is far from complete. To understand how an effective theory of dissipative hydrodynamics could emerge from a closed microscopic system, we analyse the structure of effective Schwinger-Keldysh Closed-Time-Path theories. We use this structure and the action principle for open systems to derive the energy-momentum balance equation for a dissipative fluid from an effective CTP Goldstone action. Near hydrodynamical equilibrium, we construct the first-order dissipative stress-energy tensor and derive the Navier-Stokes equations. Shear viscosity is shown to vanish, while bulk viscosity and thermodynamical quantities are determined by the form of the effective action. The exploration of strongly interacting states of matter, particularly in the hydrodynamic regime, has been a major recent application of gauge/string duality. The strongly coupled theories involved are typically deformations of large-$N$ SUSY gauge theories with exotic matter that are unusual from a low-energy point of view. In order to better interpret holographic results, an understanding of the weak-coupling behaviour of such gauge theories is essential. We study the exact and SUSY-broken N=1 and N=2 super-QED with finite densities of electron number and R-charge, respectively. Despite the fact that fermionic fields couple to the chemical potentials, the strength of scalar-fermion interactions, fixed by SUSY, prevents a Fermi surface from forming. This is important for hydrodynamical excitations such as zero sound. Intriguingly, in the absence of a Fermi surface, the total charge need not be stored in the scalar condensates alone and fermions may contribute. Gauss-Bonnet gravity is a useful laboratory for non-perturbative studies of the higher derivative curvature effects on transport coefficients of conformal fluids with holographic duals. It was previously known that shear viscosity can be tuned to zero by adjusting the Gauss-Bonnet coupling, λGB, to its maximal critical value. To understand the behaviour of the fluid in this limit, we compute the second-order transport coefficients non-perturbatively in λGB and show that the fluid still produces entropy, while diffusion and sound attenuation are suppressed at all order in the hydrodynamic expansion. We also show that the theory violates a previously proposed universal relation between three of the second order transport coefficients. We further compute the only second-order coefficient thus far unknown, λ2, in the N=4 super Yang-Mills theory with the leading-order 't Hooft coupling correction. Intriguingly, the universal relation is not violated by these leading-order perturbative corrections. Finally, by adding higher-derivative photon field terms to the action, we study charge diffusion and non-perturbative parameter regimes in which the charge diffusion constant vanishes.
Supervisor: Starinets, Andrei O. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Theoretical physics ; Elementary particle theory ; Condensed matter theory ; AdS/CFT ; gauge/string duality ; hydrodynamics ; effective field theory ; supersymmetry