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Spin structures and baby universes.

Balasubramanian, Vijay and Kar, Arjun and Ross, Simon F. and Ugajin, Tomonori (2020) 'Spin structures and baby universes.', Journal of high energy physics., 2020 (9). p. 192.


We extend a 2d topological model of the gravitational path integral to include sums over spin structure, corresponding to Neveu-Schwarz (NS) or Ramond (R) boundary conditions for fermions. This path integral corresponds to a correlator of boundary creation operators on a non-trivial baby universe Hilbert space, and vanishes when the number of R boundaries is odd. This vanishing implies a non-factorization of the correlator, which necessitates a dual interpretation of the bulk path integral in terms of a product of partition functions (associated to NS boundaries) and Witten indices (associated to R boundaries), averaged over an ensemble of theories with varying Hilbert space dimension and different numbers of bosonic and fermionic states. We also consider a model with End-of-the-World (EOW) branes, for which the dual ensemble then includes a sum over randomly chosen fermionic and bosonic states. We propose two modifications of the bulk path integral which restore an interpretation in a single dual theory: (i) a geometric prescription where we add extra boundaries with a sum over their spin structures, and (ii) an algebraic prescription involving “spacetime D-branes”. We extend our ideas to Jackiw-Teitelboim gravity, and propose a dual description of a single unitary theory with spin structure in a system with eigenbranes.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement: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.
Date accepted:02 September 2020
Date deposited:07 October 2020
Date of first online publication:30 September 2020
Date first made open access:07 October 2020

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