Blagoje Oblak

Blagoje Oblak
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High Energy Physics - Theory (11)
 
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (7)
 
Mathematics - Representation Theory (3)
 
Mathematics - Group Theory (3)
 
Mathematics - Mathematical Physics (2)
 
Mathematical Physics (2)
 
Physics - Physics Education (1)
 
Quantum Physics (1)

Publications Authored By Blagoje Oblak

We point out that unitary representations of the Virasoro algebra contain Berry phases obtained by acting on a primary state with conformal transformations that trace a closed path on a Virasoro coadjoint orbit. These phases can be computed exactly thanks to the Maurer-Cartan form on the Virasoro group, and they persist after combining left- and right-moving sectors. Thinking of Virasoro representations as particles in AdS_3 dressed with boundary gravitons, the Berry phases associated with Brown-Henneaux diffeomorphisms provide a gravitational extension of Thomas precession. Read More

This thesis is devoted to the group-theoretic aspects of three-dimensional quantum gravity on Anti-de Sitter and Minkowskian backgrounds. In particular we describe the relation between unitary representations of asymptotic symmetry groups and gravitational perturbations around a space-time metric. In the asymptotically flat case this leads to "BMS particles", representing standard relativistic particles dressed with gravitational degrees of freedom accounted for by coadjoint orbits of the Virasoro group. Read More

We build unitary representations of the BMS algebra and its higher-spin extensions in three dimensions, using induced representations as a guide. Our prescription naturally emerges from an ultrarelativistic limit of highest-weight representations of Virasoro and W algebras, which is to be contrasted with non-relativistic limits that typically give non-unitary representations. To support this dichotomy, we also point out that the ultrarelativistic and non-relativistic limits of generic W algebras differ in the structure of their non-linear terms. Read More

We provide boundary conditions for three-dimensional gravity including boosted Rindler spacetimes, representing the near-horizon geometry of non-extremal black holes or flat space cosmologies. These boundary conditions force us to make some unusual choices, like integrating the canonical boundary currents over retarded time and periodically identifying the latter. The asymptotic symmetry algebra turns out to be a Witt algebra plus a twisted u(1) current algebra with vanishing level, corresponding to a twisted warped CFT that is qualitatively different from the ones studied so far in the literature. Read More

We evaluate one-loop partition functions of higher-spin fields in thermal flat space with angular potentials; this computation is performed in arbitrary space-time dimension, and the result is a simple combination of Poincar\'e characters. We then focus on dimension three, showing that suitable products of one-loop partition functions coincide with vacuum characters of higher-spin asymptotic symmetry algebras at null infinity. These are extensions of the bms_3 algebra that emerges in pure gravity, and we propose a way to build their unitary representations and to compute the associated characters. Read More

In these lecture notes we review the isomorphism between the (connected) Lorentz group and the set of conformal transformations of the sphere. More precisely, after establishing the main properties of the Lorentz group, we show that it is isomorphic to the group SL(2,C) of complex 2 by 2 matrices with unit determinant. We then classify conformal transformations of the sphere, define the notion of null infinity in Minkowski space-time, and show that the action of Lorentz transformations on the celestial spheres at null infinity is precisely that of conformal transformations. Read More

In this note we point out that the one-loop partition function of three-dimensional flat gravity, computed along the lines originally developed for the anti-de Sitter case, reproduces characters of the BMS3 group. Read More

Using the Frobenius formula, we evaluate characters associated with certain induced representations of the centrally extended BMS$_3$ group. This computation involves a functional integral over a coadjoint orbit of the Virasoro group; a delta function localizes the integral to a single point, allowing us to obtain an exact result. The latter is independent of the specific form of the functional measure, and holds for all values of the BMS$_3$ central charges and all values of the chosen mass and spin. Read More

The coadjoint representation of the BMS$_3$ group, which governs the covariant phase space of three-dimensional asymptotically flat gravity, is investigated. In particular, we classify coadjoint BMS$_3$ orbits and show that intrinsic angular momentum is free of supertranslation ambiguities. Finally, the link with induced representations upon geometric quantization is discussed. Read More

The Bondi-Metzner-Sachs group in three dimensions is the symmetry group of asymptotically flat three-dimensional spacetimes. It is the semi-direct product of the diffeomorphism group of the circle with the space of its adjoint representation, embedded as an abelian normal subgroup. The structure of the group suggests to study induced representations; we show here that they are associated with the well-known coadjoint orbits of the Virasoro group and provide explicit representations in terms of one-particle states. Read More

The covariant phase space of three-dimensional asymptotically flat and anti-de Sitter gravity is controlled by well-understood coadjoint orbits of the Virasoro group. Detailed knowledge on the behavior of the energy functional on these orbits can be used to discuss positive energy theorems. Read More