Ironing out the crease

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The crease is a surface operator folded by a finite angle along an infinite line. Several realisations of it in the 6d N = (2, 0) theory are studied here. It plays a role similar to the generalised quark-antiquark potential, or the cusp anomalous dimension, in gauge theories. We identify a finite quantity that can be studied despite the conformal anomalies ubiquitous with surface operators and evaluate it in free field theory and in the holographic dual. We also find a subtle difference between the infinite crease and its conformal transform to a compact observable comprised of two glued hemispheres, reminiscent of the circular Wilson loop. We prove by a novel application of defect CFT techniques for the SO(1, 2) symmetry along the fold that the near-BPS behaviour of the crease is determined as the derivative of the compact observable with respect to its angle, as in the bremsstrahlung function. We also comment about the lightlike limit of the crease in Minkowski space.

Original languageEnglish
Article number193
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2022


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