Semi-local quantum criticality and the instability of extremal planar horizons

Samuel E. Gralla, Arun Ravishankar, Peter Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We show that the Aretakis instability of compact extremal horizons persists in the planar case of interest to holography and discuss its connection with the emergence of “semi-local quantum criticality” in the field theory dual. In particular, the spatially localized power-law decay of this critical phase corresponds to spatially localized power-law growth of stress-energy on the horizon. For near-extremal black holes these phenomena occur transiently over times of order the inverse temperature. The boundary critical phase is characterized by an emergent temporal conformal symmetry, and the bulk instability seems to be essential to preserving the symmetry in the presence of interactions. We work primarily in the solvable example of charged scalar perturbations of five-dimensional (near-)extremal planar Reissner-Nordström anti-de Sitter spacetime and argue that the conclusions hold more generally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number87
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • AdS-CFT Correspondence
  • Black Holes
  • Holography and condensed matter physics (AdS/CMT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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