Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Thermal backflow in CFTs

Banks, Elliot; Donos, Aristomenis; Gauntlett, Jerome P.; Griffin, Tom; Melgar, Luis

Thermal backflow in CFTs Thumbnail


Elliot Banks

Jerome P. Gauntlett

Tom Griffin

Luis Melgar


We study the thermal transport properties of general conformal field theories (CFTs) on curved spacetimes in the leading order viscous hydrodynamic limit. At the level of linear response, we show that the thermal transport is governed by a system of forced linearized Navier-Stokes equations on a curved space. Our setup includes CFTs in flat spacetime that have been deformed by spatially dependent and periodic local temperature variations or strains that have been applied to the CFT, and hence is relevant to CFTs arising in condensed matter systems at zero charge density. We provide specific examples of deformations which lead to thermal backflow driven by a dc source: that is, the thermal currents locally flow in the opposite direction to the applied dc thermal source. We also consider thermal transport for relativistic quantum field theories that are not conformally invariant.


Banks, E., Donos, A., Gauntlett, J. P., Griffin, T., & Melgar, L. (2017). Thermal backflow in CFTs. Physical Review D, 95(2), Article 025022.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 6, 2017
Online Publication Date Jan 30, 2017
Publication Date Jan 30, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 5, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 10, 2017
Journal Physical Review D
Print ISSN 2470-0010
Electronic ISSN 2470-0029
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 95
Issue 2
Article Number 025022


Published Journal Article (734 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Reprinted with permission from the American Physical Society: Physical Review D 95, 025022 © (2017) by the American Physical Society. Readers may view, browse, and/or download material for temporary copying purposes only, provided these uses are for noncommercial personal purposes. Except as provided by law, this material may not be further reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, adapted, performed, displayed, published, or sold in whole or part, without prior written permission from the American Physical Society.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations