### Non-perturbative unitarity constraints on the ratio of shear viscosity to entropy density in ultraviolet-complete theories with a gravity dual

**Authors:**Brustein, R , Medved, A J M**Date:**2011**Language:**English**Type:**text , Article**Identifier:**vital:6817 , http://hdl.handle.net/10962/d1004327**Description:**We reconsider, from a novel perspective, how unitarity constrains the corrections to the ratio of shear viscosity η to entropy density s. We start with higher-derivative extensions of Einstein gravity in asymptotically anti-de Sitter spacetimes. It is assumed that these theories are derived from string theory and thus have a unitary UV completion that is dual to a unitary, UV-complete boundary gauge theory. We then propose that the gravitational perturbations about a solution of the UV-complete theory are described by an effective theory whose linearized equations of motion have at most two time derivatives. Our proposal leads to a concrete prescription for the calculation of η/s for theories of gravity with arbitrary higher-derivative corrections. The resulting ratio can take on values above or below 1/4π and is consistent with all the previous calculations, even though our reasoning is substantially different. For the purpose of calculating η/s, our proposal also leads to only two possible candidates for the effective two-derivative theory: Einstein and Gauss-Bonnet gravity. The distinction between the two is that Einstein gravity satisfies the equivalence principle, and so its graviton correlation functions are polarization-independent, whereas the Gauss-Bonnet theory has polarization-dependent correlation functions. We discuss the graviton three-point functions in this context and explain how these can provide additional information on the value of η/s.**Full Text:****Date Issued:**2011

### Unitarity constraints on the ratio of shear viscosity to entropy density in higher derivative gravity

**Authors:**Brustein, R , Medved, A J M**Date:**2011**Language:**English**Type:**text , Article**Identifier:**vital:6815 , http://hdl.handle.net/10962/d1004325**Description:**We discuss corrections to the ratio of shear viscosity to entropy density η/s in higher-derivative gravity theories. Generically, these theories contain ghost modes with Planck-scale masses. Motivated by general considerations about unitarity, we propose new boundary conditions for the equations of motion of the graviton perturbations that force the amplitude of the ghosts modes to vanish. We analyze explicitly four-derivative perturbative corrections to Einstein gravity which generically lead to four-derivative equations of motion, compare our choice of boundary conditions to previous proposals and show that, with our new prescription, the ratio η/s remains at the Einstein-gravity value of 1/4π to leading order in the corrections. It is argued that, when the new boundary conditions are imposed on six and higher-derivative equations of motion, η/s can only increase from the Einstein-gravity value. We also recall some general arguments that support the validity of our results to all orders in the strength of the corrections to Einstein gravity. We then discuss the particular case of Gauss-Bonnet gravity, for which the equations of motion are only of two-derivative order and the value of η/s can decrease below 1/4π when treated in a nonperturbative way. Our findings provide further evidence for the validity of the KSS bound for theories that can be viewed as perturbative corrections to Einstein gravity.**Full Text:****Date Issued:**2011