Holography and hydrodynamics with weakly broken symmetries

Sašo Grozdanov, Andrew Lucas, Napat Poovuttikul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrodynamics is a theory of long-range excitations controlled by equations of motion that encode the conservation of a set of currents (energy, momentum, charge, etc.) associated with explicitly realized global symmetries. If a system possesses additional weakly broken symmetries, the low-energy hydrodynamic degrees of freedom also couple to a few other "approximately conserved" quantities with parametrically long relaxation times. It is often useful to consider such approximately conserved operators and corresponding new massive modes within the low-energy effective theory, which we refer to as quasihydrodynamics. Examples of quasihydrodynamics are numerous, with the most transparent among them hydrodynamics with weakly broken translational symmetry. Here, we show how a number of other theories, normally not thought of in this context, can also be understood within a broader framework of quasihydrodynamics: in particular, the Müller-Israel-Stewart theory and magnetohydrodynamics coupled to dynamical electric fields. While historical formulations of quasihydrodynamic theories were typically highly phenomenological, here, we develop a holographic formalism to systematically derive such theories from a (microscopic) dual gravitational description. Beyond laying out a general holographic algorithm, we show how the Müller-Israel-Stewart theory can be understood from a dual higher-derivative gravity theory and magnetohydrodynamics from a dual theory with two-form bulk fields. In the latter example, this allows us to unambiguously demonstrate the existence of dynamical photons in the holographic description of magnetohydrodynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages86012
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019

Other keywords

  • Gauge-gravity dualities
  • Quantum fluids & solids
  • Strongly correlated systems
  • Skammtafræði
  • Þéttefnisfræði
  • Straumfræði


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