### arXiv:2011.10038 [hep-th]AbstractReferencesReviewsResources

#### From Symmetric Product CFTs to ${\rm AdS}_3$

Matthias R. Gaberdiel, Rajesh Gopakumar, Bob Knighton, Pronobesh Maity

Published 2020-11-19Version 1

Correlators in symmetric orbifold CFTs are given by a finite sum of admissible branched covers of the 2d spacetime. We consider a Gross-Mende like limit where all operators have large twist, and show that the corresponding branched covers can be described via a Penner-like matrix model. The limiting branched covers are given in terms of the spectral curve for this matrix model, which remarkably turns out to be directly related to the Strebel quadratic differential on the covering space. Interpreting the covering space as the world-sheet of the dual string theory, the spacetime CFT correlator thus has the form of an integral over the entire world-sheet moduli space weighted with a Nambu-Goto-like action. Quite strikingly, at leading order this action can also be written as the absolute value of the Schwarzian of the covering map. Given the equivalence of the symmetric product CFT to tensionless string theory on ${\rm AdS}_3$, this provides an explicit realisation of the underlying mechanism of gauge-string duality originally proposed in arXiv:hep-th/0504229 and further refined in arXiv:0803.2681.

**Comments:**36 pages, 4 figures

**Categories:**hep-th