[Physics] Thermal AdS and the Hawking Page phase transition


I have some difficulty understanding the concept of pure thermal radiation, as described in Hawking and Page's paper on the Hawking-Page phase transition.

The four-dimensional thermal AdS solution (with cosmological constant $\Lambda<0$) is given by


with $f(r)=1+\frac{r^2}{L^2}$, $L^2\equiv {-3/\Lambda}$ and the imaginary time $\tau$ is periodic in the inverse temperature $\beta$. Apparently this describes thermal radiation.

How should I see this thermal radiation? Does it consist of a gas gravitons, since the Einstein-Hilbert action has no other fields than the metric tensor? Or does it consist of other particles and should I add other fields to the action to describe these?

Then in Hawking and Page's paper, it is stated that: "The dominant contribution to the path
integral is expected to come from metrics which are near classical solutions to the
Einstein equations. Periodically identified anti-de Sitter space is one of these and
we take it to be the zero of action and energy. The path integral over the matter
fields and metric fluctuations on the anti-de Sitter background can be regarded as
giving the contribution of thermal radiation in anti-de Sitter space to the partition
function Z. For a conformally invariant field this will be:
$\log Z= \frac{\pi^4}{90}g\frac{L^3}{\beta^3}$.
" Here $g$ is the effective number of spin states.

Since they state thermal AdS is taken as the zero of the action and energy, does
this mean that the $\frac{\pi^4}{90}g\frac{L^3}{\beta^3}$ comes from
loop corrections? And where does the expression come from?

From the above expression the free energy $F_{AdS}$ of thermal AdS follows. Later on in the paper, the temperature $T_1$ at which the free energy $F_{BH}$ of the (stable) black hole solution becomes negative is determined. It would seem to me that the phase transition occurs when $F_{AdS}=F_{BH}$. But rather than calculating the temperature at which this occurs, it is stated that for $T\gtrsim T_1$ the black hole solution will have lower free energy, hence will be thermodynamically favorable. So it looks to me that $F_{AdS}$ is neglected.

Why can we neglect $F_{AdS}$? Is there a parameter in the expression for $\log Z$ above which is very small? (Or is it just $\hbar$?)

Any help is appreciated, I'd be happy with even one answer to one of the questions in the blockquotes.

Best Answer

I'm just learning this myself, but for the the first one, the thermal state I think just means that if you throw any field in the resulting space-time, it will immediately acquire the specified temperature. In Hawking's original calculation, he shows that this radiation will be dominated by the massless, lowest-spin particles available, which in our universe are photons.

For the second, I think they are talking about adding small field fluctuations about the background, where the classical action evaluated on the background is 0. So these should be tree-level corrections.

Anyone else?

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