Nonlinear W(infinity) Algebra as Asymptotic Symmetry of Three-Dimensional Higher Spin Anti-de Sitter Gravity

Research paper by Marc Henneaux, Soo-Jong Rey

Indexed on: 01 Dec '10Published on: 01 Dec '10Published in: High Energy Physics - Theory


We investigate the asymptotic symmetry algebra of (2+1)-dimensional higher spin, anti-de Sitter gravity. We use the formulation of the theory as a Chern-Simons gauge theory based on the higher spin algebra hs(1,1). Expanding the gauge connection around asymptotically anti-de Sitter spacetime, we specify consistent boundary conditions on the higher spin gauge fields. We then study residual gauge transformation, the corresponding surface terms and their Poisson bracket algebra. We find that the asymptotic symmetry algebra is a nonlinearly deformed W(infinity) algebra with classical central charges. We discuss implications of our results to quantum gravity and to various situations in string theory.