Lessons on black holes from the elliptic genus

Amit Giveon, Nissan Itzhaki, Jan Troost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We further study the elliptic genus of the cigar SL(2,R)k/U(1) coset superconformal field theory. We find that, even in the small curvature, infinite level limit, there are holomorphic and non-holomorphic parts that are due to the discrete states and a mismatch in the spectral densities of the continuum, respectively. The mismatch in the continuum is universal, in the sense that it is fully determined by the asymptotic cylindrical topology of the cigar's throat. Since modularity of the elliptic genus requires both the holomorphic and non-holomorphic parts, the holomorphic term is universal as well. The contribution of the discrete states is thus present even for perturbative strings propagating in the background of large Schwarzschild black holes. We argue that the discrete states live at a stringy distance from the tip of the cigar both from the conformal field theory wave-function analysis and from a holonomy space perspective. Thus, the way string theory takes care of its self-consistency seems to have important consequences for the physics near horizons, even for parametrically large black holes.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number160
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Black holes in string theory
  • Conformal field models in string theory


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