The stability of physical systems depends on the existence of a state of least energy. In gravity, this is guaranteed by the positive energy theorem. For topological reasons, this fails for nonsupersymmetric Kaluza-Klein compactifications, which can decay to arbitrarily negative energy. For related reasons, this also fails for the anti–de Sitter (AdS) soliton, a globally static, asymptotically toroidal [Formula presented] spacetime with negative mass. Nonetheless, arguing from the AdS conformal field theory (AdS/CFT) correspondence, Horowitz and Myers proposed a new positive energy conjecture, which asserts that the AdS soliton is the unique state of least energy in its asymptotic class. We give a new structure theorem for static [Formula presented] spacetimes and use it to prove uniqueness of the AdS soliton. Our results offer significant support for the new positive energy conjecture and add to the body of rigorous results inspired by the AdS/CFT correspondence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)