This section is devoted to more dynamical applications of brane effective actions. More specifically, I will describe some well-established reinterpretations of certain brane probe calculations in the context of the AdS/CFT correspondence [366, 269, 498, 13]. I will mainly focus on two aspects:
Covariance of brane effective actions allows one to couple them to any on-shell supergravity background. In particular, one can probe either AdS5 × S5, or black holes with these asymptotics, with branes, and according to the AdS/CFT correspondence, one will be studying properties of the strongly coupled holographic theory in the vacuum or at finite temperature and chemical potentials, respectively. This set-up is illustrated in Figure 8. The same interpretation will hold for non-relativistic versions of these backgrounds. Alternatively, and depending on the boundary conditions imposed on these probes, they can deform the theory towards less symmetric and more realistic physical systems.
In the following, I will review the calculation of Wilson loop expectation values, the use of worldsheet string solitons to study the spectrum of states with large charges in SYM and the use of D-brane probes to either add flavour to the AdS/CFT correspondence or describe the dynamics of massless excitations in non-relativistic (thermal) set-ups, which could be of relevance for strongly-coupled condensed-matter physics.
Living Rev. Relativity 15, (2012), 3
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