Effective holographic models for QCD: Glueball spectrum and trace anomaly
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We investigate effective holographic models for QCD arising from five-dimensional dilaton gravity. The models are characterized by a dilaton with a mass term in the UV, dual to a CFT deformation by a relevant operator, and quadratic in the IR. The UV constraint leads to the explicit breaking of conformal symmetry, whereas the IR constraint guarantees linear confinement. We propose semianalytic interpolations between the UV and the IR and obtain a spectrum for scalar and tensor glueballs consistent with lattice QCD data. We use the glueball spectrum as a physical constraint to find the evolution of the model parameters as the mass term goes to 0. Finally, we reproduce the universal result for the trace anomaly of deformed CFTs and propose a dictionary between this result and the QCD trace anomaly. A nontrivial consequence of this dictionary is the emergence of a beta function similar to the two-loop perturbative QCD result.