We study the compatibility of the AdS/CFT duality with the bulk and boundary causality, and derive a conformally invariant averaged null energy condition (CANEC) for quantum field theories in 3 and 5-dimensional curved boundaries. This is the generalization of the averaged null energy condition (ANEC) in Minkowski spacetime to curved boundaries, where null energy is averaged along the null line with appropriate weight for conformal invariance. For this purpose we take, as our guiding principle, the no-bulk-shortcut theorem of Gao and Wald, which essentially asserts that when going from one point to another on the boundary, one cannot take a “shortcut through the bulk”. We also discuss the relationship between bulk vs boundary causality and the weak cosmic censorship.
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