Baryons in holographic QCD correspond to topological solitons in the bulk. The most prominent example is the Sakai-Sugimoto model, where the bulk soliton in the five-dimensional spacetime of AdS-type can be approximated by the flat space self-dual Yang-Mills instanton with a small size. Recently, the validity of this approximation has been verified by comparison with the numerical field theory solution. However, multi-solitons and solitons with finite density are currently beyond numerical field theory computations. Various approximations have been applied to investigate these important issues and have led to proposals for finite density configurations that include dyonic salt and baryonic popcorn. Here we introduce and investigate a low-dimensional analogue of the Sakai-Sugimoto model, in which the bulk soliton can be approximated by a flat space sigma model instanton. The bulk theory is a baby Skyrme model in a three-dimensional spacetime with negative curvature. The advantage of the lower-dimensional theory is that numerical simulations of multi-solitons and finite density solutions can be performed and compared with flat space instanton approximations. In particular, analogues of dyonic salt and baryonic popcorn configurations are found and analysed. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.
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