Daniel Robbins

Daniel Robbins
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Daniel Robbins

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High Energy Physics - Theory (32)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (3)
Astrophysics (1)
Mathematics - Algebraic Topology (1)
Mathematics - Representation Theory (1)

Publications Authored By Daniel Robbins

We give a geometric description of supersymmetric gravity/(non-)abelian $p$-form hierarchies in superspaces with 4D, $N = 1$ super-Poincare invariance. These hierarchies give rise to Chern-Simons-like invariants, such as those of the 5D, $N = 1$ graviphoton and the eleven-dimensional 3-form but also generalizations such as Green-Schwarz-like/BF-type couplings. Previous constructions based on prepotential superfields are reinterpreted in terms of $p$-forms in superspace thereby elucidating the underlying geometry. Read More

We embed the component fields of eleven-dimensional supergravity into a superspace of the form $X\times Y$ where $X$ is the standard 4D, $N=1$ superspace and $Y$ is a smooth 7-manifold. The eleven-dimensional 3-form gives rise to a tensor hierarchy of superfields gauged by the diffeomorphisms of $Y$. It contains a natural candidate for a $G_2$ structure on $Y$, and being a complex of superforms, defines a superspace Chern-Simons invariant. Read More

We show that topological defects in the language of Landau-Ginzburg models carry information about the RG flow between the non-compact orbifolds $\mathbb{C}/\mathbb{Z}_d$. We show that such defects correctly implement the bulk-induced RG flow on the boundary. Read More

We gauge the abelian hierarchy of tensor fields in 4D by a Lie algebra. The resulting non-abelian tensor hierarchy can be interpreted via an equivariant chain complex. We lift this structure to N=1 superspace by constructing superfield analogs for the tensor fields, along with covariant superfield strengths. Read More

With the goal of constructing the supersymmetric action for all fields, massless and massive, obtained by Kaluza-Klein compactification from type II theory or M-theory in a closed form, we embed the (Abelian) tensor hierarchy of p-forms in four-dimensional, N=1 superspace and construct its Chern-Simons-like invariants. When specialized to the case in which the tensors arise from a higher-dimensional theory, the invariants may be interpreted as higher-dimensional Chern-Simons forms reduced to four dimensions. As an application of the formalism, we construct the eleven-dimensional Chern-Simons form in terms of four-dimensional, N=1 superfields. Read More

We calculate all tree level string theory vacuum to Dp-brane disc amplitudes involving an arbitrary RR-state and two NS-NS vertex operators. This computation was earlier performed by K. Becker, Guo, and Robbins for the simplest case of a RR-state of type C_{p-3}. Read More

Studying a quantum field theory involves a choice of space-time manifold and a choice of background for any global symmetries of the theory. We argue that many more choices are possible when specifying the background. In the context of branes in string theory, the additional data corresponds to a choice of supergravity tensor fluxes. Read More

We consider alpha'-corrections to Calabi-Yau compactifications of type II string theory. These were discussed from the string worldsheet approach many years ago in terms of supersymmetric non-linear sigma-models by Nemeschansky and Sen as well as Gross and Witten. There it was shown that once alpha'-corrections are included, the internal manifold solving the string equations of motion is still Calabi-Yau though not Ricci flat. Read More

We work out all of the details required for implementation of the conformal bootstrap program applied to the four-point function of two scalars and two vectors in an abstract conformal field theory in arbitrary dimension. This includes a review of which tensor structures make appearances, a construction of the projectors onto the required mixed symmetry representations, and a computation of the conformal blocks for all possible operators which can be exchanged. These blocks are presented as differential operators acting upon the previously known scalar conformal blocks. Read More

We calculate tree level scattering amplitudes for open strings using the NSR formalism. We present a streamlined symmetry-based and pedagogical approach to the computations, which we first develop by checking two-, three-, and four-point functions involving bosons and fermions. We calculate the five-point amplitude for massless gluons and find agreement with an earlier result by Brandt, Machado and Medina. Read More

In this talk we report on recent progress in describing compactifications of string theory and M-theory on G_2 and Spin(7) manifolds. We include the infinite set of alpha'-corrections and describe the entire tower of massless and massive Kaluza-Klein modes resulting from such compactifications. Read More

Using an effective field theory approach and the language of SU(N)-structures, we study higher derivative corrections to the supersymmetry constraints for compactifications of string or M-theory to Minkowski space. Our analysis is done entirely in the target space and is thus very general, and does not rely on theory-dependent details such as the amount of worldsheet supersymmetry. For manifolds of real dimension n<4 we show that the internal geometry remains flat and uncorrected. Read More

In this note we present a closed expression for the space-time effective action for all bosonic fields (massless and massive) obtained from the compactification of gravity or supergravity theories (such as type II or eleven-dimensional supergravities) from $D$ to $d$ space-time dimensions. Read More

We compute four-derivative corrections to the AdS supergravity actions arising from the near-horizon geometry of N M5-branes wrapped on either one or two Riemann surfaces. This setup features the novel presence of both gauged isometries as well as nontrivial hypermultiplets. We argue that the 5d Chern-Simons terms receive not only higher-derivative corrections but also contributions from Killing vector parameters, which we find must also be corrected. Read More

In the approximation corresponding to the classical Einstein equations, which is valid at large radius, string theory compactification on a compact manifold $M$ of $G_2$ or $\mathrm{Spin}(7)$ holonomy gives a supersymmetric vacuum in three or two dimensions. Do $\alpha'$ corrections to the Einstein equations disturb this statement? Explicitly analyzing the leading correction, we show that the metric of $M$ can be adjusted to maintain supersymmetry. Beyond leading order, a general argument based on low energy effective field theory in spacetime implies that this is true exactly (not just to all finite orders in $\alpha'$). Read More

We classify all possible two- and four-derivative couplings of bulk NS-NS sector fields to a single Op-plane which are compatible with diffeomorphism invariance and B-field gauge invariance. This is applicable to type IIA or IIB superstrings or to the bosonic string. We then consider this general action in various classes of backgrounds that admit a U(1) isometry and determine the constraints on the couplings from consistency with T-duality. Read More

Type IIB toroidal orientifolds are among the earliest examples of flux vacua. By applying T-duality, we construct the first examples of massive IIA flux vacua with Minkowski space-times, along with new examples of type IIA flux vacua. The backgrounds are surprisingly simple with no four-form flux at all. Read More

We evaluate the string theory disc amplitude of one Ramond-Ramond field C^(p-3) and two Neveu-Schwarz B-fields in the presence of a single Dp-brane in type II string theory. From this amplitude we extract the four-derivative (or equivalently order (alpha')^2) part of the Dp-brane action involving these fields. We show that the new couplings are invariant under R-R and NS-NS gauge transformations and compatible with linear T-duality. Read More

We study in detail the procedure for obtaining couplings of D-branes to closed string fields by evaluating string theory disc amplitudes. We perform a careful construction of the relevant vertex operators and discuss the effects of inserting the boundary state which encodes the presence of the D-brane. We confront the issue of non-decoupling of BRST-exact states and prove that the problem is evaded for the computations we need, thus demonstrating that our amplitudes are automatically gauge-invariant and independent of the distribution of picture charge. Read More

The Wess-Zumino coupling on D-branes in string theory is known to receive higher derivative corrections which couple the Ramond-Ramond potential to terms involving the square of the spacetime curvature tensor. Consistency with T-duality implies that the branes should also have four-derivative couplings that involve the NS-NS B-field. We use T-duality to predict some of these couplings. Read More

We study stabilization of hypermoduli with emphasis on the effects of generalized fluxes. We find a class of no-scale vacua described by ISD conditions even in the presence of geometric flux. The associated flux attractor equations can be integrated by a generating function with the property that the hypermoduli are determined by a simple extremization principle. Read More

A class of non-supersymmetric string backgrounds can be constructed using twists that involve space-time fermion parity. We propose a non-perturbative definition of string theory in these backgrounds via gauge theories with supersymmetry softly broken by twisted boundary conditions. The perturbative string spectrum is reproduced, and qualitative effects of the interactions are discussed. Read More

We derive several no-go theorems in the context of massive type IIA string theory compactified to four dimensions in a way that, in the absence of fluxes, preserves N=1 supersymmetry. Our derivation is based on the dilaton, Kaehler and complex structure moduli dependence of the potential of the four-dimensional effective field theory, that is generated by the presence of D6-branes, O6-planes, RR-fluxes, NSNS 3-form flux, and geometric fluxes. To demonstrate the usefulness of our theorems, we apply them to the most commonly studied class of toroidal orientifolds. Read More

In this paper we prove that Broue's abelian defect group conjecture holds for the Tits group $^2F_4(2)'$. Also we prove that under certain conditions we are able to lift derived equivalences and use this to prove Broue's conjecture for the group $^2F_4(2)$. Read More

In a model-independent formalism of gauge mediation, Meade, Seiberg, and Shih have shown that hidden sector effects are captured by two-point correlation functions of the gauge current superfields and that, generically, many of the characteristic features of gauge mediated SUSY breaking do not survive. We review the general story, particularly the way that the correlators enter the low-energy effective action and give rise to soft-breaking terms. We then specialize to the case where there is a small parameter, F/m^2, where m is the mass scale characterizing the hidden sector, and F is the strength of the SUSY breaking. Read More

We consider compactifications of type II string theory in which a d-dimensional torus is fibered over a base X. In string theory, the transition functions of this fibration need not be simply diffeomorphisms of T^d but can involve elements of the T-duality group Spin(d,d,Z). We precisely define the notion of a T-fold with NSNS flux. Read More

Orientifolds of type II string theory admit a certain set of generalized NS-NS fluxes, including not only the three-form field strength H, but also metric and non-geometric fluxes, which are related to H by T-duality. We describe in general how these fluxes appear as parameters of an effective N=1 supergravity theory in four dimensions, and in particular how certain generalized NS-NS fluxes can act as charges for R-R axions, leading to D-term contributions to the effective scalar potential. We illustrate these phenomena in type IIB with the example of a certain orientifold of T^6/Z_4. Read More

Type IIA toroidal orientifolds offer a promising toolkit for model builders, especially when one includes not only the usual fluxes from NS-NS and R-R field strengths, but also fluxes that are T-dual to the NS-NS three-form flux. These new ingredients are known as metric fluxes and non-geometric fluxes, and can help stabilize moduli or can lead to other new features. In this paper we study two approaches to these constructions, by effective field theory or by toroidal fibers twisted over a toroidal base. Read More

The null-brane space-time provides a simple model of a big crunch/big bang singularity. A non-perturbative definition of M-theory on this space-time was recently provided using matrix theory. We derive the fermion couplings for this matrix model and study the leading quantum effects. Read More

The null-brane background is a simple smooth 1/2 BPS solution of string theory. By tuning a parameter, this background develops a big crunch/big bang type singularity. We construct the DLCQ description of this space-time in terms of a Yang-Mills theory on a time-dependent space-time. Read More

We consider the generation of a non-perturbative superpotential in F-theory compactifications with flux. We derive a necessary condition for the generation of such a superpotential in F-theory. For models with a single volume modulus, we show that the volume modulus is never stabilized by either abelian instantons or gaugino condensation. Read More

We consider scalar field theory with space and space-time-dependent non-commutativity. In perturbation theory, we find that the structure of the UV/IR mixing is quite different from cases with constant non-commutativity. In particular, UV/IR mixing becomes intertwined in an interesting way with violations of momentum conservation. Read More

We describe the supergravity solutions dual to D6-branes with both time-dependent and time-independent B-fields. These backgrounds generalize the Taub-NUT metric in two key ways: they have asymmetric warp factors and background fluxes. In the time-dependent case, the warping takes a novel form. Read More