Davide Gaiotto

Davide Gaiotto
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Davide Gaiotto

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High Energy Physics - Theory (50)
Mathematics - Representation Theory (8)
Mathematical Physics (7)
Mathematics - Mathematical Physics (7)
Mathematics - Quantum Algebra (6)
Physics - Strongly Correlated Electrons (6)
Mathematics - Geometric Topology (4)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (3)
Mathematics - Algebraic Geometry (3)
Mathematics - Symplectic Geometry (2)
Physics - Statistical Mechanics (2)
Quantum Physics (2)
Mathematics - Differential Geometry (1)
High Energy Physics - Lattice (1)

Publications Authored By Davide Gaiotto

We investigate superconformal surface defects in four-dimensional N=2 superconformal theories. Each such defect gives rise to a module of the associated chiral algebra and the surface defect Schur index is the character of this module. Various natural chiral algebra operations such as Drinfeld-Sokolov reduction and spectral flow can be interpreted as constructions involving four-dimensional surface defects. Read More

We conjecture a formula for the Schur index of four-dimensional $\mathcal{N}=2$ theories coupled to $(2,2)$ surface defects in terms of the $2d$-$4d$ BPS spectrum in the Coulomb phase of the theory. The key ingredient in our conjecture is a refined $2d$-$4d$ wall-crossing invariant, which we also formulate. Our result intertwines recent conjectures expressing the four-dimensional Schur index in terms of infrared BPS particles, with the Cecotti-Vafa formula for limits of the elliptic genus in terms of two-dimensional BPS solitons. Read More

We introduce a class of Vertex Operator Algebras which arise at junctions of supersymmetric interfaces in ${\cal N}=4$ Super Yang Mills gauge theory. These vertex algebras satisfy non-trivial duality relations inherited from S-duality of the four-dimensional gauge theory. The gauge theory construction equips the vertex algebras with collections of modules labelled by supersymmetric interface line defects. Read More

$SU(N)$ gauge theory is time reversal invariant at $\theta=0$ and $\theta=\pi$. We show that at $\theta=\pi$ there is a discrete 't Hooft anomaly involving time reversal and the center symmetry. This anomaly leads to constraints on the vacua of the theory. Read More

Three-dimensional N = 4 supersymmetric quantum field theories admit two topological twists, the Rozansky-Witten twist and its mirror. Either twist can be used to define a supersymmetric compactification on a Riemann surface and a corre- sponding space of supersymmetric ground states. These spaces of ground states can play an interesting role in the Geometric Langlands program. Read More

We discuss a supersymmetric generalization of the Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev model. These are quantum mechanical models involving $N$ Majorana fermions. The supercharge is given by a polynomial expression in terms of the Majorana fermions with random coefficients. Read More

Maximally supersymmetric gauge theory in four dimensions admits local boundary conditions which preserve half of the bulk supersymmetries. The S-duality of the bulk gauge theory can be extended in a natural fashion to act on such half-BPS boundary conditions. The purpose of this note is to explain the role these boundary conditions can play in the Geometric Langlands program. Read More

In three-dimensional gauge theories, monopole operators create and destroy vortices. We explore this idea in the context of 3d N=4 gauge theories in the presence of an Omega-background. In this case, monopole operators generate a non-commutative algebra that quantizes the Coulomb-branch chiral ring. Read More

We conjecture a formula for the Schur index of N=2 four-dimensional theories in the presence of boundary conditions and/or line defects, in terms of the low-energy effective Seiberg-Witten description of the system together with massive BPS excitations. We test our proposal in a variety of examples for SU(2) gauge theories, either conformal or asymptotically free. We use the conjecture to compute these defect-enriched Schur indices for theories which lack a Lagrangian description, such as Argyres-Douglas theories. Read More

It is possible to describe fermionic phases of matter and spin-topological field theories in 2+1d in terms of bosonic "shadow" theories, which are obtained from the original theory by "gauging fermionic parity". The fermionic/spin theories are recovered from their shadow by a process of fermionic anyon condensation: gauging a one-form symmetry generated by quasi-particles with fermionic statistics. We apply the formalism to theories which admit gapped boundary conditions. Read More

We introduce several families of $\mathcal{N}=(2,2)$ UV boundary conditions in 3d $\mathcal N=4$ gauge theories and study their IR images in sigma-models to the Higgs and Coulomb branches. In the presence of Omega deformations, a UV boundary condition defines a pair of modules for quantized algebras of chiral Higgs- and Coulomb-branch operators, respectively, whose structure we derive. In the case of abelian theories, we use the formalism of hyperplane arrangements to make our constructions very explicit, and construct a half-BPS interface that implements the action of 3d mirror symmetry on gauge theories and boundary conditions. Read More

The critical 2d classical Ising model on the square lattice has two topological conformal defects: the $\mathbb{Z}_2$ symmetry defect $D_{\epsilon}$ and the Kramers-Wannier duality defect $D_{\sigma}$. These two defects implement antiperiodic boundary conditions and a more exotic form of twisted boundary conditions, respectively. On the torus, the partition function $Z_{D}$ of the critical Ising model in the presence of a topological conformal defect $D$ is expressed in terms of the scaling dimensions $\Delta_{\alpha}$ and conformal spins $s_{\alpha}$ of a distinct set of primary fields (and their descendants, or conformal towers) of the Ising CFT. Read More

This paper summarizes our rather lengthy paper, "Algebra of the Infrared: String Field Theoretic Structures in Massive ${\cal N}=(2,2)$ Field Theory In Two Dimensions," and is meant to be an informal, yet detailed, introduction and summary of that larger work. Read More

We introduce a "web-based formalism" for describing the category of half-supersymmetric boundary conditions in $1+1$ dimensional massive field theories with ${\cal N}=(2,2)$ supersymmetry and unbroken $U(1)_R$ symmetry. We show that the category can be completely constructed from data available in the far infrared, namely, the vacua, the central charges of soliton sectors, and the spaces of soliton states on $\mathbb{R}$, together with certain "interaction and boundary emission amplitudes". These amplitudes are shown to satisfy a system of algebraic constraints related to the theory of $A_\infty$ and $L_\infty$ algebras. Read More

We propose an explicit description of duality walls which encode at low energy the global symmetry enhancement expected in the UV completion of certain five-dimensional gauge theories. The proposal is supported by explicit localization computations and implies that the instanton partition function of these theories satisfies novel and unexpected integral equations. Read More

We study lattice constructions of gapped fermionic phases of matter. We show that the construction of fermionic Symmetry Protected Topological orders by Gu and Wen has a hidden dependence on a discrete spin structure on the Euclidean space-time. The spin structure is needed to resolve ambiguities which are otherwise present. Read More

We construct classes of ${\cal N}=1$ superconformal theories elements of which are labeled by punctured Riemann surfaces. Degenerations of the surfaces correspond, in some cases, to weak coupling limits. Different classes are labeled by two integers (N,k). Read More

We propose a construction of the quantum-corrected Coulomb branch of a general 3d gauge theory with $\mathcal{N}=4$ supersymmetry, in terms of local coordinates associated with an abelianized theory. In a fixed complex structure, the holomorphic functions on the Coulomb branch are given by expectation values of chiral monopole operators. We construct the chiral ring of such operators, using equivariant integration over BPS moduli spaces. Read More

This is the first article in the collection of reviews "Exact results on N=2 supersymmetric gauge theories", ed. J. Teschner. Read More

A $q$-form global symmetry is a global symmetry for which the charged operators are of space-time dimension $q$; e.g. Wilson lines, surface defects, etc. Read More

We study the superconformal index of five-dimensional SCFTs and the sphere partition function of four-dimensional gauge theories with eight supercharges in the presence of co-dimension two half-BPS defects. We derive a prescription which is valid for defects which can be given a "vortex construction", i.e. Read More

In a system with chiral topological order, there is a remarkable correspondence between the edge and entanglement spectra: the low-energy spectrum of the system in the presence of a physical edge coincides with the lowest part of the entanglement spectrum (ES) across a virtual cut of the system, up to rescaling and shifting. In this paper, we explore whether the edge-ES correspondence extends to nonchiral topological phases. Specifically, we consider the Wen-plaquette model which has Z_2 topological order. Read More

M-theory and string theory predict the existence of many six-dimensional SCFTs. In particular, type IIA brane constructions involving NS5-, D6- and D8-branes conjecturally give rise to a very large class of N=(1,0) CFTs in six dimensions. We point out that these theories sit at the end of RG flows which start from six-dimensional theories which admit an M-theory construction as a M5 stack transverse to $R^4/Z_k \times R$. Read More

We reformulate the action of Verlinde line operators on conformal blocks in a 3d TFT language and extend it to line operators labelled by open paths joining punctures on the Riemann surface. We discuss the possible applications of open Verlinde line operators to quantum Teichm\"uller theory, supersymmetric gauge theory and quantum groups Read More

We discuss a variant of the F-theorem and F-maximization principles which applies to (super)conformal boundary conditions of 4d (S)CFTs. Read More

In this note we study the "conformal limit" of the TBA equations which describe the geometry of the moduli space of four-dimensional N=2 gauge theories compactified on a circle. We argue that the resulting conformal TBA equations describe a generalization of the oper submanifold in the space of complex flat connections on a Riemann surface. In particular, the conformal TBA equations for theories in the A1 class produce solutions of the Schr\"odinger equation with a rational potential. Read More

We consider the vacuum geometry of supersymmetric theories with 4 supercharges, on a flat toroidal geometry. The 2 dimensional vacuum geometry is known to be captured by the $tt^*$ geometry. In the case of 3 dimensions, the parameter space is $(T^{2}\times {\mathbb R})^N$ and the vacuum geometry turns out to be a solution to a generalization of monopole equations in $3N$ dimensions where the relevant topological ring is that of line operators. Read More

Recent numerical results point to the existence of a conformally invariant twist defect in the critical 3d Ising model. In this note we show that this fact is supported by both epsilon expansion and conformal bootstrap calculations. We find that our results are in good agreement with the numerical data. Read More

We study a large class of BPS surface defects in 4d N=2 gauge theories. They are defined by coupling a 2d N=(2,2) gauged linear sigma model to the 4d bulk degrees of freedom. Our main result is an efficient computation of the effective twisted superpotential for all these models in terms of a basic object closely related to the resolvent of the 4d gauge theory, which encodes the curve describing the 4d low energy dynamics. Read More

Domain walls in N=1 supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory conjecturally support topological degrees of freedom at low energy. Domain wall junctions are thus expected to support gapless degrees of freedom. We propose a natural candidate for the low-energy description of such junctions. Read More

This paper studies the interplay between the N=2 gauge theories in three and four dimensions that have a geometric description in terms of twisted compactification of the six-dimensional (2,0) SCFT. Our main goal is to construct the three-dimensional domain walls associated to any three-dimensional cobordism. We find that we can build a variety of 3d theories that represent the local degrees of freedom at a given domain wall in various 4d duality frames, including both UV S-dual frames and IR Seiberg-Witten electric-magnetic dual frames. Read More

In this work we compare different descriptions of the space of vacua of certain three dimensional N=4 superconformal field theories, compactified on a circle and mass-deformed to N=2 in a canonical way. The original N=4 theories are known to admit two distinct mirror descriptions as linear quiver gauge theories, and many more descriptions which involve the compactification on a segment of four-dimensional N=4 super Yang-Mills theory. Each description gives a distinct presentation of the moduli space of vacua. Read More

We propose a definition of irregular vertex operators in the H3+ WZW model. Our definition is compatible with the duality [1] between the H3+ WZW model and Liouville theory, and we provide the explicit map between correlation functions of irregular vertex operators in the two conformal field theories. Our definition of irregular vertex operators is motivated by relations to partition functions of N=2 gauge theory and scattering amplitudes in N=4 gauge theory Read More

We explore some curious implications of Seiberg duality for an SU(2) four-dimensional gauge theory with eight chiral doublets. We argue that two copies of the theory can be deformed by an exactly marginal quartic superpotential so that they acquire an enhanced E7 flavor symmetry. We argue that a single copy of the theory can be used to define an E7-invariant superconformal boundary condition for a theory of 28 five-dimensional free hypermultiplets. Read More

We apply and illustrate the techniques of spectral networks in a large collection of A_{K-1} theories of class S, which we call "lifted A_1 theories." Our construction makes contact with Fock and Goncharov's work on higher Teichmuller theory. In particular we show that the Darboux coordinates on moduli spaces of flat connections which come from certain special spectral networks coincide with the Fock-Goncharov coordinates. Read More

The analytic properties of the N = 2 superconformal index are given a physical interpretation in terms of certain BPS surface defects, which arise as the IR limit of supersymmetric vortices. The residue of the index at a pole in flavor fugacity is interpreted as the index of a superconformal field theory without this flavor symmetry, but endowed with an additional surface defect. The residue can be efficiently extracted by acting on the index with a difference operator of Ruijsenaars-Schneider type. Read More

We introduce new geometric objects called spectral networks. Spectral networks are networks of trajectories on Riemann surfaces obeying certain local rules. Spectral networks arise naturally in four-dimensional N=2 theories coupled to surface defects, particularly the theories of class S. Read More

Recently a prescription to compute the superconformal index for all theories of class S was proposed. In this paper we discuss some of the physical information which can be extracted from this index. We derive a simple criterion for the given theory of class S to have a decoupled free component and for it to have enhanced flavor symmetry. Read More

Motivated by problems arising in the study of N=2 supersymmetric gauge theories we introduce and study irregular singularities in two-dimensional conformal field theory, here Liouville theory. Irregular singularities are associated to representations of the Virasoro algebra in which a subset of the annihilation part of the algebra act diagonally. In this paper we define natural bases for the space of conformal blocks in the presence of irregular singularities, describe how to calculate their series expansions, and how such conformal blocks can be constructed by some delicate limiting procedure from ordinary conformal blocks. Read More

Renormalization Group domain walls are natural conformal interfaces between two CFTs related by an RG flow. The RG domain wall gives an exact relation between the operators in the UV and IR CFTs. We propose an explicit algebraic construction of the RG domain wall between consecutive Virasoro minimal models in two dimensions. Read More

We identify a large class R of three-dimensional N=2 superconformal field theories. This class includes the effective theories T_M of M5-branes wrapped on 3-manifolds M, discussed in previous work by the authors, and more generally comprises theories that admit a UV description as abelian Chern-Simons-matter theories with (possibly non-perturbative) superpotential. Mathematically, class R might be viewed as an extreme quantum generalization of the Bloch group; in particular, the equivalence relation among theories in class R is a quantum-field-theoretic "2-3 move. Read More

We study 6d N=(2,0) theory of type SU(N) compactified on Riemann surfaces with finite area, including spheres with fewer than three punctures. The Higgs branch, whose metric is inversely proportional to the total area of the Riemann surface, is discussed in detail. We show that the zero-area limit, which gives us a genuine 4d theory, can involve a Wigner-Inonu contraction of global symmetries of the six-dimensional theory. Read More

We propose a dictionary between geometry of triangulated 3-manifolds and physics of three-dimensional N=2 gauge theories. Under this duality, standard operations on triangulated 3-manifolds and various invariants thereof (classical as well as quantum) find a natural interpretation in field theory. For example, independence of the SL(2) Chern-Simons partition function on the choice of triangulation translates to a statement that S^3_b partition functions of two mirror 3d N=2 gauge theories are equal. Read More

It has been argued based on electric-magnetic duality and other ingredients that the Jones polynomial of a knot in three dimensions can be computed by counting the solutions of certain gauge theory equations in four dimensions. Here, we attempt to verify this directly by analyzing the equations and counting their solutions, without reference to any quantum dualities. After suitably perturbing the equations to make their behavior more generic, we are able to get a fairly clear understanding of how the Jones polynomial emerges. Read More

We introduce a new wall-crossing formula which combines and generalizes the Cecotti-Vafa and Kontsevich-Soibelman formulas for supersymmetric 2d and 4d systems respectively. This 2d-4d wall-crossing formula governs the wall-crossing of BPS states in an N=2 supersymmetric 4d gauge theory coupled to a supersymmetric surface defect. When the theory and defect are compactified on a circle, we get a 3d theory with a supersymmetric line operator, corresponding to a hyperholomorphic connection on a vector bundle over a hyperkahler space. Read More

Using the Operator Product Expansion for Wilson loops we derive a simple formula giving the discontinuities of the two loop result in terms of the one loop answer. We also argue that the knowledge of these discontinuities should be enough to fix the full two loop answer, for a general number of sides. We work this out explicitly for the case of the hexagon and rederive the known result. Read More

We revisit the study of the maximally singular point in the Coulomb branch of 4d N=2 SU(N) gauge theory with N_f=2n flavors for N_f<2N. When n >= 2, we find that the low-energy physics is described by two non-trivial superconformal field theories coupled to a magnetic SU(2) gauge group which is infrared free. (In the special case n=2, one of these theories is a theory of free hypermultiplets. Read More

We derive the two loop expressions for polygonal Wilson loops by starting from the one loop expressions and applying an operator product expansion. We do this for polygonal Wilson loops in R^{1,1} and find a result in agreement with previous computations. We also discuss the spectrum of excitations around flux tube that connects two null Wilson lines. Read More

We consider polygonal Wilson loops with null edges in conformal gauge theories. We derive an OPE-like expansion when several successive lines of the polygon are becoming aligned. The limit corresponds to a collinear, or multicollinear, limit and we explain the systematics of all the subleading corrections, going beyond the leading terms that were previously considered. Read More

We consider a class of line operators in d=4, N=2 supersymmetric field theories which leave four supersymmetries unbroken. Such line operators support a new class of BPS states which we call "framed BPS states." These include halo bound states similar to those of d=4, N=2 supergravity, where (ordinary) BPS particles are loosely bound to the line operator. Read More