Katrin Becker

Katrin Becker
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Katrin Becker

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High Energy Physics - Theory (48)
Mathematics - Differential Geometry (1)

Publications Authored By Katrin Becker

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 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

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 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

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 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 explore the differential geometry of T-duality and D-branes. Because D-branes and RR-fields are properly described via K-theory, we discuss the (differential) K-theoretic generalization of T-duality and its application to the coupling of D-branes to RR-fields. This leads to a puzzle involving the transformation of the A-roof genera in the coupling. Read More

In this paper we consider compactifications of heterotic strings in the presence of background flux. The background metric is a T^2 fibration over a K3 base times four-dimensional Minkowski space. Depending on the choice of three-form flux different amounts of supersymmetry are preserved (N=2,1,0). Read More

We construct new examples of torsional heterotic backgrounds using duality with orientifold flux compactifications. We explain how duality provides a perturbative solution to the type I/heterotic string Bianchi identity. The choice of connection used in the Bianchi identity plays an important role in the construction. Read More

We derive stability conditions for the critical points of the no-scale scalar potential governing the dynamics of the complex structure moduli and the axio-dilaton in compactifications of type IIB string theory on Calabi-Yau three-folds. We discuss a concrete example of a T^6 orientifold. We then consider the four-dimensional theory obtained from compactifications of type IIB string theory on non-geometric backgrounds which are mirror to rigid Calabi-Yau manifolds and show that the complex structure moduli fields can be stabilized in terms of H_{RR} only, i. Read More

We consider flux compactifications of type IIB string theory on the mirror of a rigid Calabi-Yau. In special cases, these models are dual to the type IIA flux vacua with runaway direction in flux space. We show that new weak coupling AdS solutions can be found for large complex structure, while Minkowski solutions with all moduli stabilized are confined to be at strong coupling. Read More

Type II orientifolds based on Landau-Ginzburg models are used to describe moduli stabilization for flux compactifications of type II theories from the world-sheet CFT point of view. We show that for certain types of type IIB orientifolds which have no Kahler moduli and are therefore intrinsically non-geometric, all moduli can be explicitly stabilized in terms of fluxes. The resulting four-dimensional theories can describe Minkowski as well as Anti-de-Sitter vacua. Read More

We show that six-dimensional backgrounds that are T^2 bundle over a Calabi-Yau two-fold base are consistent smooth solutions of heterotic flux compactifications. We emphasize the importance of the anomaly cancellation condition which can only be satisfied if the base is K3 while a T^4 base is excluded. The conditions imposed by anomaly cancellation for the T^2 bundle structure, the dilaton field, and the holomorphic stable bundles are analyzed and the solutions determined. Read More

We show that all three conditions for the cosmological relevance of heterotic cosmic strings, the right tension, stability and a production mechanism at the end of inflation, can be met in the strongly coupled M-theory regime. Whereas cosmic strings generated from weakly coupled heterotic strings have the well known problems posed by Witten in 1985, we show that strings arising from M5-branes wrapped around 4-cycles (divisors) of a Calabi-Yau in heterotic M-theory compactifications, solve these problems in an elegant fashion. Read More

We study supersymmetric compactification to four dimensions with non-zero H-flux in heterotic string theory. The background metric is generically conformally balanced and can be conformally Kahler if the primitive part of the H-flux vanishes. Analyzing the linearized variational equations, we write down necessary conditions for the existence of moduli associated with the metric. Read More

We derive inflation from M-theory on S^1/Z_2 via the non-perturbative dynamics of N M5-branes. The open membrane instanton interactions between the M5-branes give rise to exponential potentials which are too steep for inflation individually but lead to inflation when combined together. The resulting type of inflation, known as assisted inflation, facilitates considerably the requirement of having all moduli, except the inflaton, stabilized at the beginning of inflation. Read More

We summarize an explicit construction of a duality cycle for geometric transitions in type II and heterotic theories. We emphasize that the manifolds with torsion constructed with this duality cycle are crucial for understanding different phenomena appearing in effective field theories. Read More

We study the structure of warped compactifications of type IIB string theory to six space-time dimensions. We find that the most general four-manifold describing the internal dimensions is conformal to a Kahler manifold, in contrast with the heterotic case where the four-manifold must be conformally Calabi-Yau. Read More

We complete the duality cycle by constructing the geometric transition duals in the type IIB, type I and heterotic theories. We show that in the type IIB theory the background on the closed string side is a Kahler deformed conifold, as expected, even though the mirror type IIA backgrounds are non-Kahler (both before and after the transition). On the other hand, the Type I and heterotic backgrounds are non-Kahler. Read More

We continue our study of heterotic compactifications on non-Kahler complex manifolds with torsion. We give further evidence of the consistency of the six-dimensional manifold presented earlier and discuss the anomaly cancellation and possible supergravity description for a generic non-Kahler complex manifold using the newly proposed superpotential. The manifolds studied in our earlier papers had zero Euler characteristics. Read More

We study a new type of warped compactifications of M-theory on eight manifolds for which nowhere vanishing covariantly constant spinors of indefinite chirality on the internal manifold can be found. We derive the constraints on the fluxes and the warp factor following from supersymmetry and the equations of motion. We show, that the lift of Type IIB PP-waves to M-theory is a special type of solution of this general class of models. Read More

We study the superpotential for the heterotic string compactified on non-Kahler complex manifolds. We show that many of the geometrical properties of these manifolds can be understood from the proposed superpotential. In particular we give an estimate of the radial modulus of these manifolds. Read More

We study new compactifications of the SO(32) heterotic string theory on compact complex non-Kahler manifolds. These manifolds have many interesting features like fewer moduli, torsional constraints, vanishing Euler character and vanishing first Chern class, which make the four-dimensional theory phenomenologically attractive. We take a particular compact example studied earlier and determine various geometrical properties of it. Read More

In this paper we describe the heterotic dual of the type IIB theory compactified to four dimensions on a toroidal orientifold in the presence of fluxes. The type IIB background is most easily described in terms of an M-theory compactification on a four-fold. The heterotic dual is obtained by performing a series of U-dualities. Read More

We obtain the vacuum solutions for M-theory compactified on eight-manifolds with non-vanishing four-form flux by analyzing the scalar potential appearing in the three-dimensional theory. Many of these vacua are not supersymmetric and yet have a vanishing three-dimensional cosmological constant. We show that in the context of Type IIB compactifications on Calabi-Yau threefolds with fluxes and external brane sources alpha'-corrections generate a correction to the supergravity potential proportional to the Euler number of the internal manifold which spoils the no-scale structure appearing in the classical potential. Read More

We consider warped compactifications of ${\cal M}$-theory to three-dimensional Minkowski space on compact eight-manifolds. Taking all the leading quantum gravity corrections of eleven-dimensional supergravity into account we obtain the solution to the equations of motion and Bianchi identities. Generically these vacua are not supersymmetric and yet have a vanishing three-dimensional cosmological constant. Read More

In this note we consider compactifications of ${\cal M}$-theory on $Spin(7)$-holonomy manifolds to three-dimensional Minkowski space. In these compactifications a warp factor is included. The conditions for unbroken N=1 supersymmetry give rise to determining equations for the 4-form field strength in terms of the warp factor and the self-dual 4-form of the internal manifold. Read More

We consider compactifications of ${\cal M}$-theory to four-dimensional Minkowski space on seven-dimensional non-compact manifolds. These compactifications include a warp factor which is non-constant due to the presence of sources coming from fivebranes wrapping two-dimensional submanifolds of the internal seven-dimensional space. We derive the expression for the field strengths and consider an explicit example of this general class of solutions. Read More

Freed, Harvey, Minasian and Moore have proposed a mechanism to cancel the gravitational anomaly of the M-theory fivebrane coming from diffeomorphisms acting on the normal bundle. This procedure is based on a modification of the conventional M-theory Chern-Simons term. We compactify this space-time interaction to the ten-dimensional type IIA theory. Read More

We analyze the hypermultiplet moduli space describing the universal sector of type IIA theory compactified on a Calabi-Yau threefold. The classical moduli space is described in terms of the coset $SU(2,1)/U(2)$. The flux quantization condition of the antisymmetric tensor field of M-theory implies discrete identifications for the scalar fields describing this four- dimensional quaternionic geometry. Read More

We consider the Matrix theory proposal describing eleven-dimensional Schwarzschild black holes. We argue that the Newtonian potential between two black holes receives a genuine long range quantum gravity correction, which is finite and can be computed from the supergravity point of view. The result agrees with Matrix theory up to a numerical factor which we have not computed. Read More

The complete result for the effective potential for two graviton exchange at two loops in M(atrix) theory can be expressed in terms of a generalized hypergeometric function. Read More

We compute graviton scattering amplitudes in M-theory using Feynman rules for a scalar particle coupled to gravity in eleven dimensions. The processes that we consider describe the single graviton exchange and the double graviton exchange, that in M(atrix) theory correspond to the $v^4/r^7$- and $v^6/r^{14}$-term respectively. We further show that the $ v^6/r^{14}$-term appearing in M(atrix) theory at two-loops can be obtained from the covariant eleven-dimensional four-graviton amplitude. Read More

I discuss the relation between M-theory and M(atrix)-theory in flat space by considering the effective potential for the scattering of two groups of D0-branes in both theories. An explicit calculation of this potential up to two loop order in M(atrix)-theory reveals a fascinating agreement. Lecture given at Strings '97; June 17, 1997. Read More

We consider the scattering of two Dirichlet zero-branes in M(atrix) theory. Using the formulation of M(atrix) theory in terms of ten-dimensional super Yang-Mills theory dimensionally reduced to $(0+1)$-dimensions, we obtain the effective (velocity dependent) potential describing these particles. At one-loop we obtain the well known result for the leading order of the effective potential $V_{eff}\sim v^4/r^7$, where $v$ and $r$ are the relative velocity and distance between the two zero-branes respectively. Read More

We show that in certain compactifications of ${\cal M}$-theory on eight-manifolds to three-dimensional Minkowski space-time the four-form field strength can have a non-vanishing expectation value, while an $N=2$ supersymmetry is preserved. For these compactifications a warp factor for the metric has to be taken into account. This warp factor is non-trivial in three space-time dimensions due to Chern-Simons corrections to the fivebrane Bianchi identity. Read More

We formulate boundary conditions for an open membrane that ends on the fivebrane of {\cal M}-theory. We show that the dynamics of the eleven-dimensional fivebrane can be obtained from the quantization of a ``small membrane'' that is confined to a single fivebrane and which moves with the speed of light. This shows that the eleven-dimensional fivebrane has an interpretation as a $D$-brane of an open supermembrane as has recently been proposed by Strominger and Townsend. Read More

Non-perturbative instanton corrections to the moduli space geometry of type IIA string theory compactified on a Calabi-Yau space are derived and found to contain order $e^{-1/g_s}$ contributions, where $g_s$ is the string coupling. The computation reduces to a weighted sum of supersymmetric extremal maps of strings, membranes and fivebranes into the Calabi-Yau space, all three of which enter on equal footing. It is shown that a supersymmetric 3-cycle is one for which the pullback of the K\"ahler form vanishes and the pullback of the holomorphic three-form is a constant multiple of the volume element. Read More

Witten has argued that in $2+1$ dimensions local supersymmetry can ensure the vanishing of the cosmological constant without requiring the equality of bose and fermi masses. We find that this mechanism is implemented in a novel fashion in the (2+1)-dimensional supersymmetric abelian Higgs model coupled to supergravity. The vortex solitons are annihilated by half of the supersymmetry transformations. Read More

The SL(2,R)/U(1) gauged Wess-Zumino-Witten model is an exact conformal field theory describing a black hole in two-dimensional space-time. The free field approach of Bershadsky and Kutasov is a suitable formulation of this CFT in order to compute physically interesting quantities of this black hole. We find the space-time interpretation of this model for k=9/4 and show that it reproduces the metric and the dilaton found by Dijkgraaf, E. Read More