Nathan Seiberg - IAS

Nathan Seiberg
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Nathan Seiberg

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High Energy Physics - Theory (49)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (15)
Physics - Strongly Correlated Electrons (6)
High Energy Physics - Lattice (2)
Mathematics - Differential Geometry (1)

Publications Authored By Nathan Seiberg

$SU(N)$ 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

We analyze in detail the global symmetries of various (2+1)d quantum field theories and couple them to classical background gauge fields. A proper identification of the global symmetries allows us to consider all non-trivial bundles of those background fields, thus finding more subtle observables. The global symmetries exhibit interesting 't Hooft anomalies. Read More

In the last few years several dualities were found between the low-energy behaviors of Chern-Simons-matter theories with unitary gauge groups coupled to scalars, and similar theories coupled to fermions. In this paper we generalize those dualities to orthogonal and symplectic gauge groups. In particular, we conjecture dualities between $SO(N)_k$ Chern-Simons theories coupled to $N_f$ real scalars in the fundamental representation, and $SO(k)_{-N+N_f/2}$ coupled to $N_f$ real (Majorana) fermions in the fundamental. Read More

We present new anomalies in two-dimensional ${\mathcal N} =(2, 2)$ superconformal theories. They obstruct the shortening conditions of chiral and twisted chiral multiplets at coincident points. This implies that marginal couplings cannot be promoted to background superfields in short representations. Read More

Two-dimensional field theories do not have a moduli space of vacua. Instead, it is common that their low-energy behavior is a sigma model with a target space. When this target space is compact its renormalization group flow is standard. Read More

We discuss in detail level/rank duality in three-dimensional Chern-Simons theories and various related dualities in three-dimensional Chern-Simons-matter theories. We couple the dual Lagrangians to appropriate background fields (including gauge fields, spin$_c$ connections and the metric). The non-trivial maps between the currents and the line operators in the dual theories is accounted for by mixing of these fields. Read More

Building on earlier work in the high energy and condensed matter communities, we present a web of dualities in $2+1$ dimensions that generalize the known particle/vortex duality. Some of the dualities relate theories of fermions to theories of bosons. Others relate different theories of fermions. Read More

The standard boundary state of a topological insulator in 3+1 dimensions has gapless charged fermions. We present model systems that reproduce this standard gapless boundary state in one phase, but also have gapped phases with topological order. Our models are weakly coupled and all the dynamics is explicit. Read More

The two-point function of exactly marginal operators leads to a universal contribution to the trace anomaly in even dimensions. We study aspects of this trace anomaly, emphasizing its interpretation as a sigma model, whose target space M is the space of conformal field theories (a.k. 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 consider coupling an ordinary quantum field theory with an infinite number of degrees of freedom to a topological field theory. On R^d the new theory differs from the original one by the spectrum of operators. Sometimes the local operators are the same but there are different line operators, surface operators, etc. 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

We extend recent work on the relation of 4d and 3d IR dualities of supersymmetric gauge theories with four supercharges to the case of orthogonal gauge groups. The distinction between different SO(N) gauge theories in 4d plays an important role in this relation. We show that the 4d duality leads to a 3d duality between an SO(N_c) gauge theory with N_f flavors and an SO(N_f-N_c+2) theory with N_f flavors and extra singlets, and we derive its generalization in the presence of Chern-Simons terms. Read More

Many examples of low-energy dualities have been found in supersymmetric gauge theories with four supercharges, both in four and in three space-time dimensions. In these dualities, two theories that are different at high energies have the same low-energy limit. In this paper we clarify the relation between the dualities in four and in three dimensions. Read More

We comment on various aspects of the the dynamics of 3d N=2 Chern-Simons gauge theories and their possible phases. Depending on the matter content, real masses and FI parameters, there can be non-compact Higgs or Coulomb branches, compact Higgs or Coulomb branches, and isolated vacua. We compute the Witten index of the theories, and show that it does not change when the system undergoes a phase transition. Read More

Starting with a choice of a gauge group in four dimensions, there is often freedom in the choice of magnetic and dyonic line operators. Different consistent choices of these operators correspond to distinct physical theories, with the same correlation functions of local operators in R^4. In some cases these choices are permuted by shifting the theta-angle by 2pi. Read More

We study contact terms of conserved currents and the energy-momentum tensor in three-dimensional quantum field theory. They are associated with Chern-Simons terms for background fields. While the integer parts of these contact terms are ambiguous, their fractional parts are meaningful physical observables. Read More

We consider three-dimensional N=2 superconformal field theories on a three-sphere and analyze their free energy F as a function of background gauge and supergravity fields. A crucial role is played by certain local terms in these background fields, including several Chern-Simons terms. The presence of these terms clarifies a number of subtle properties of F. Read More

We systematically analyze Riemannian manifolds M that admit rigid supersymmetry, focusing on four-dimensional N=1 theories with a U(1)_R symmetry. We find that M admits a single supercharge, if and only if it is a Hermitian manifold. The supercharge transforms as a scalar on M. Read More

We systematically analyze all possible supersymmetry multiplets that include the supersymmetry current and the energy-momentum tensor in various dimensions, focusing on N=1 in four dimensions. The most general such multiplet is the S-multiplet, which includes 16 bosonic and 16 fermionic operators. In special situations it can be decomposed, leading to smaller multiplets with 12+12 or even 8+8 operators. Read More

We present a uniform treatment of rigid supersymmetric field theories in a curved spacetime $\CM$, focusing on four-dimensional theories with four supercharges. Our discussion is significantly simpler than earlier treatments, because we use classical background values of the auxiliary fields in the supergravity multiplet. We demonstrate our procedure using several examples. Read More

We extend the known consistency conditions on the low-energy theory of six-dimensional N = 1 supergravity. We review some facts about the theory of two-form gauge fields and conclude that the charge lattice Gamma for such a theory has to be self-dual. The Green-Schwarz anomaly cancellation conditions in the supergravity theory determine a sublattice of Gamma. Read More

We discuss aspects of global and gauged symmetries in quantum field theory and quantum gravity, focusing on discrete gauge symmetries. An effective Lagrangian description of $\Z_p$ gauge theories shows that they are associated with an emergent $\Z_p$ one-form (Kalb-Ramond) gauge symmetry. This understanding leads us to uncover new observables and new phenomena in nonlinear $\sigma$-models. 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 study the problem of finding exactly marginal deformations of N=1 superconformal field theories in four dimensions. We find that the only way a marginal chiral operator can become not exactly marginal is for it to combine with a conserved current multiplet. Additionally, we find that the space of exactly marginal deformations, also called the "conformal manifold," is the quotient of the space of marginal couplings by the complexified continuous global symmetry group. Read More

The standard lore about the sum over topological sectors in quantum field theory is that locality and cluster decomposition uniquely determine the sum over such sectors, thus leading to the usual theta-vacua. We show that without changing the local degrees of freedom, a theory can be modified such that the sum over instantons should be restricted; e.g. Read More

We discuss theories of gauge mediation in which the hidden sector consists of two subsectors which are weakly coupled to each other. One sector is made up of messengers and the other breaks supersymmetry. Each sector by itself may be strongly coupled. Read More

We analyze various supersymmetry multiplets containing the supercurrent and the energy-momentum tensor. The most widely known such multiplet, the Ferrara-Zumino (FZ) multiplet, is not always well-defined. This can happen once Fayet-Iliopoulos (FI) terms are present or when the Kahler form of the target space is not exact. Read More

We present a new formalism for finding the low-energy effective Lagrangian of Goldstinos and other fields. This Lagrangian is written using standard superspace and the superfields are constrained to include only the light degrees of freedom. The Goldstino resides in a (constrained) chiral superfield X which is naturally identified at short distances. Read More

A careful analysis of the Fayet-Iliopoulos (FI) model shows that its energy momentum tensor and supersymmetry current are not gauge invariant. Since the corresponding charges are gauge invariant, the model is consistent. However, our observation about the currents gives a new perspective on its restrictive renormalization group flow and explains why FI-terms never appear in dynamical supersymmetry breaking. Read More

We address the mu-problem in the context of General Gauge Mediation (GGM). We classify possible models depending on the way the Higgs fields couple to the supersymmetry breaking hidden-sector. The different types of models have distinct signatures in the MSSM parameters. Read More

We explore various aspects of General Gauge Mediation(GGM). We present a reformulation of the correlation functions used in GGM, and further elucidate their IR and UV properties. Additionally we clarify the issue of UV sensitivity in the calculation of the soft masses in the MSSM, highlighting the role of the supertrace over the messenger spectrum. Read More

We describe a framework for gauge mediation of supersymmetry breaking in which the messengers are charged under the hidden sector gauge group but do not play a role in breaking supersymmetry. From this point of view, our framework is between ordinary gauge mediation and direct mediation. As an example, we consider the 3-2 model of dynamical supersymmetry breaking, and add to it massive messengers which are SU(2) doublets. Read More

We give a general definition of gauge mediated supersymmetry breaking which encompasses all the known gauge mediation models. In particular, it includes both models with messengers as well as direct mediation models. A formalism for computing the soft terms in the generic model is presented. Read More

A solution to the infinite coupling problem for N=2 conformal supersymmetric gauge theories in four dimensions is presented. The infinitely-coupled theories are argued to be interacting superconformal field theories (SCFTs) with weakly gauged flavor groups. Consistency checks of this proposal are found by examining some low-rank examples. Read More

We interpret the current experimental limit on the lightest Higgs boson mass to suggest that if nature is supersymmetric, there are additional interactions beyond those of the MSSM coming from new degrees of freedom around the TeV scale. Within an effective field theory analysis, the leading order corrections to the MSSM are described in terms of only two operators. This provides a highly constrained description of Beyond MSSM (BMSSM) physics. Read More

Models of spontaneous supersymmetry breaking generically have an R-symmetry, which is problematic for obtaining gaugino masses and avoiding light R-axions. The situation is improved in models of metastable supersymmetry breaking, which generically have only an approximate R-symmetry. Based on this we argue, with mild assumptions, that metastable supersymmetry breaking is inevitable. Read More

We review the subject of spontaneous supersymmetry breaking. First we consider supersymmetry breaking in a semiclassical theory. We illustrate it with several examples, demonstrating different phenomena, including metastable supersymmetry breaking. Read More

We elucidate the physics underlying ``anomaly mediation'', giving several alternative derivations of the formulas for gaugino and scalar masses. We stress that this phenomenon is of a type familiar in field theory, and does not represent an anomaly, nor does it depend on supersymmetry breaking and its mediation. Analogous phenomena are common in QFT and this particular phenomenon occurs also in supersymmetric theories without gravity. Read More

Following recent developments in model building we construct a simple, natural and controllable model of gauge-mediated supersymmetry breaking. Read More

We point out that for N=4 gauge theories with exceptional gauge groups G_2 and F_4 the S-duality transformation acts on the moduli space by a nontrivial involution. We note that the duality groups of these theories are the Hecke groups with elliptic elements of order six and four, respectively. These groups extend certain subgroups of SL(2,Z) by elements with a non-trivial action on the moduli space. Read More

Dynamical supersymmetry breaking in a long-lived meta-stable vacuum is a phenomenologically viable possibility. This relatively unexplored avenue leads to many new models of dynamical supersymmetry breaking. Here, we present a surprisingly simple class of models with meta-stable dynamical supersymmetry breaking: N=1 supersymmetric QCD, with massive flavors. Read More

We summarize the arguments that space and time are likely to be emergent notions; i.e. they are not present in the fundamental formulation of the theory, but appear as approximate macroscopic concepts. Read More

We point out that some recently proposed string theory realizations of dynamical supersymmetry breaking actually do not break supersymmetry in the usual desired sense. Instead, there is a runaway potential, which slides down to a supersymmetric vacuum at infinite expectation values for some fields. The runaway direction is not on a separated branch; rather, it shows up as a"tadpole" everywhere on the moduli space of field expectation values. Read More

We carry out a thorough analysis of the moduli space of the cascading gauge theory found on p D3-branes and M wrapped D5-branes at the tip of the conifold. We find various mesonic branches of the moduli space whose string duals involve the warped deformed conifold with different numbers of mobile D3-branes. The branes that are not mobile form a BPS bound state at threshold. Read More

We study the noncritical two-dimensional heterotic string. Long fundamental strings play a crucial role in the dynamics. They cancel anomalies and lead to phase transitions when the system is compactified on a Euclidean circle. Read More

We study certain supersymmetry breaking deformations of linear dilaton backgrounds in different dimensions. In some cases, the deformed theory has bulk closed strings tachyons. In other cases there are no bulk tachyons, but there are localized tachyons. Read More

We study the dynamics near a 1+1 dimensional intersection of two orthogonal stacks of fivebranes in type IIB string theory, using an open string description valid at weak coupling, and a closed string description valid at strong coupling. The weak coupling description suggests that this system is invariant under eight supercharges with a particular chirality in 1+1 dimensions, and its spectrum contains chiral fermions localized at the intersection. The closed string description leads to a rather different picture -- a three dimensional Poincare invariant theory with a gap and sixteen supercharges. Read More

We analyze the two dimensional type 0 theory with background RR-fluxes. Both the 0A and the 0B theory have two distinct fluxes $q$ and $\tilde q$. We study these two theories at finite temperature (compactified on a Euclidean circle of radius $R$) as a function of the fluxes, the tachyon condensate $\mu$ and the radius $R$. Read More

We discuss heterotic string theories in two dimensions with gauge groups Spin(24) and Spin(8) x E_8. After compactification the theories exhibit a rich spectrum of states with both winding and momentum. At special points some of these stringy states become massless, leading to new first order phase transitions. Read More