F-Theory and the Classification of Little Strings

April 14, 2016

Depiction of how to construct the base of an F-theory model for a LST. All LST bases are obtained by adding one additional curve to the base for a 6D SCFT. This additional curve can intersect either one or two curves of the SCFT base. Much as in the study of Lie algebras, LSTs should be viewed as an “affine extension” of SCFTs. [Reprinted by permission from APS.]

A new paper in Physical Review D by Prof. Cumrun Vafa, postdoc Michele Del Zotto, and colleagues from Perimeter Institute, UNC--Chapel Hill, Columbia, and UC Santa Barbara adresses little string theories (LSTs): UV complete nonlocal six-dimensional (6D) theories decoupled from gravity in which there is an intrinsic string scale. The authors present a systematic approach to the construction of supersymmetric LSTs via the geometric phases of F-theory. Their central result is that all LSTs with more than one tensor multiplet are obtained by a mild extension of 6D superconformal field theories in which the theory is supplemented by an additional, nondynamical tensor multiplet, analogous to adding an affine node to an ADE quiver, resulting in a negative semidefinite Dirac pairing. The authors also show that all 6D superconformal field theories naturally embed in a LST. Motivated by physical considerations, they show that in geometries where the presence of two elliptic fibrations can be verified, exchanging the roles of these fibrations amounts to T-duality in the 6D theory compactified on a circle.

See Lakshya Bhardwaj, Michele Del Zotto, Jonathan J. Heckman, David R. Morrison, Tom Rudelius, and Cumrun Vafa, "F-theory and the classification of little strings," Phys. Rev. D 93, 086002 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.93.086002