Compactifications of 6D Superconformal Field Theories (SCFTs) on four-manidolfds lead to novel interacting 2D SCFTs. I will describe the various Lagrangian and non-Lagrangian sectors of the resulting 2D theories, as well as their interactions. In general this construction can be embedded in compactifications of the physical superstring, providing a general template for realizing 2D conformal field theories coupled to worldsheet gravity, i.e. a UV completion for non-critical string theories.

# Past String Theory Seminar

Nekrasov, Rosly and Shatashvili observed that the generating function of a certain space of SL(2) opers has a physical interpretation as the effective twisted superpotential for a four-dimensional N=2 quantum field theory. In this talk we describe the ingredients needed to generalise this observation to higher rank. Important ingredients are spectral networks generated by Strebel differentials and the abelianization method. As an example we find the twisted superpotential for the E6 Minahan-Nemeschansky theory.

A K3 surface is called attractive if and only if its Picard number is 20: The maximal possible. Attractive K3 surfaces possess complex multiplication. This property endows attractive K3 surfaces with rich and well understood arithmetic. For example, the associated Galois representation turns out to be a product of well known two dimensional representations and the Hasse-Weil L-function turns out to be a product of well known L-functions. On the other hand, attractive K3 surfaces show up as solutions of the attractor equations in type IIB string theory compactified on the product of a K3 surface with an elliptic curve. As such, these surfaces dictate the near horizon geometry of a charged black hole in this theory. We will try to see which arithmetic properties of the attractive K3 surfaces lend a stringy interpretation and use them to shed light on physical properties of the charged black hole.

Transport properties of liquids and gases in the regime of weak coupling (or effective weak coupling) are determined by the solutions of relevant kinetic equations for particles or quasiparticles, with transport coefficients being proportional to the minimal eigenvalue of the linearized kinetic operator. At strong coupling, the same physical quantities can sometimes be determined from dual gravity, where quasinormal spectra enter as the eigenvalues of the linearized Einstein's equations. We discuss the problem of interpolating between the two regimes using results from higher derivative gravity.

Understanding the structure of hadrons in terms of their fundamental constituents requires an understanding of QCD at large distances, a vastly complex and unsolved dynamical problem. I will discuss in this talk a new approach to hadron structure based on superconformal quantum mechanics in the light-front and its holographic embedding in a higher dimensional gravity theory. This approach captures essential aspects of the confinement dynamics which are not apparent from the QCD Lagrangian, such as the emergence of a mass scale and confinement, the occurrence of a zero mode: the pion, universal Regge trajectories for mesons and baryons and precise connections between the light meson and nucleon spectra. This effective semiclassical approach to relativistic bound-state equations in QCD can be extended to heavy-light hadrons where heavy quark masses break the conformal invariance but the underlying dynamical supersymmetry holds.

A heterotic $G_2$ system is a quadruple $([Y,\varphi], [V, A], [TY,\theta], H)$ where $Y$ is a seven dimensional manifold with an integrable <br /> $G_2$ structure $\varphi$, $V$ is a bundle on $Y$ with an instanton connection $A$, $TY$ is the tangent bundle with an instanton connection $\theta$ and $H$ is a three form on $Y$ determined uniquely by the $G_2$ structure on $Y$. Further, H is constrained so that it satisfies a condition that involves the Chern-Simons forms of $A$ and $\theta$, thus mixing the geometry of $Y$ with that of the bundles (this is the so called anomaly cancelation condition). In this talk I will describe the tangent space of the moduli space of these systems. We first prove that a heterotic system is equivalent to an exterior covariant derivative $\cal D$ on the bundle ${\cal Q} = T^*Y\oplus {\rm End}(V)\oplus {\rm End}(TY)$ which satisfies $\check{\cal D}^2 = 0$ for some appropriately defined projection of the operator $\cal D$. Remarkably, this equivalence implies the (Bianchi identity of) the anomaly cancelation condition. We show that the infinitesimal moduli space is given by the cohomology group $H^1_{\check{\cal D}}(Y, {\cal Q})$ and therefore it is finite dimensional. Our analysis leads to results that are of relevance to all orders in $\alpha’$. Time permitting, I will comment on work in progress about the finite deformations of heterotic $G_2$ systems and the relation to differential graded Lie algebras.

The gauged linear sigma model (GLSM) is a supersymmetric gauge theory in two dimensions which captures information about Calabi-Yaus and their moduli spaces. Recent result in supersymmetric localization provide new tools for computing quantum corrections in string compactifications. This talk will focus on the hemisphere partition function in the GLSM which computes the quantum corrected central charge of B-type D-branes. Several concrete examples of GLSMs and the application of the hemisphere partition function in the context of transporting D-branes in the Kahler moduli space will be given.

Calabi-Yau 3-folds play a large role in string theory. Cohomology of sheaves on such varieties has many uses in string theory, including counting the number of particles or fields in a theory, as well as to help identify terms in the superpotential that determines the equations of motion of the corresponding string theory, and many other uses as well. As a computational algebraic geometer, string theory provides a rich source of new computational problems to solve.

In this talk, we focus on the search for rigid divisors on these Calabi-Yau hypersurfaces of toric varieties. We have had methods to compute sheaf cohomology on these varieties for many years now (Eisenbud-Mustata-Stillman, around 2000), but these methods fail for many of the examples of interest, in that they take a very long time, or the software (wisely) refuses to try!

We provide techniques and formulas for the sheaf cohomology of certain divisors of interest in string theory, that other current methods cannot handle. Along the way, we describe a Macaulay2 package for computing with these objects, and show its use on examples.

This is joint work with Andreas Braun, Cody Long, Liam McAllister, and Benjamin Sung.

Localization and holography are powerful approaches to the computation of supersymmetric observables. The computations may, however, include divergences. Therefore, one needs renormalization schemes preserving supersymmetry. I will consider minimal gauged supergravity in five dimensions to demonstrate that the standard holographic renormalization scheme breaks supersymmetry, and propose a set of non-standard boundary counterterms that restore supersymmetry. I will then show that for a certain class of solutions the improved on-shell action correctly reproduces an intrinsic observable of four-dimensional SCFTs, the supersymmetric Casimir energy.