Supertwistors: the massless, the massive, and the AdS

30 May 2017
Paul Townsend

Some recent applications of supertwistors to superparticle mechanics will be reviewed.
First: Supertwistors allow a simple quantization of the  N-extended 4D massless superparticle, and peculiarities of massless 4D supermultiplets can then be explained by considering the quantum fate of a classical ``worldline CPT'' symmetry. For N=1 there is a global CPT anomaly, which explains why there is no CPT self-conjugate supermultiplet. For N=2 there is no anomaly but a Kramers degeneracy explains the doubling of states in the CPT self-conjugate hypermultiplet.
Second: the bi-supertwistor formulation of the N-extended massive superparticle in 3D, 4D and 6D makes manifest a ``hidden’’ 2N-extended supersymmetry. It also has a simple expression in terms of hermitian 2x2 matrices over the associative division algebras R,C,H.
Third: omission of the mass-shell constraint in this 3D,4D,6D bi-supertwistor action yields, as suggested  by holography, the action for a supergraviton in 4D,5D,7D AdS. Application to the near horizon AdSxS geometries of the M2,D3 and M5 brane confirms that the graviton supermultiplet has 128+128 polarisation states.