Computational Algebraic Geometry meets String Theory: the search for rigid divisors and computing sheaf cohomology on Calabi-Yau hypersurfaces of toric 4-folds.

24 April 2017
Mike Stillman

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.

  • String Theory Seminar