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Strongly coupled gauge theories from topological open strings and membranes


The research and training outlined in this proposal is aimed at extending our knowledge of strongly coupled gauge theories with lower amounts of supersymmetries and their relation to gravity, using methods from and inspired by String theory.

In particular, we want to study non-perturbative aspects of N=1 super Yang-Mills theories, such as the structure of their moduli spaces ¿ working towards a full understanding of its global structure ¿ and efficient method of calculating of superpotentials. Also we want to study topological aspects of Little String Theories and (2,0) gauge theories and related aspects of poorly understood non-abelian two-form gauge theories.

Central in our approach is the use of topological field theories ¿ topological open and closed strings to study super Yang-Mills theories and their coupling to gravity, and topological open membranes to study (2,0) gauge theories. Such techniques are extremely powerful and often lead to remarkable exact calculations of quantities, such as superpotentials of gauge theories. Superpotentials are important for physically interesting problems such as supersymmetry breaking and phase structures.

Applications to phenomenologically interesting problems such as these form an integral part of our proposal. An important tool to tackle these questions is the use of matrix models, recently proposed as an extremely efficient method to calculate effective superpotentials, which can often be related to partition sums of topological open strings.

As part of this project we want to extend the reach of powerful new methods to calculate such partition sums, and use it to gain an enhanced insight in their moduli space. This research will be complemented by benefiting from the extensive expertise of the host institute in areas of String theory, Yang-Mills, gravity, phenomenology and conforma/field theories.

Call for proposal

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