Localization, supersymmetric gauge theories and toric geometry

  • Date:
  • Location: Häggsalen, Ångströmslaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala
  • Doctoral student: Winding, Jacob
  • About the dissertation
  • Organiser: Teoretisk fysik
  • Contact person: Winding, Jacob
  • Disputation

Gauge theories is one of the most pervasive and important subject of modern theoretical physics, and there are still many things about them we do not understand. In particular dealing with strongly coupled theories where normal perturbative techniques do not apply is a fundamental open problem. In this thesis, we study a particular class of toy-models that have supersymmetry, which makes them much easier to deal with. We employ the mathematical technique of localization, which for supersymmetric theories lets us evaluate certain path integrals exactly and for any value of the coupling. This is used to study the 5d N=1 theories placed on toric Sasaki-Einstein manifolds and compute their partition functions, finding that they factorize into a product of contributions from each closed Reeb orbit of the manifold. This computation leads us to define two new hierarchies of special functions associated to these manifolds, and we study their properties. Finally, we use the 5d N=1 theories to construct new 4d N=2 theories on a large class of curved backgrounds. These theories have some interesting features, such as supporting both instantons and anti-instantons, and having a position-dependent complexified coupling constant.