1,909 research outputs found

    Chern-Simons Theory and Topological Strings

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    We review the relation between Chern-Simons gauge theory and topological string theory on noncompact Calabi-Yau spaces. This relation has made possible to give an exact solution of topological string theory on these spaces to all orders in the string coupling constant. We focus on the construction of this solution, which is encoded in the topological vertex, and we emphasize the implications of the physics of string/gauge theory duality for knot theory and for the geometry of Calabi-Yau manifolds.Comment: 46 pages, RMP style, 25 figures, minor corrections, references adde

    Les Houches lectures on matrix models and topological strings

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    In these lecture notes for the Les Houches School on Applications of Random Matrices in Physics we give an introduction to the connections between matrix models and topological strings. We first review some basic results of matrix model technology and then we focus on type B topological strings. We present the main results of Dijkgraaf and Vafa describing the spacetime string dynamics on certain Calabi-Yau backgrounds in terms of matrix models, and we emphasize the connection to geometric transitions and to large N gauge/string duality. We also use matrix model technology to analyze large N Chern-Simons theory and the Gopakumar-Vafa transition.Comment: 63 pages, 8 figures, minor correction

    On the BV formulation of boundary superstring field theory

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    We propose a Batalin-Vilkovisky (BV) formulation of boundary superstring field theory. The superstring field action is defined in terms of a closed one-form in the space of couplings, and we compute it explicitly for exactly solvable tachyon perturbations. We also argue that the superstring field action defined in this way is the partition function on the disc, in accord with a previous proposal.Comment: 11 pages, harvma

    The uses of Whitham hierarchies

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    We review some of the uses of Whitham hierarchies in the context of the theory of the prepotential in N=2 supersymmetric gauge theories. We focus on the structure of the contact terms in the twisted topological theory, and on the connection between Whitham hierarchies and the u-plane integrals for higher rank gauge groups, trying to put together the different approaches involved in this connection. We also review two other uses of the Whitham hierarchies: the interpretation of the slow times as supersymmetry breaking parameters, and the new techniques to extract instanton corrections using the RG equations written in terms of theta functions.Comment: 24 pages, PTP TeX. Talk given at the workshop ``Gauge theory and integrable models" (YITP, Kyoto), January 26-29, 199
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