227 research outputs found

    U(N|M) quantum mechanics on Kaehler manifolds

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    We study the extended supersymmetric quantum mechanics, with supercharges transforming in the fundamental representation of U(N|M), as realized in certain one-dimensional nonlinear sigma models with Kaehler manifolds as target space. We discuss the symmetry algebra characterizing these models and, using operatorial methods, compute the heat kernel in the limit of short propagation time. These models are relevant for studying the quantum properties of a certain class of higher spin field equations in first quantization.Comment: 21 pages, a reference adde

    Worldline approach to vector and antisymmetric tensor fields

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    The N=2 spinning particle action describes the propagation of antisymmetric tensor fields, including vector fields as a special case. In this paper we study the path integral quantization on a one-dimensional torus of the N=2 spinning particle coupled to spacetime gravity. The action has a local N=2 worldline supersymmetry with a gauged U(1) symmetry that includes a Chern-Simons coupling. Its quantization on the torus produces the one-loop effective action for a single antisymmetric tensor. We use this worldline representation to calculate the first few Seeley-DeWitt coefficients for antisymmetric tensor fields of arbitrary rank in arbitrary dimensions. As side results we obtain the correct trace anomaly of a spin 1 particle in four dimensions as well as exact duality relations between differential form gauge fields. This approach yields a drastic simplification over standard heat-kernel methods. It contains on top of the usual proper time a new modular parameter implementing the reduction to a single tensor field. Worldline methods are generically simpler and more efficient in perturbative computations then standard QFT Feynman rules. This is particularly evident when the coupling to gravity is considered.Comment: 30 pages, 5 figures, references adde

    Dimensional regularization of nonlinear sigma models on a finite time interval

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    We extend dimensional regularization to the case of compact spaces. Contrary to previous regularization schemes employed for nonlinear sigma models on a finite time interval (``quantum mechanical path integrals in curved space'') dimensional regularization requires only a covariant finite two-loop counterterm. This counterterm is nonvanishing and given by R/8.Comment: 9 pages, 7 figures, LaTeX, minor changes in text and reference

    Detours and Paths: BRST Complexes and Worldline Formalism

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    We construct detour complexes from the BRST quantization of worldline diffeomorphism invariant systems. This yields a method to efficiently extract physical quantum field theories from particle models with first class constraint algebras. As an example, we show how to obtain the Maxwell detour complex by gauging N=2 supersymmetric quantum mechanics in curved space. Then we concentrate on first class algebras belonging to a class of recently introduced orthosymplectic quantum mechanical models and give generating functions for detour complexes describing higher spins of arbitrary symmetry types. The first quantized approach facilitates quantum calculations and we employ it to compute the number of physical degrees of freedom associated to the second quantized, field theoretical actions.Comment: 1+35 pages, 1 figure; typos corrected and references added, published versio

    Higher spin fields from a worldline perspective

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    Higher spin fields in four dimensions, and more generally conformal fields in arbitrary dimensions, can be described by spinning particle models with a gauged SO(N) extended supergravity on the worldline. We consider here the one-loop quantization of these models by studying the corresponding partition function on the one-dimensional torus. After gauge fixing the supergravity multiplet, the partition function reduces to an integral over the corresponding moduli space which is computed using orthogonal polynomial techniques. We obtain a compact formula which gives the number of physical degrees of freedom for all N in all dimensions. As an aside we compute the physical degrees of freedom of the SO(4) = SU(2)xSU(2) model with only a SU(2) factor gauged, which has attracted some interest in the literature.Comment: 21 page

    Consistency conditions and trace anomalies in six dimensions

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    Conformally invariant quantum field theories develop trace anomalies when defined on curved backgrounds. We study again the problem of identifying all possible trace anomalies in d=6 by studying the consistency conditions to derive their 10 independent solutions. It is known that only 4 of these solutions represent true anomalies, classified as one type A anomaly, given by the topological Euler density, and three type B anomalies, made up by three independent Weyl invariants. However, we also present the explicit expressions of the remaining 6 trivial anomalies, namely those that can be obtained by the Weyl variation of local functionals. The knowledge of the latter is in general necessary to disentangle the universal coefficients of the type A and B anomalies from calculations performed on concrete models.Comment: 16 pages, LaTe

    Worldline approach to quantum field theories on flat manifolds with boundaries

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    We study a worldline approach to quantum field theories on flat manifolds with boundaries. We consider the concrete case of a scalar field propagating on R_+ x R^{D-1} which leads us to study the associated heat kernel through a one dimensional (worldline) path integral. To calculate the latter we map it onto an auxiliary path integral on the full R^D using an image charge. The main technical difficulty lies in the fact that a smooth potential on R_+ x R^{D-1} extends to a potential which generically fails to be smooth on R^D. This implies that standard perturbative methods fail and must be improved. We propose a method to deal with this situation. As a result we recover the known heat kernel coefficients on a flat manifold with geodesic boundary, and compute two additional ones, A_3 and A_{7/2}. The calculation becomes sensibly harder as the perturbative order increases, and we are able to identify the complete A_{7/2} with the help of a suitable toy model. Our findings show that the worldline approach is viable on manifolds with boundaries. Certainly, it would be desirable to improve our method of implementing the worldline approach to further simplify the perturbative calculations that arise in the presence of non-smooth potentials.Comment: 19 pages, 6 figures. Minor rephrasing of a few sentences, references added. Version accepted by JHE
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