Surface defects and instanton partition functions


We study the superconformal index of five-dimensional SCFTs and the sphere partition function of four-dimensional gauge theories with eight supercharges in the presence of co-dimension two half-BPS defects. We derive a prescription which is valid for defects which can be given a "vortex construction", i.e. can be defined by RG flow from vortex configurations in a larger theory. We test the prescription against known results and expected dualities. We employ our prescription to develop a general computational strategy for defects defined by coupling the bulk degrees of freedom to a Gauged Linear Sigma Model living in co-dimension two.1117Nsciescopu

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