Emergent Strings, Duality and Weak Coupling Limits for Two-Form Fields


We systematically analyse weak coupling limits for 2-form tensor fields in the presence of gravity. Such limits are significant for testing various versions of the Weak Gravity and Swampland Distance Conjectures, and more broadly, the phenomenon of emergence. The weak coupling limits for 2-forms correspond to certain infinite-distance limits in the moduli space of string compactifications, where asymptotically tensionless, solitonic strings arise. These strings are identified as weakly coupled fundamental strings in a dual frame, which makes the idea of emergence manifest. Concretely we first consider weakly coupled tensor fields in six-dimensional compactifications of F-theory, where the arising tensionless strings play the role of dual weakly coupled heterotic strings. As the main part of this work, we consider certain infinite distance limits of Type IIB strings on K3 surfaces, for which we show that the asymptotically tensionless strings describe dual fundamental Type IIB strings, again on K3 surfaces. By contrast the analogous weak coupling limits of M-theory compactifications are found to correspond to an F-theory limit where an extra dimension emerges rather than tensionless strings. We comment on extensions of our findings to four-dimensional compactifications.Comment: 30 pages, 1 figure; v2: cosmetic changes and minor comments adde

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