A fresh view on string orbifolds

March 23, 2023
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Grey Room 1

Specialist level
Roberta Angius

Grey Room 1


Roberta will present the following paper (https://arxiv.org/abs/2210.10034):

A fresh view on string orbifolds, Stefano Giaccari, Roberto Volpato.

Abstract: In quantum field theory, an orbifold is a way to obtain a new theory from an old one by gauging a finite global symmetry. This definition of orbifold does not make sense for quantum gravity theories, that admit (conjecturally) no global symmetries. In string theory, the orbifold procedure involves the gauging of a global symmetry on the world-sheet theory describing the fundamental string. Alternatively, it is a way to obtain a new string background from an old one by quotienting some isometry. We propose a new formulation of string orbifolds in terms of the group of gauge symmetries of a given string model. In such a formulation, the `parent' and the `child' theories correspond to different ways of breaking or gauging all potential global symmetries of their common subsector. Through a couple of simple examples, we describe how the higher group structure of the gauge group in the parent theory plays a crucial role in determining the gauge group and the twisted sector of the orbifold theory. We also discuss the dependence of this orbifold procedure on the duality frame.