Global symmetry-breaking and generalized theta-terms in Type IIB EFTs

March 30, 2023
12:00pm to 1:15pm

Grey room 1

Specialist level
Luca Melotti

Grey room 1


Luca will present the following paper (

Global symmetry-breaking and generalized theta-terms in Type IIB EFTs, Thomas W. Grimm, Stefano Lanza, Thomas van Vuren.

Abstract: A longstanding conjecture states that global symmetries should be absent in quantum gravity. By investigating large classes of Type IIB four-dimensional N=2 effective field theories, we enlist the potential generalized global symmetries that could be present and explore how they are avoided. Crucial ingredients that arise in such effective field theories are generalized θ-terms. These introduce non-linear couplings between axion fields and topological terms quadratic in the gauge field strengths which break a large subset of the global symmetries. Additional residual global symmetries may further be broken by assuming the existence of some charged states. However, we illustrate that the presence of generalized θ-terms leads to a generalized Witten effect, which implies that the spectrum of charged states is constituted by an infinitely populated lattice. We further show that such a lattice is generated by the action of the monodromy transformation that characterizes the moduli space boundary near which the effective theory is defined.