Enhanced gauge symmetry in type II string theory

Sheldon Katz, David R. Morrison, M. Ronen Plesser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We show how enhanced gauge symmetry in type II string theory compactified on a Calabi-Yau threefold arises from singularities in the geometry of the target space. When the target space of the type IIA string acquires a genus g curve C of AN-1 singularities, we find that an SU (N) gauge theory with g adjoint hypermultiplets appears at the singularity. The new massless states correspond to solitons wrapped about the collapsing cycles, and their dynamics is described by a twisted supersymmetric gauge theory on C × R4. We reproduce this result from an analysis of the S-dual D-manifold. We check that the predictions made by this model about the nature of the Higgs branch, the monodromy of period integrals, and the asymptotics of the one-loop topological amplitude are in agreement with geometrical computations. In one of our examples we find that the singularity occurs at strong coupling in the heterotic dual proposed by Kachru and Vafa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-140
Number of pages36
JournalNuclear Physics B
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 7 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Nonperturbative effects in string theory
  • Supersymmetric Higgs mechanism
  • Type II string

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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