Lie groups, Calabi-Yau threefolds, and F-theory

Paul S. Aspinwall, Sheldon Katz, David R. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The F-theory vacuum constructed from an elliptic Calabi-Yau threefold with section yields an effective six-dimensional theory. The Lie algebra of the gauge sector of this theory and its representation on the space of massless hypermultiplets are shown to be determined by the intersection theory of the homology of the Calabi-Yau threefold. (Similar statements hold for M-theory and the type IIA string compactified on the threefold, where there is also a dependence on the expectation values of the Ramond-Ramond fields.) We describe general rules for computing the hypermultiplet spectrum of any F-theory vacuum, including vacua with non-simply-laced gauge groups. The case of monodromy acting on a curve of Aeven singularities is shown to be particularly interesting and leads to some unexpected rules for how 2-branes are allowed to wrap certain 2-cycles. We also review the peculiar numerical predictions for the geometry of elliptic Calabi-Yau threefolds with section which arise from anomaly cancellation in six dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-126
Number of pages32
JournalAdvances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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