The “doubly supersymmetric geometric approach” (BPSTV 95, Howe-Sezgin 97), also called the super-embedding approach (Sorokin 99), is a formulation of super-$p$-brane sigma-models entirely within supergeometry, where not only the target spacetime is taken to be a supermanifold, as in Green-Schwarz sigma-models, and not only the worldvolume is taken to be a supermanifold, as in the NSR string, but where both are taken to be supermanifolds.
graphics grabbed from FSS 19c
The notorious phenomenon of kappa-symmetry in Green-Schwarz sigma-models is revealed by the superembedding approach to be nothing but the odd-graded components of the super-diffeomorphism invariance on the worldvolume, hence: of super-general covariance (Sorokin-Tkach-Volkov 89, review includes Sorokin 99, section 4.3, Howe-Sezgin 04, section 4.3):
If
$X$ denotes a superspacetime locally modeled on super-Minkowski spacetime $\mathbb{R}^{d-1,1\vert \mathbf{N}}$
$\Sigma$ denotes a super-worldvolume of a super p-brane locally modeled on super-Minkowski spacetime $\mathbb{R}^{p,1\vert \mathbf{N}/2}$
so that a sigma-model field configuration for a super p-brane of shape $\Sigma$ to propagate in $X$ is a morphism of supermanifolds of the form
then:
the postcomposition action of spacetime super-isometries $X \stackrel{\simeq}{\longrightarrow} X$ is in even degree the action of spacetime isometries and in odd degree the action of spacetime supersymmetry on the sigma-model fields;
the precomposition action of worldvolume super-diffeomorphism $\Sigma \stackrel{\simeq}{\to} \Sigma$ is in even degree the action of bosonic worldvolume diffeomorphism and in odd degree the action of $\kappa$-symmetry:
Notice here the assumption that the number of odd directions on the worldvolume is half that of the target spacetime. This is the default assumption for fundamental super p-branes, and it directly reflects the statement that the corresponding black brane solutions are $1/2$ supergravity BPS states.
For example, consider the embedding
of 2+1d Minkowski spacetime, thought of as the worldvolume of a membrane, into 11d Minkowski spacetime, linearly along the coordinate axis. Any such embedding breaks the isometry group of $\mathbb{R}^{10,1}$ from the 11d Poincaré group $Iso(10,1)$ to the product group
(meaning that this subgroup is the stabilizer subgroup of the embedding).
Now consider instead super Minkowski spacetime $\mathbb{R}^{10,1\vert \mathbf{32}}$ (with $\mathbf{32}$ the irreducible Majorana spinor representation in 11), hence the local model superspace for super spacetimes in 11-dimensional supergravity. We are to ask what subspace of the spin representation $\mathbf{32}$ preserves the embedding in that the spinor bilinear pairing $\overline{\psi}_1 \Gamma \psi_2$ on that subspace lands in $\mathbb{R}^{2,1} \hookrightarrow Iso(2,1) \hookrightarrow Iso(10,1)$ (Sorokin 99, section 5.1). This is found to be the case for a half-dimensional subspace, and hence we may lift the above to a super-embedding of the form
(where now $\mathbf{2}$ is the irreducible Majorana spinor representation in 3d, and $8 \otimes \mathbf{2}$ denotes the direct sum of 8 copies of it) such that the induced stabilizer supergroup inside the super Poincaré group now is
It is in this sense that the membrane “breaks exactly half the supersymmetry”, namely from $\mathbf{32}$ to $8 \otimes \mathbf{2}$.
If one now thinks of this not as inclusions of global spacetimes, but of their super tangent spaces at the points where the membrane sits in spacetime, then this reflects the local structure of $\kappa$-symmetry: the $\kappa$-symmetries are locally generated by the 16 odd dimensions in $Iso(\mathbb{R}^{2,1\vert 8 \otimes \mathbf{2}} )$, being super-translations along the membrane worldvolume.
This explains why $\kappa$-symmetry in Green-Schwarz sigma models is taken to quotient out precisely half the spinor components, hence why, in the fully super-covariant formulation, one takes the worldvolume of a super $p$-brane in a superspacetime locally modeled on $\mathbb{R}^{d-1,1\vert \mathbf{N}}$ to be $\mathbb{R}^{p,1\vert \mathbf{N}/2}$. But notice that this is not a mathematical necessity. One may consider the worldvolume instead to have fewer odd directions. This then describes sigma models for “non-BPS super $p$-branes” (or rather “non-half-BPS” ).
The super-embedding formalism has mostly been used for deriving equations of motion of super p-brane sigma-models.
But at least for some brane species, also their Lagrangian densities emerge naturally from the super-embedding, namely as relative trivializations of the brane cocycles as given by the brane scah/brane bouquet, relative to the superembedding:
graphics grabbed from HSS 18
For the superstring and the super-membrane the construction of their Green-Schwarz sigma-model Lagrangian densities as relative trivialization of their super-cocycles along their super-embeddings is estalished in Howe-Sezgin 05 (4.72), HSS 18, Prop. 6.10:
graphics grabbed from FSS 19c
In FSS 19c is offered a proof that combining super-embedding formalism with exceptional generalized geometry, the Perry-Schwarz-type Lagrangian for the M5-brane emerges as the relative trivialization of the super-cocycle of the M5-brane relative to its super-exceptional embedding.
manifest supersymmetry for brane sigma-models:
manifest worldvolume supersymmetry | manifest target+worldvolume supersymmetry | manifest target space supersymmetry |
---|---|---|
NSR action functional | superembedding approach | Green-Schwarz action functional |
graphics grabbed from FSS19c
Under the name “doubly supersymmetric geometrical approach” the formalism originates in
Igor Bandos, Paolo Pasti, Dmitri Sorokin, Mario Tonin, Dmitry Volkov, Superstrings and supermembranes in the doubly supersymmetric geometrical approach, Nucl. Phys. B446:79-118, 1995 (arXiv:hep-th/9501113)
Paul Howe, Ergin Sezgin, $D=11$, $p=5$, Phys.Lett. B394 (1997) 62-66 (arXiv:hep-th/9611008)
Review is in
Dmitri Sorokin, Superbranes and Superembeddings, Phys. Rept. 329:1-101, 2000 (arXiv:hep-th/9906142)
Dmitri Sorokin, Introduction to the Superembedding Description of Superbranes, AIP Conference Proceedings 589, 98 (2001) (arXiv:hep-th/0105102)
where also the term “superembedding approach” is introduced.
Derivation of 1/2 BPS superembedding via rational ADE-equivariant cohomotopy:
The super-geometric interpretation of kappa-symmetry as the odd-graded part of the action of super-diffeomorphism on the super p-brane worldvolume, regarded itself as a supermanifold was first suggested in
Review of this perspective includes
Dmitri Sorokin, Superbranes and Superembeddings, Phys.Rept.329:1-101,2000 (arXiv:hep-th/9906142)
Paul Howe, Ergin Sezgin, section 4.3 of The supermembrane revisited, Class.Quant.Grav. 22 (2005) 2167-2200 (arXiv:hep-th/0412245)
The equations of motion for the superstring have been derived via the superembedding approach in
See also
The equations of motion for the M2-brane have been derived via the superembedding approach in
and the Lagrangian density in
The equations of motion for the M5-brane have been derived via the superembedding approach in
following the superspace-computations in
reviewed in
Discussion for 3+3-dimensional split:
Claim that combining the super-embedding formalism with super-exceptional generalized geometry, the Perry-Schwarz-type Lagrangian for the M5-brane emerges as the relative trivialization of the super-cocycle of the M5-brane relative to its super-exceptional embedding:
Last revised on December 2, 2019 at 13:20:32. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.