Obstruction theory for parameterized higher WZW terms

Two talks that I have given:

on parameterized WZW models and, more generally, the globalization of ∞-Wess-Zumino-Witten theory from higher Klein geometries to higher Cartan geometry; specifically applied to globalization of the Green-Schwarz sigma-models of the brane bouquet from extended super Minkowski spacetimes to general curved supergravity backgrounds.

(Using the theory of differential cohomology in a cohesive topos, based on results in Higher geometric prequantum theory.)

All details are in

Course notes are at



We compute obstructions to globalizing WZW terms on Klein geometries G/HG/H to global WZW terms on Cartan geometries locally modeled on G/HG/H. We do this in the generality of higher degree WZW terms on higher orbispaces (i.e. in higher differential geometry on higher cohesive stacks). As a first example, the Green-Schwarz anomaly cancellation (String structure) is recovered as the obstruction to parameterization of the traditional WZW-term on the group Spin×E 8\mathrm{Spin}\times E_8; similarly Fivebrane structure is found to lift the obstruction to parameterization of the 6-dimensional WZW term on the group stack String\mathrm{String}; and Ninebrane structure is found for parameterization of the 10-dimensional WZW term on the group 5-stack Fivebrane\mathrm{Fivebrane}. We then obtain obstructions to globalizing the full κ\kappa-symmetry WZW terms (not just their curvature/flux forms) of all the super p-brane sigma models from extended super Minkowski spacetimes to curved supergravity backgrounds. These obstructions are generally higher and super analogs of symplectic-, quaternionic-Kähler-, G 2G_2- and Spin(7)\mathrm{Spin}(7)-manifold structures, namely they are infinitesimally integrable higher G-structures for GG the higher Heisenberg supergroup stack of the given higher WZW term. For the case of the M5-brane with its tensor multiplet fields, already the model space G/HG/H is a higher super-3-stack extension of the 11-dimensional super-Poincaré group, and for phenomenologically realistic models the Cartan geometry is furthermore an orbifold modeled on this super 3-stack; while the globalization obstruction is the existence of a certain super-6-group GG-structure on that higher orbifold. So the generality of higher differential cohesive geometry is inevitable. We find in this case a forgetful \infty-functor from definite globalizations of the M5-brane WZW term to solutions of the Einstein equations of motion of 11-dimensional supergravity.

Last revised on March 22, 2017 at 05:25:33. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.