Schreiber The moduli 3-stack of the C-field

An article that we once wrote:

Abstract. The higher gauge field in 11-dimensional supergravity – the C-field – is constrained by quantum effects to be a cocycle in some twisted version of ordinary differential cohomology. We argue that it should indeed be a cocycle in a certain twisted nonabelian differential cohomology. We give a simple and natural characterization of the full smooth moduli 3-stack of configurations of the C-field, the field of gravity and the (auxiliary) E8-Yang-Mills field. We show that the truncation of this moduli 3-stack to a bare 1-groupoid of field configurations reproduces the differential integral Wu structures that Hopkins-Singer had shown (HS02) to formalize Witten’s argument (Wi96) on the nature of the C-field. We give a similarly simple and natural characterization of the moduli 2-stack of boundary C-field configurations and show that it is equivalent to the moduli 2-stack of anomaly free heterotic supergravity field configurations (SSS12). Finally we show how to naturally encode the Horava-Witten boundary condition on the level of moduli 3-stacks, and refine it from a condition on 3-forms to a condition on full differential cocycles.

Related articles

This is a companion article to

Another model for the supergravity C-field, by charge quantization in J-twisted Cohomotopy (Hypothesis H):

Last revised on February 19, 2023 at 13:52:44. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.