Super Yang-Mills, division algebras and triality

C A Anastasiou, L. Borsten, M. J. Duff, L. J. Hughes, S. Nagy

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27 Citations (Scopus)


We give a unified division algebraic description of (D = 3, N = 1, 2, 4, 8), (D = 4, N = 1, 2, 4), (D = 6, N = 1, 2) and (D = 10, N = 1) super Yang-Mills theories. A given (D = n + 2, N theory is completely specified by selecting a pair (A n , A n N ) of division algebras, A n A n N =R,C,H,O, where the subscripts denote the dimension of the algebras. We present a master Lagrangian, defined over A n N -valued fields, which encapsulates all cases. Each possibility is obtained from the unique (O, O ) (D = 10, N = 1) theory by a combination of Cayley-Dickson halving, which amounts to dimensional reduction, and removing points, lines and quadrangles of the Fano plane, which amounts to consistent truncation. The so-called triality algebras associated with the division algebras allow for a novel formula for the overall (spacetime plus internal) symmetries of the on-shell degrees of freedom of the theories. We use imaginary A n N -valued auxiliary fields to close the non-maximal supersymmetry algebra off-shell. The failure to close for maximally supersymmetric theories is attributed directly to the non-associativity of the octonions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number80
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics (JHEP)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Extended Supersymmetry
  • Global Symmetries
  • Space-Time Symmetries
  • Supersymmetric gauge theory


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