University of Hertfordshire

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Heterotic backgrounds via generalised geometry: moment maps and moduli

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Original languageEnglish
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Publication statusIn preparation - 20 Dec 2019


We describe the geometry of generic heterotic backgrounds preserving minimal supersymmetry in four dimensions using the language of generalised geometry. They are characterised by an $SU(3)\times Spin(6+n)$ structure within $O(6,6+n)\times\mathbb{R}^+$ generalised geometry. Supersymmetry of the background is encoded in the existence of an involutive subbundle of the generalised tangent bundle and the vanishing of a moment map for the action of diffeomorphisms and gauge symmetries. We give both the superpotential and the K\"ahler potential for a generic background, showing that the latter defines a natural Hitchin functional for heterotic geometries. Intriguingly, this formulation suggests new connections to geometric invariant theory and an extended notion of stability. Finally we show that the analysis of infinitesimal deformations of these geometric structures naturally reproduces the known cohomologies that count the massless moduli of supersymmetric heterotic backgrounds.


50 pages

ID: 19496618