Strings, boundary fermions and coincident D-branes
The appearance in string theory of higher-dimensional objects known as D-branes has been a source of much of the interesting developements in the subject during the past ten years. A very interesting phenomenon occurs when several of these D-branes are made to coincide: The abelian gauge theory living on each brane is enhanced to a non-abelian gauge theory living on the stack of coincident branes. This gives rise to interesting effects like the natural appearance of non-commutative geometry. The theory governing the dynamics of these coincident branes is still poorly understood however and only hints of the underlying structure have been seen.This thesis focuses on an attempt to better this understanding by writing down actions for coincident branes using so-called boundary fermions, originating in considerations of open strings, instead of matrices to describe the non-abelian fields. It is shown that by gauge-fixing and by suitably quantizing these boundary fermions the non-abelian action that is known, the Myers action, can be reproduced. Furthermore it is shown that under natural assumptions, unlike the Myers action, the action formulated using boundary fermions also posseses kappa-symmetry, the criterion for being the correct supersymmetric action for coincident D-branes.Another aspect of string theory discussed in this thesis is that of tensionless strings. These are of great interest for example because of their possible relation to higher spin gauge theories via the AdS/CFT-correspondence. The tensionless superstring in a plane wave background, arising as a particular limit of the near-horizon geometry of a stack of D3-branes, is considered and compared to the tensile case.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Physics; string theory; open strings; D-branes; supersymmetry; non-abelian gauge theory; tensionless strings
Date of Publication:01/01/2007