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Published November 15, 2013 | Submitted
Journal Article Open

Multicharge superstrings


There are an infinite number of type IIB superstrings in ten dimensions, called (p, q) strings, that are labeled by two distinct string charges. They can form string junctions and string networks. These are the key to understanding the Coulomb branch BPS spectrum of N = 4 super Yang–Mills theories in four dimensions. Nongravitational theories that are analogous to type IIB superstring theory in some respects are the (2, 0) six-dimensional theories on the Coulomb branch. Each of them contains a finite number of half-BPS superstrings, which can be labeled by the root vectors of the Lie algebra. When the rank is greater than one, these strings can also form string junctions and string networks. The relationship between N = 4 super Yang–Mills theories in four dimensions and the (2, 0) theories in six dimensions can be explored by utilizing the duality between type IIB superstring theory compactified on a circle and M-theory compactified on a torus.

Additional Information

© 2013 Institute of Physics Ltd. Received 23 August 2013. Published 24 October 2013. This paper is an expanded version of the opening lecture given at Strings 2013 in Seoul. This work was supported in part by the US Department of Energy under grant no. DE-FG03- 92-ER40701. JHS acknowledges the hospitality of the Aspen Center for Physics during the completion of this paper. The ACP is supported by the National Science Foundation grant no. PHY-1066293. He also acknowledges discussions with J Distler, K Lee, J Maldacena, C Vafa, and A Vainshteyn.

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