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On the Witten index of 3d $\mathcal{N}=2$ unitary SQCD with general CS levels

Cyril Closset, Osama Khlaif

SciPost Phys. 15, 085 (2023) · published 8 September 2023


We consider unitary SQCD, a three-dimensional $\mathcal{N}=2$ supersymmetric Chern-Simons-matter theory consisting of one $U(N_c)_{k, k+l N_c}$ vector multiplet coupled to $n_f$ fundamental and $n_a$ antifundamental chiral multiplets, where $k$ and $l$ parameterise generic CS levels for $U(N_c)=(SU(N_c)\times U(1))/\mathbb{Z}_{N_c}$. We study the moduli space of vacua of this theory with $n_a=0$, for generic values of the parameters $N_c, k, l, n_f$ and with a non-zero Fayet-Ilopoulos parameter turned on. We uncover a rich pattern of vacua including Higgs, topological and hybrid phases. This allows us to derive a closed-form formula for the flavoured Witten index of unitary SQCD for any $n_f\neq n_a$, generalising previously known results for either $l=0$ or $n_f=n_a$. Finally, we analyse the vacuum structure of recently proposed infrared-dual gauge theories and we match vacua across the dualities, thus providing intricate new checks of those dualities. Incidentally, we also discuss a seemingly new level/rank duality for pure CS theories with $U(N)\times U(N')$ gauge group.

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