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$T \overline{T}$-like flows and $3d$ nonlinear supersymmetry

Christian Ferko, Yangrui Hu, Zejun Huang, Konstantinos Koutrolikos, Gabriele Tartaglino-Mazzucchelli

SciPost Phys. 16, 038 (2024) · published 29 January 2024


We show that the $3d$ Born-Infeld theory can be generated via an irrelevant deformation of the free Maxwell theory. The deforming operator is constructed from the energy-momentum tensor and includes a novel non-analytic contribution that resembles root-$T \ overline{T}$. We find that a similar operator deforms a free scalar into the scalar sector of the Dirac-Born-Infeld action, which describes transverse fluctuations of a D-brane, in any dimension. We also analyse trace flow equations and obtain flows for subtracted models driven by a relevant operator. In $3d$, the irrelevant deformation can be made manifestly supersymmetric by presenting the flow equation in $\mathcal{N} = 1$ superspace, where the deforming operator is built from supercurrents. We demonstrate that two supersymmetric presentations of the D2-brane effective action, the Maxwell-Goldstone multiplet and the tensor-Goldstone multiplet, satisfy superspace flow equations driven by this supercurrent combination. To do this, we derive expressions for the supercurrents in general classes of vector and tensor/scalar models by directly solving the superspace conservation equations and also by coupling to $\mathcal{N} = 1$ supergravity. As both of these multiplets exhibit a second, spontaneously broken supersymmetry, this analysis provides further evidence for a connection between current-squared deformations and nonlinearly realized symmetries.

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