Anomalies in the space of coupling constants and their dynamical applications II

Clay Cordova, Daniel S. Freed, Ho Tat Lam, Nathan Seiberg

SciPost Phys. 8, 002 (2020) · published 7 January 2020


We extend our earlier work on anomalies in the space of coupling constants to four-dimensional gauge theories. Pure Yang-Mills theory (without matter) with a simple and simply connected gauge group has a mixed anomaly between its one-form global symmetry (associated with the center) and the periodicity of the $\theta$-parameter. This anomaly is at the root of many recently discovered properties of these theories, including their phase transitions and interfaces. These new anomalies can be used to extend this understanding to systems without discrete symmetries (such as time-reversal). We also study $SU(N)$ and $Sp(N)$ gauge theories with matter in the fundamental representation. Here we find a mixed anomaly between the flavor symmetry group and the $\theta$-periodicity. Again, this anomaly unifies distinct recently-discovered phenomena in these theories and controls phase transitions and the dynamics on interfaces.

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Gauge theory Yang Mills Theory

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