SciPost Phys. 13, 024 (2022) ·
published 17 August 2022
2-group symmetries arise when 1-form symmetries and 0-form symmetries of a
theory mix with each other under group multiplication. We discover the
existence of 2-group symmetries in 5d N=1 abelian gauge theories arising on the
(non-extended) Coulomb branch of 5d superconformal field theories (SCFTs),
leading us to argue that the UV 5d SCFT itself admits a 2-group symmetry.
Furthermore, our analysis determines the global forms of the 0-form flavor
symmetry groups of 5d SCFTs, irrespective of whether or not the 5d SCFT admits
a 1-form symmetry. As a concrete application of our method, we analyze 2-group
symmetries of all 5d SCFTs, which reduce in the IR, after performing mass
deformations, to 5d N=1 non-abelian gauge theories with simple, simply
connected gauge groups. For rank-1 Seiberg theories, we check that our
predictions for the flavor symmetry groups match with the superconformal and
ray indices available in the literature. We also comment on the mixed 't Hooft
anomaly between 1-form and 0-form symmetries arising in 5d N=1 non-abelian
gauge theories and its relation to the 2-groups.
Fabio Apruzzi, Lakshya Bhardwaj, Dewi S. W. Gould, Sakura Schäfer-Nameki
SciPost Phys. 12, 098 (2022) ·
published 18 March 2022
We uncover 2-group symmetries in 6d superconformal field theories. These
symmetries arise when the discrete 1-form symmetry and continuous flavor
symmetry group of a theory mix with each other. We classify all 6d
superconformal field theories with such 2-group symmetries. The approach taken
in 6d is applicable more generally, with minor modifications to include
dimension specific operators (such as instantons in 5d and monopoles in 3d),
and we provide a discussion of the dimension-independent aspects of the
analysis. We include an ancillary mathematica code for computing 2-group
symmetries, once the dimension specific input is provided. We also discuss a
mixed 't Hooft anomaly between discrete 0-form and 1-form symmetries in 6d.
SciPost Phys. 12, 047 (2022) ·
published 1 February 2022
Recently introduced generalized global symmetries have been useful in order to understand non-perturbative aspects of quantum field theories in four and lower dimensions. In this paper we focus on 1-form symmetries of weakly coupled 6d supersymmetric gauge theories coupled to dynamical tensor multiplets.
We study the consistency of global 1-form symmetries corresponding to the center of the gauge groups, or subgroups thereof, by activating their background fields, which makes the instanton density fractional. In 6d, an instanton background for a given gauge theory sources BPS strings via tadpole cancelation. The non-trivial 1-form symmetry background configurations contribute to the charge of the BPS strings. However, Dirac quantization imposes restrictions on the consistent 1-form backgrounds, since they can in general lead to and induce fractional charges, thus making (part of) the putative higher-form symmetry inconsistent.
This gives explicit criteria to determine whether the discrete 1-form symmetries are realized. We implement these criteria in concrete examples originating from string compactifications. We also corroborate this by finding that a non-trivial fractional contribution is related to states which explicitly break the global 1-form symmetry appearing as massive excitations of the 6d BPS strings. For 6d theories consistently coupled to gravity, this hints at a symmetry breaking tower of states. When the fractional contributions are absent, the F-theory realization of the theories points to the gauging of the 1-form symmetry via the presence of non-trivial Mordell--Weil torsion.