Advances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics

Volume 15 (2011)

Number 4

Sums over topological sectors and quantization of Fayet–Iliopoulos parameters

Pages: 1141 – 1199



Simeon Hellerman

Eric Sharpe


In this paper we discuss quantization of the Fayet–Iliopoulos parameter in supergravity theories with altered nonperturbative sectors, which were recently used to argue a fractional quantization condition. Nonlinear sigma models with altered nonperturbative sectors are the same as nonlinear sigma models on special stacks known as gerbes. After reviewing the existing results on such theories in two dimensions, we discuss examples of gerby moduli “spaces” appearing in four-dimensional field theory and string compactifications, and the effect of various dualities. We discuss global topological defects arising when a field or string theory moduli space has a gerbe structure. We also outline how to generalize the results of Bagger–Witten and more recent authors on quantization issues in supergravities from smooth moduli spaces to smooth moduli stacks, focusing particular attention on stacks that have gerbe structures.

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