Advances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics

Volume 18 (2014)

Number 2

Intersection spaces, perverse sheaves and type IIB string theory

Pages: 363 – 399



Markus Banagl (Mathematisches Institut, Universität Heidelberg, Germany)

Nero Budur (Department of Mathematics, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, U.S.A.)

Laurentiu Maxim (Department of Mathematics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc., U.S.A.)


The method of intersection spaces associates rational Poincaré complexes to singular stratified spaces. For a conifold transition, the resulting cohomology theory yields the correct count of all present massless 3-branes in type IIB string theory, while intersection cohomology yields the correct count of massless 2-branes in type IIA theory. For complex projective hypersurfaces with an isolated singularity, we show that the cohomology of intersection spaces is the hypercohomology of a perverse sheaf, the intersection space complex, on the hypersurface. Moreover, the intersection space complex underlies a mixed Hodge module, so its hypercohomology groups carry canonical mixed Hodge structures. For a large class of singularities, e.g., weighted homogeneous ones, global Poincar´e duality is induced by a more refined Verdier selfduality isomorphism for this perverse sheaf. For such singularities, we prove furthermore that the pushforward of the constant sheaf of a nearby smooth deformation under the specialization map to the singular space splits off the intersection space complex as a direct summand. The complementary summand is the contribution of the singularity. Thus, we obtain for such hypersurfaces a mirror statement of the Beilinson-Bernstein-Deligne decomposition of the pushforward of the constant sheaf under an algebraic resolution map into the intersection sheaf plus contributions from the singularities.

Full Text (PDF format)