Advances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics

Volume 24 (2020)

Number 5

Magnificent four

Pages: 1171 – 1202



Nikita Nekrasov (Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, U.S.A.; Kharkevich IITP RAS, Moscow, Russia; and ITEP, Moscow, Russia)


We present a statistical mechanical model whose random variables are solid partitions, i.e., Young diagrams built by stacking up four-dimensional hypercubes. Equivalently, it can be viewed as the model of random tessellations of $\mathbf{R}^3$ by squashed cubes of four fixed orientations. The model computes the refined index of a system of $D0$‑branes in the presence of $D8 - \overline{D8}$ system, with a $B$‑field strong enough to support the bound states. Mathematically, it is the equivariant K‑theoretic version of integration over the Hilbert scheme of points on $\mathbb{C}^4$ and its higher rank analogues, albeit the definition is real, not complex analytic. The model is a mother of all random partition models, including the equivariant Donaldson–Thomas theory and the four dimensional instanton counting. Finally, a version of our model with infinite solid partitions with four fixed plane partition asymptotics is the vertex contribution to the equivariant count of instantons on toric Calabi–Yau fourfolds.

The conjectured partition function of the model is presented. We have checked it up to six instantons (which is one step beyond the checks of the celebrated P. MacMahon’s failed conjectures of the early twentieth century). A specialization of the formula is our earlier (2004) conjecture on the equivariant K‑theoretic Donaldson–Thomas theory, recently proven by A. Okounkov.

Published 7 July 2021