Maths HEP Lunchtime Seminars: Geometric Phases in String Theory
19 October 2007 13:00 in CM221
I will describe the emergence of geometric (Berry) phases in supersymmetric systems. In theories with degenerate states, non-Abelian geometric phases can arise. I show how supersymmetry helps to ensure the existence of this phenomenon by invoking the examples of systems with (2,2) and (4,4) supersymmetry. In the former, I show how instantons contribute crucially to the form of the non-Abelian phase. The latter system applies to D0-D4 brane dynamics in string theory, leading to a surprising re-interpretation of the Berry phase in terms of gravitational precession of a probe brane.