Thesis

Affine field theories

The author constructs a non-Abelian field theory by gauging a Kac-Moody algebra, obtaining an infinite tower of interacting vector fields and associated ghosts, that obey slightly modified Feynman rules. She discusses the spontaneous symmetry breaking of such theory via the Higgs mechanism. If the Higgs particle lies in the Cartan subalgebra of the Kac-Moody algebra, the previously massless vectors acquire a mass spectrum that is linear in the Kac-Moody index and has additional fine structure depending on the associated Lie algebra. She proceeds to show that there is no obstacle in implementing the affine extension of supersymmetric Yang-Mills theories. The result is valid in four, six and ten space-time dimensions. Then the affine extension of supergravity is investigated. She discusses only the loop algebra since the affine extension of the super-Poincare algebra appears inconsistent. The construction of the affine supergravity theory is carried out by the group manifold method and leads to an action describing infinite towers of spin 2 and spin 3/2 fields that interact subject to the symmetries of the loop algebra. The equations of motion satisfy the usual consistency check. Finally, she postulates a theory in which both the vector and scalar fields lie in the loop algebra of SO(3). This theory has an expanded soliton sector, and corresponding to the original 't Hooft-Polyakov solitonic solutions she now finds an infinite family of exact, special solutions of the new equations. She also proposes a perturbation method for obtaining an arbitrary solution of those equations for each level of the affine index.

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