Framed BPS states Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We consider a class of line operators in d=4, N=2 supersymmetric field theories which leave four supersymmetries unbroken. Such line operators support a new class of BPS states which we call "framed BPS states." These include halo bound states similar to those of d=4, N=2 supergravity, where (ordinary) BPS particles are loosely bound to the line operator. Using this construction, we give a new proof of the Kontsevich-Soibelman wall-crossing formula for the ordinary BPS particles, by reducing it to the semiprimitive wall-crossing formula. After reducing on S1, the expansion of the vevs of the line operators in the IR provides a new physical interpretation of the "Darboux coordinates" on the moduli space M of the theory. Moreover, we introduce a "protected spin character" which keeps track of the spin degrees of freedom of the framed BPS states. We show that the generating functions of protected spin characters admit a multiplication which defines a deformation of the algebra of functions on M. As an illustration of these ideas, we consider the six-dimensional (2,0) field theory of A1 type compactified on a Riemann surface C. Here we show (extending previous results) that line operators are classified by certain laminations on a suitably decorated version of C, and we compute the spectrum of framed BPS states in several explicit examples. Finally we indicate some interesting connections to the theory of cluster algebras.

publication date

  • 2013