CMSA Quantum Matter in Mathematics and Physics: Exotic Consistent (1+1)d Anomalies: A Ghost Story


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September 9, 2020 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
via Zoom Video Conferencing

Ying-Hsuan Lin - Caltech

We revisit 't Hooft anomalies in (1+1)d non-spin quantum field theory, starting from the consistency and locality conditions, and find that consistent U(1) and gravitational anomalies cannot always be canceled by properly quantized (2+1)d classical Chern-Simons actions.  On the one hand, we prove that certain exotic anomalies can only be realized by non-unitary or non-compact theories; on the other hand, without insisting on unitarity, the exotic anomalies present a small caveat to the inflow paradigm.  For the mixed U(1) gravitational anomaly, we propose an inflow mechanism involving a mixed U(1) x SO(2) classical Chern-Simons action, with a boundary condition that matches the SO(2) gauge field with the (1+1)d spin connection.  Furthermore, we show that this mixed anomaly gives rise to an isotopy anomaly of U(1) topological defect lines.  The holomorphic bc ghost system realizes all the exotic consistent anomalies.