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New anomalies, TQFTs, and confinement in bosonic chiral gauge theories

Anber, Mohamed M.; Hong, Sungwoo; Son, Minho

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Sungwoo Hong

Minho Son


We study a class of 4-dimensional SU(N) chiral gauge theories with fermions in the 2-index symmetric and antisymmetric representations and classify their infrared phases. The choice N = 4ℤ corresponds to gauging the fermion number and makes the theory purely bosonic. We examine the most general background fields of the centers of the gauge, non-abelian flavor, and U(1)-axial groups that can be consistently activated, thereby determine the faithful global continuous and discrete symmetries of the theory. This allows us to identify new mixed 0-form/1-form ‘t Hooft anomalies on both spin and nonspin manifolds. If the theory confines, the absence of composite fermions implies that continuous symmetries must be broken down to anomaly-free subgroups. Anomalies associated with discrete symmetries can be saturated either by breaking the symmetry or by a symmetry-preserving topological quantum field theory (TQFT). The latter, however, is obstructed on spin manifold. The interplay between these features greatly restricts the possible infrared physics. We present two examples that demonstrate our approach. We argue that if the theory confines, the zoo of anomalies and TQFT obstruction greatly restrict the viable infrared condensates. We also discuss the possibility that some theories flow to a conformal fixed point.


Anber, M. M., Hong, S., & Son, M. (2022). New anomalies, TQFTs, and confinement in bosonic chiral gauge theories. Journal of High Energy Physics, 2022(2), Article 62.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 19, 2022
Online Publication Date Feb 8, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date May 4, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 5, 2022
Journal Journal of High Energy Physics
Print ISSN 1126-6708
Publisher Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2022
Issue 2
Article Number 62


Published Journal Article (720 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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