Modular invariance, finiteness, and misaligned supersymmetry: New constraints on the numbers of physical string states

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62 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate the genetic distribution of bosonic and fermionic states at all mass levels in non-supersymmetric string theories, and find that a hidden "misaligned supersymmetry" must always appear in the string spectrum. We show that this misaligned supersymmetry is ultimately responsible for the finiteness of string amplitudes in the absence of full spacetime supersymmetry, and therefore the existence of misaligned supersymmetry provides a natural constraint on the degree to which spacetime supersymmetry can be broken in string theory without destroying the finiteness of string amplitudes. Misaligned supersymmetry also explains how the requirements of modular invariance and absence of physical tachyons generically affect the distribution of states throughout the string spectrum, and implicitly furnishes a two-variable generalization of some well-known results in the theory of modular functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-588
Number of pages56
JournalNuclear Physics, Section B
Volume429
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 7 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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