The long flow to freedom

Ofer Aharony, Shlomo S. Razamat, Nathan Seiberg, Brian Willett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two-dimensional field theories do not have a moduli space of vacua. Instead, it is common that their low-energy behavior is a sigma model with a target space. When this target space is compact its renormalization group flow is standard. When it is non compact the continuous spectrum of operators can change the qualitative behavior. Here we discuss two-dimensional gauge theories with N = (2, 2) supersymmetry. We focus on two specific theories, for which we argue that they flow to free chiral multiplets at low energies: the U(1) gauge theory with one flavor (two chiral superfields with charges plus and minus one) and a non-zero Fayet-Iliopoulos term, and pure SU(N) gauge theories. We argue that the renormalization group flow of these theories has an interesting order of limits issue. Holding the position on the target space fixed, the space flattens out under the renormalization group. On the other hand, if we first go to infinity on the target space and then perform the renormalization group, we always have a non-trivial space, e.g. a cone with a deficit angle. We explain how to interpret low-energy dualities between theories with non-compact target spaces. We expect a similar qualitative behavior also for other non-compact sigma models, even when they do not flow to free theories.
Original languageEnglish
Article number056
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 10 Feb 2017


  • Renormalization Group
  • Supersymmetric gauge theory
  • Supersymmetry and Duality

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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