| DRAFT

|
Lectures 5, 6

IASSNS-HEP-97/72

III. String Amplitudes and Moduli Space of Curves
Eric D'Hoker In the previous Chapter, we have quantized free bosonic strings, determined their spectrum and Hilbert space of states under certain conditions: D = 26 and the presence of massless gravitons and Yang-Mills particles. (The case D 25, allowed by the no-ghost theorem, was shown to be a subcase.) Now, we shall quantize interacting strings, and investigate quantum mechanical transition amplitudes for the scattering of string states. While operator methods were convenient for determining the spectrum of free strings, the functional integral formulation in terms of a summation over surfaces is better suited for dealing with interactions. Thus, our starting point is the transition amplitude

A=

X Z

topologies (h=0;:::;1)

Met(

1 Z Dg N(g) Di )

( ;M )

V1 : : : VN e

S x;g]

(3:1)

with Riemannian space-time M , and external string states represented by vertex operators Vi , i = 1; : : : ; N . This was precisely our original starting point with Euclidean signature metric on M . Minkowski amplitudes (for example, for at M = RD ) are obtained by M analytic continuation in external momenta and polarization tensors. The vertex operators were determined in xII in terms of conformal primary elds of weight (1; 1). The summation in the transition amplitude A is over topologies of compact oriented surfaces, since we shall limit ourselves here to the study of the closed oriented string. The strategy is as follows: 1) At xed topology of , we use the product structure of Met( ) = Weyl( ) conformal classes ( ) to decompose the measure Dg on Met( ) into a product of measures on the orbits of Weyl, on the orbits of Di ( ) and on the moduli space Mh = Met( )=Di ( ) n III.1

Weyl( ). A Jacobian determinant arises, which is essentially the Faddeev-Popov determinant. This decomposition holds for any matter conformal eld theory, in particular for any space-time M , de ning a conformal eld theory. 2) For at Euclidean space-time M , the combined measure | including the FaddeevPopov determinant | and the correlation functions, are found to be Weyl-invariant (i.e. Weyl( ) is a symmetry group) if and only if D = 26 and gravitons are massless on surfaces of any topology (equivalently, the a = 1 condition of xII holds). 3) Under the assumptions of 2) the string theory is usually called critical. In this case, the formal measure Dg=N(g) on Met( ), divided by the volume of the orbits of the symmetry group Di ( ) n Weyl( ), naturally projects down to an intrinsically de ned measure on Mh . Thus, the transition amplitudes for critical strings reduce to well-de ned integrals over Mh of the matter conformal eld theory correlation functions. 4) More generally, the assumptions of 2) may be relaxed, and the matter part may be any conformal eld theory of central charge c = 26 and with correlation functions satisfying certain Weyl invariance conditions. 5) In particular, in Lecture 9, we shall generalize the Weyl invariance conditions to the case of curved space-time manifolds M | in certain limits. 6) Under the assumptions of 2), we shall obtain in this chapter 0- and 1-loop transition amplitudes for critical bosonic string theory.

A. Finite-Dimensional Case
Let P be a nite-dimensional manifold, with Riemannian metric G, and associated measure d G. Let H be a Lie group acting on P , and assume that d G is H -invariant. We wish to reduce the integrals of H -invariant functions on P to integrals on the quotient P = P=H . Let f (x): P ! C be H -invariant,

f (xh) = f (x)

for all III.2

x 2 P; h 2 H:

Then for any section s: P ! P , we have

Z

P

d Gf =

Z
P

d s (f )J

Z
H

d

H

;

where d is the measure on P induced from d G , d H is the left-invariant measure on H , and J is a Jacobian (or Faddeev-Popov) determinant which we de ne below, as follows. First, let us present a gure:
P orbit of H x section s

π _ x

_ P = P/H

The tangent space at x to P may be decomposed into the part tangent to the orbit of H , generated by the Lie algebra H, i: H ! Tx P and a part from the push-forward of the tangent space to TxP :

s : Tx P ! Tx (P ) ;
as follows:

s

i: Tx P H ! Tx(P ):

The Jacobian J is now obtained as

J = det(Tx P H ! TxP ):

III.3

B. Basic Notation: Tensors, Derivatives
Fix a positive de nite metric g on and choose local complex coordinates z, z in which g = gzz (dz dz + dz dz) = 2gzz jdzj2 Tensors decompose into one-dimensional components of weight (m; n), which are sections of a line bundle K (m;n): = z :{z: z | :{z: z (dz)m (dz )n 2 K (m;n) : | : }z : }
m n

Using the metric g, we identify tensors of weight (m; n) with tensors of weight (m n; 0). The space of tensors of weight (m; 0) is denoted K m , with K 1 the space of sections of the canonical line bundle T(1;0)( ). (Generally, we do not distinguish between a bundle and the space of its sections.) On sections of K m we have the L2 inner product ( 1 ; 2 )g = as well as the covariant derivatives
( where rzm) = @(m) is the Cauchy Riemannn operator ( r = rzm) + r(m) z

Z

d g (gz z )

m

1 2

(3:2)

( ( rzm): K m ! K (m;1) rzm) = @@z

dz :
1@ 1

(3:3)

Equivalently, identifying (m; 1) (m 1; 0), we have

8 rz : K m ! K m 1 < (m) : r(zm): K m ! K m+1
y

rzm) = (gzz ) (

(dz) @z @ r(m) = (gzz )m @z (gzz ) m z

dz :

(3:4)

(In general, we shall not exhibit the di erentials dz and dz in r.) The adjoints of these operators with respect to ( ; )g are
( rzm) = rzm 1); (

r(m) = rzm+1) z (

y

(3:5)

III.4

and the Laplace operators are 2rzm+1)r(m) z ( (m 1)rz (m) (m) = 2rz We also make use of the Riemann-Roch-Atiyah-Singer theorem dim Kerr(m) dim Kerrzm+1) = m + 1 ( ) = (2m + 1)(1 h) ; z ( 2 as well as the vanishing theorems: ( h = 0; m 1; Ker rzm) = 0 (no holomorphic forms on the sphere)
(m) =
+

(3:6)

(3:7)

h 2; m

1;

(no holomorphic vector elds for h 2)

Ker r(m) = 0 :
z

(3:8)

C. Space of Metrics { Moduli Space of Riemann Surfaces
Let Met( ) denote the space of positive de nite metrics on , and Tg Met( ) its tangent space at g, consisting of in nitesimal deformations g 2 K (1;1) K (2;0) K (0;2). Following the results of xB, we have an L2 norm k gk2 = ( g; g)g on Tg Met( ), which makes Met( ) g into an in nite dimensional Riemannian manifold. The measure Dg is de ned with respect to k gk. Di ( ) acts isometrically on Met( ), but Weyl( ) does not. The space of orbits of Di ( ) n Weyl( ) in Met( ) is the moduli space of Riemann surfaces (or complex curves) of genus h: Mh Met( )=Di ( ) n Weyl( ) : (3:9) Actually, the group Di ( ) is not connected. The group of connected components is the mapping class group G : G = 0(Di ( )) ; which is an in nite discrete group for h 1. The component connected to the identity in Di ( ) is denoted by Di 0( ). Thus, there arises another natural space: Jh , which is Teichmuller space Th Met( )=Di 0 ( ) n Weyl( ) ; III.5

which is the simply connected covering space of Mh :

Mh = Tn=G :
Teichmuller space is a complex nite dimensional manifold, while moduli space is a complex nite dimensional orbifold (the action of G on Th produces singularities), both of dimension (0 h=0 dimC Th = dimC Mh = 1 (3:10) h=1 3h 3 h 2 : We have explained that string transition amplitudes can be reduced to an integral over moduli space. We wish to factorize the measure Dg into its components along Di ( ), Weyl( ) and Mh, i.e. we want to x the gauge. To examine this factorization concretely, we decompose Tg Met( ) into the tangent spaces to the orbits of Di 0( ) and Weyl( ), as explained in the nite dimensional example. We perform this factorization at an arbitrary metric g 2 Met( ), and shall choose a section later on. We use the fact that Di 0 ( ) is generated by vector elds v = vz vz 2 K ( 1;0) K (0; 1). A Weyl transformation will in general be denoted by e2 , where takes real values. Let the reference metric be g = 2gzz jdzj2; an arbitrary metric g + g in the neighborhood of g may then be conveniently parametrized by a change in gzz as well as by Beltrami z z di erentials z 2 K ( 1;1) and z 2 K (1; 1).

g + g = 2 (gzz + gzz ) jdz +

z 2 z dz j

:

(3:11)

The space Tg Met( ) admits the orthogonal decomposition

Tg Met( ) = K (1;1) K (2;0) K (0;2) z g = 2 gzz jdzj2 + 2gzz z (dz )2 + 2gzz
The in nitesimal action of ( vz , vz , 2 simply 8 g = (2 > zz > < z > z = rz > z =r : z z + rz vz + rz vz )gzz vz vz : III.6

z 2 z (dz )

:

(3:12)

) in the Lie aglebra of Di 0( ) n Weyl( ) is then (3:13)

While the range of Weyl( ) is the full K (1;1), in general the range of Di 0( ) need not be all of K (2;0) K (0;2). Instead, we have the orthogonal decomposition

K (2;0) = Range r(1) Ker(r(1))y : z z

(3:14)

The space Ker (r(1))y = Ker r(2) consists of holomorphic quadratic di erentials on , z z and can be identi ed with the holomorphic cotangent space of Mh :

T(1;0)(Mh ) = Ker r(2) z

(3:15)

( (Analogously, we have T(0;1)(Mh ) = Ker rz 2).) To see this, we notice that holomorphic di erentials j 2 Ker r(2) provide linear forms on the space of di erentials : z

( ; j) =

Z

dz dz

z z jzz

(3:16)

More precisely, the holomorphic quadratic di erentials j 2 Ker r(2) form a complex z vector space, thus providing a natural almost complex structure on the tangent space of Mh . In fact, this almost complex structure is integrable and results in a complex structure on Mh; for a given choice of , the above linear forms de ne local complex coordinates mj , mj on Mh given by

The above pairing is Weyl( )-invariant and the kernel of ( ; j ) (and ( ; j )) is precisely the tangent space to the orbits of Di 0( ) and Weyl( ); hence the identi cation. By the Riemann-Roch theorem, and the vanishing theorems listed above, it is easy to see that the ( dimensions of Mh and of Ker r(2) Ker rz 2) coincide. z

mj = ( ; j )

mj = ( ; j ) :

(3:17)

We may represent this projection onto Mh by a picture analogous to the one used ot discuss III.7

the nite dimensional example at the beginning of this lecture.
H H g +δ g g Met( Σ )

H = Diff (Σ ) x

Weyl (Σ )

π

M = Met( Σ )/H
h δm , δ m j j

Vice-versa, for a given set of complex coordinates (mj ; mj ) on Mh , we may choose a section s of Mh in Met( ) | also called a slice | of dimension dim Mh , and parametrized by (mj ; mj ):
H Met( Σ )

g (m ,m ) j j s

π ( m ,m ) j j

Mh

The tangent space at g(mj ; mj ) then decomposes into the tangent directions to the action of Weyl( ), the action of Di 0( ) on the di erentials , , and moduli deformation, given by a basis of Beltrami di erentials j and j :

8 > > < > > :

We may choose the Beltrami di erentials as follows III.8

(1) z dim Mh z z = rz v + j =1

P ( 1) v z + dim Mh z z = rz j =1

mj

z jz z jz

P m j

:

(3:18)

8 < :

z = g zz @gz z (m; m) jz @mj z = g zz @gzz (m; m) ; jz @ mj

(3:19)

so that j and j are unchanged under Weyl transformations g ! e2 g: j ! j ; j ! j . Thus, under a change of section s, j and j will be shifted only by the action of a vector eld in the Lie algebra of Di 0( ). Finally, for with the topology of either the sphere or the torus, we also have holomorphic vector elds in Ker r( 1). These generate conformal automorphisms, and do not z act on at all. We have

8h = 0 < : h = 21 h

dim Kerr( z ( dim Kerrz dim Kerr( z

1) = 3 1) = 1 1) = 0

SL(2; C ) T2 possibly nite automorphism group :

(3:20)

D. Factorizing the Integration Measure
We decompose the integration measure Dg on Met( ) into measures on the orbits of Di ( ) and Weyl( ) and on Mh by using the parametrization developed above for g in terms of Weyl changes and di erentials , :

g = 2 g + 2gzz
The relation

2 2 z z z (dz ) + 2gzz z (dz )

:

(3:21) (3:22)

k gk2 = 4k k2 + 2k k2 + 2k k2 g g g g

implies that Dg = D D D , in obvious notation. Next, we make use of the decomposition of and into orbits of Di 0 ( ) and moduli deformations, which we parametrize by coordinates ( mj ; mj ) on Mh and a choice of Beltrami di erentials zz and z , as in (3.18). Using the orthogonal decomposition of j jz z gzz according to the di erentials z

K (2;0) = Ranger(1) Ker r(2) ; z z
we evaluate k k2 and nd g 2k k2 = 2kr( z g
1) v z k2 + k

(3:23)

g

? projection of
III.9

(2) 2 z z gzz onto Ker rz kg

:

(3:24)

The second term on the right hand side is easily worked out by choosing an orthogonal (2) basis for Ker rz , with basis vectors j , j = 1; : : : ; dim Mh :

k ? projection of
= =

X

j X

( ; j )g ( j ; j )g 1 ( j ; )g

(2) 2 z z gzz onto Ker rz kg

(3:25)

j;k;`

mk m`( k ; j )g ( j ; j )g 1 ( j ; `)g

The rst term on the right hand side of (3.24) is conveniently rewritten in terms of the Laplace operator ( 1): 2kr( z
1) v z k2

z z g = ( v ; ( 1) v )g

A last point must be clari ed before evaluating the measure D D . For the special ( cases of the sphere (h = 0) and the torus (h = 1), Ker rz 1) 6= 0, and there are (continuous families of) conformal automorphisms of : SL(2; C ) for h = 0 and T 2 for h = 1. The corresponding vector elds leave and invariant. Thus, in the change of variables, ! ( v; mj ), we must restrict to vector elds v that are orthogonal to Ker r( 1). z The corresponding restricted volume element on vector elds v is denoted by D0 v. The associated determinant of ( 1) must be similarly restricted to non-zero modes. Putting all together, we nd 2Y (3:26) Dg = det 0 ( 1) j det( j ;; k ))g j dmj dmj D0 v D : det( j k g j While originally we chose j 2 Ker r(2) to form an orthogonal basis, it is now clear that z the above formula holds for any basis Ker r(2). (The nite dimensional determinants are z of dim Mh dim Mh dimensional matrices.) It is standard practice | and extremely useful | to introduce the following combination of determinants Det0 (n) (3:27) Z(n)(g) det( ; ) det( ; ) where
j kg a bg j 2 Ker rzn+1) ( (n) a 2 Ker rz

for + ; for + ; III.10

(n 1) j 2 rz a 2 rzn) (

for for

:

While Z(n) have non-trivial Weyl transformation properties, we shall show in the next section that this particular combination has simple transformation properties. Putting all together, we have the following expression for the measure Dg:

Theorem:
where we have

e Dg = D Dv Z(

1) (g ) j det( j ;

k )j2 g

dim Mh

Y

j =1

dmj dmj ;

(3:28)

e e 1) Dv D0 v det( a ; b)g . For h 2, we have Dv = Dv, i.e. the measure over all vector e elds of Di 0 ( ). For h = 0; 1, we shall postpone the explicit construction of Dv until xG. 2) The measure Y (3:29) j det( j ; k )g j2 dmj dmj
is intrinsically de ned on Mh. To see this, notice that we chose j to be Weyl independent, that j can be chosen Weyl independent, and that the pairing ( j ; k )g is Weyl invariant. Furthermore, we de ned Beltrami di erentials by
z = g zz @gzz jz @mj j

(3:30)

so that the above combination is manifestly unchanged under reparametrizations of mj and mj . 3) Z( 1)(g) will be Weyl dependent, as we shall establish in the next section. This object is called the Faddeev-Popov determinant (up to the nite dimensional determinants), expressing the fact that we gauge xed the Di 0 ( )-invariance. 4) To complete the construction outlined in the nite-dimensional case, for the projection down onto Mh of the measure Dg on Met( ), we will have to understand the Weyl dependence of the combined Z( 1)(g) and matter contributions, which we do in the next section. III.11

E. Weyl Rescalings of Functional Determinants
The determinant combinations Z(n) (including those with n 2 1 + Z, which will enter 2 when dealing with the superstring, as we shall see later on) will be considered repeatedly, and we shall need their behavior under Weyl( ) rescalings of the metric. Throughout, we shall adopt a regularization and renormalization scheme that preserves Di ( ) invariance.

Theorem.
where c(n) is given by

Z(n)(ge2 ) = Z(n)(g)e

2c(n) SL ( ;g)

(3:31) (3:32)

c(n) 6n2 6n + 1

and the Liouville action is independent of n and given by

1 SL( ; g) = 12

Z

d

g 2 g mn @m

1

@n + Rg + 2(e2

1) :

(3:33)

The constant depends upon the renormalization scheme used, and will vanish when determinants are de ned with -function regularization, or with dimensional regularization.

Since special care must be paid to the e ects of the zero modes, we outline the proof. (Various intermediate steps will be proven in Problem Set IV.) First, it su ces to prove the formula for the Weyl transformation of Z(n) by in nitesimal ; the result for general follows by straightforward integration (Gawedzki, prob. 8). Thus, we must prove

c(n) Z ln Z(n)(g) = 6 d g Rg + 2

2

]

(Notice that from the form of this in nitesimal variation, it is clear that the determinant Z(n) de nes a conformal eld theory with central charge related to c(n).) We de ne determinants by introducing the -function associated with the eigenvalues of (n): X0 s (s) III.12

1 Z 1 dt ts 1(Tr e t (n) N ) (3:35) (s) = (s) (n) 0 where N(n) = dim Ker (n). The (s) function series and the heat-kernel integral representation are absolutely convergent for Re(s) > 1. (s) is holomorphic for Re(s) > 1, but may be analytically continued throughout C , with a simple pole at s = 1. The determinants are then de ned by ln Det0 (n) = 0(0) (3:36) The non-zero spectra of +n) and (n+1) coincide and thus their determinants are equal, ( so we shall henceforth focus on (n). To evaluate the Weyl dependence of determinants, we compute that of (s) and analytically continue to s = 0. We use the following intermediate results (proven in Problem Set IV). 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)

Here, 0 denotes the sum over all non-zero eigenvalues represent this sum in terms of the heat-kernel of (n):

P

of

(n).

It is standard to

N(n) are Weyl independent + @ Tr e t (n) = t @t Tr 2n e t (n 1) (2n 2) e t (n) ] R R Tr e t (n) = 41 t d g + 1123n d g Rg + O(t) Tr e t (n) = 2n1 2 ln det( j ; k )g + O(e 1 t) + Tr e t (n 1) = 21n ln det( a ; b)g + O(e 1 t )

(3.37)

where 1 is the smallest non-zero eigenvalue of (n). We make use of the above results and carry out the analytic continuation of to s = 0, and then consider 0 (0). For Re(s) > 1, using 1) and 2), we have (s) = where we introduced the abbreviation Tr ](t) tr 2n e t
+ (n 1)

(s) (3:38)

1 Z 1 dt ts @ Tr ](t) (s) 0 @t

(2n 2) e t

(n)

]

(3:39)

III.13

We shall make use of the asymptotic behaviors of Tr ](t) as t ! 0 and t ! 1, which are obtained from 3), 4), 5):

8 > Tr < > : Tr

](t) = 21 t ](t) =

R d

g

+

c(n) R
6

d

g

Rg + O(t)
1 t) :

ln det( j ; k )g det( a ; b)g + O(e

(3:40)

Here, c(n) was de ned in (3.32). To separate the asymptotic behaviors as t ! 0, t ! 1, we cut 0; 1] at t = t0 > 0, and de ne (s) = 0(s) + 1(s)

8 > < > :

0 (s) =

1 t0 s@ (s) 0 dt t @t Tr 1 1 s@ (s) t0 dt t @t Tr

R

1 (s) =

R

](t) ](t) :

(3:41)

The rst term fails to converge at s = 0, so we subtract the asymptotic behavior of Tr ](t) in 1=t as t ! 0:

Z Z 1 t0 dt ts @ Tr ](t) 1 0 (s) = (s) 0 @t 2 t d g Z t0 1 1 Z d dt ts 2 : + (s) 2 g 0 Zt

The rst integral on the right hand side is convergent at s = 0, while the second may be explicitly analytically continued to s = 0. Taking the derivative at s = 0:
0

0 (0) =

@ Tr ](t) 1 Z d dt @t g 2 t 0 1 Z d = Tr ](t0 ) + Tr ](t) 2 t
0

1 Z d g 2 t0
t=0

= Tr ](t0 ) + 6 The term
1 (s) is given by 1 (s) =

c(n) Z

g

d g Rg

:

1 Z 1 dt ts @ Tr ](t) (s) t0 @t III.14

As t ! 1, Tr ] ! constant + O(e 1 t), 1 > 0, so that the integral is exponentially convergent, and analytic around s = 0. Hence, using the asymptotics of Tr ](t) as t ! 1:
0 1 (0) =

= Putting all together, we have ln Det0 (n) =

Z1 @ dt @t Tr
t0

](t)

ln det( j ; k )g det( a ; b )g + Tr ](t0) :
0 (0)

c(n) Z = ln det( j ; k )g det( a ; b )g + 6 d g Rg

;

as announced previously. Notice that in -function de nitions of the determinants, no \area term" involving the additional constant arises. We complete the reduction of the measure Dg to a measure on Mh , making use of the Weyl transformation properties of functional determinants, derived in xE. Just as we did in the case of the nite-dimensional example, we choose a section s of Met( ) and denote the corresponding metric g(mj ; mj ). A general metric g 2 Met( ) ^ may then be parametrized in terms of the action of Di ( ) and Weyl( ) on g(mj ; mj ): ^ let f 2 Di ( ) and e2 2 Weyl( ), then
H g = f*(e
<

F. Critical Central Charge { Critical Dimension

Met( Σ )
<

g )

s

g (m ,m ) j j

π

M
( m ,m ) j j

h

III.15

The action of Di ( ) is by isometries, and our de nition of functional determinants was invariant with respect to Di ( ). Thus, the e ect of f is immaterial and may be dropped. The e ect of Weyl transformations is obtained by combining the results of xD, E, and we have g e Dg = DvD Z( 1)(^)e 26SL (^; ) j det(^j ; k )g j2 dmj dmj : g (3:42) ^ We now consider a full transition amplitude Ah , evaluated on surfaces of genus h. (To avoid certain complications due to conformal automorphisms, we postpone the cases h = 0; 1 and restrict to h 2. The cases h = 0; 1 are completely analogous and will be dealt with separately in xI.) Recall that

Ah =
where

Z

Met( )

Dg N1g) hV1 : : : VN ig ; ( Dx V1 : : : VN e
S x;g]

(3:43)

hV1 : : : VN ig =

Z
Di ( ;M )

:

(3:44)

Given the Weyl transformation properties of Dg established above, it is clear that a matter theory (i.e. the quantum eld theory of x elds for given metric g) is singled out that makes the Weyl dependence of the amplitude trivial. We de ne a critical (bosonic) string theory as one governed by a matter conformal eld theory with central charge c = 26, and with physical vertex operators Vi , i = 1; : : : ; N such that
g hV1 : : : VN ie2 g = e26SL (^; ) hV1 : : : VN ig : ^ ^

(3:45)

(This last condition puts restrictions on the allowed vertex operators in the theory.) For critical string theories, the amplitudes at xed topology (h 2) reduce to

Ah =

Z Y
Mh
j

dmj dmj j det(^j ; k )g j2Z( 1)(^) hV1 : : : VN ig g ^ ^

Z

Weyl( )

D

Z

Di 0 ( )

Dv=N0(g)

(3:46)

e (Recall that for h 2, Dv = Dv.) Now, recall that the formal measure Dg=N(g) was the measure on Met( ), divided by the volume of the orbits of the group Weyl( ) Di ( ).
III.16

Since we restricted our integration to one over Mh (and not Teichmuller space Th ), we e ectively quotiented by the mapping class group. The remaining normalization factor is N0(g), formally the volume of Weyl Di 0 ( ). Thus, the formal integrals over Weyl( ) and Di 0( ) cancel N0(g):

Z

Weyl( )

D

Z

Di 0 ( )

Dv=N0 (g) = 1 :

(3:47)

Thus, we nally obtain an ultimate expression for amplitudes in critical string theory at xed topology (h 2); the expression reduces to integrals over moduli of Riemann surfaces:

Ah =

Z Y
Mh Mh

dmj dmj j det(^j ; k )g j2Z( 1)(^) hV1 : : : VN ig g ^ ^

(3:48)

The cases for h = 0; 1 will be discussed in xI, J. For at Euclidean space-time M = RD, we have already established that the central charge of the conformal eld theory de ned by maps x 2 Di ( ; M ) is c = D. Thus, the at space-time string theory is a critical string theory precisely when D = 26. (We now notice that this condition is the same as the one found for the free string: this is rather fortunate!) Let us work out in detail under what conditions the vertex operators also satisfy the criteria of a critical string. To do so, it is convenient to start with a study of the Weyl transformation properties of correlation functions of unintegrated exponents:
N Y i=1

G. Flat Space-Time Manifold M

eiki x(zi)

iki x(zi) e S0 x;g] g = Di ( ;M ) Dx e i=1

Z

N Y

(3:49)

The Gaussian integral is carried out by separating the constant mode in x:

where S0 is the Gaussian action, including the constant dilaton 0: (We ignore the constant tachyon.) Z 1 Z d x 0 d g Rg (3:50) S0 x; g] = 8 g (0)x + 4

x = x0 + x0 ;
III.17

Z

d g x0 = 0

and making use of the Green functions for x0 :

8 > (0)Gg (z; w) = 4 g (z; w) R 4 : < d g Z > d G (z; w) = 0 : g g

(3:51)

The Green function at coincident points must be regularized and renormalized in a Di ( )-invariant way. This may be carried out with the help of heat-kernel methods, or simply by renormalizing by the Di ( )-invariant distance:

GR (z; z) g
2

w!z

lim (Gg (z; w) + 2 ln distg (z; w)) :

(3:52)

8 < Ge g^(z; w) = Gg (z; w) + f (z) + f (w) ^ (3:53) : GR g^(z; w) = GR (z; z) + 2f (z) + 2 (z) ; g ^ e R where f (z) is a function required to maintain d G = 0 under Weyl rescalings. We do
2

The Weyl scaling properties of the Green function are then

not need its explicit form here. One nds

g g

DY
i

eki x(zi)

E

ki , (k) is the D-dimensional -function, and the factor d g under the where k i determinant arises from the normalization of the zero mode x0 . As a result, under g = e2 g, ^ we have Y 21 ki kj Gg (zi ;zj ) Y 12 ki kj Gg^(zi ;zj ) ki2 (zi ) e = e e : (3:55)
All dependence on f (z) cancels in view of momentum conservation k = ki = 0, as guari anteed by the overall (k) factor in (3:54). The Weyl scaling property of the determinant factor is precisely that of Z(0)(g) D=2. (Z(0)(g) contains an additional factor involving holomorphic Abelian di erentials, but this factor is manifestly Weyl invariant.) Combining all of the above, we nd for D = 26
N DY i i;j i;j

P

= (k )e g

1 2

0

Det0 (0) R d g

D=2 Y i;j

1 e 2 ki kj Gg (zi ;zj ) ;

(3:54)

R

P

eiki x(zi)

E

= e g e2 ^ i=1

N Y

2 ki (zi ) e26SL (^; ) g

N DY

i=1

eiki x(zi) g : ^

E

(3:56)

III.18

It is now straightforward to examine the Weyl covariance conditions of vertex operators for low mass cases. 1) Tachyon vertex operator

VT (k) = "(k) d

Z

d g eik x :

In order to cancel the explicit Weyl dependence of the measure d g on :
^ e2 g = d g e2 ^

against the Weyl dependence of the correlation function, we recover the familiar condition k2 = 2 for the tachyon. (This condition also corresponded to a = 1 in xIII.) 2) The massless vertex operators

V"(k) = " (k)

Z

d g gmn@m x @nx eik x ;

the Weyl dependence of the part d g gmn is trivial, so we need the familiar condition k2 = 0. In addition, Weyl dependence appears through the contraction of @m x with the exponential, and is cancelled by the transversality conditions

k " (k ) = k " (k ) = 0 :
See Prob. Set #5.

Finally, from the contraction of @m x and @n x , (actually only the trace-part contributes), a curvature Rg term appears, and Weyl invariance for the trace-part is achieved through the addition of a (classically non-Weyl invariant) part involving the curvature:

V" (k ) = " (k )

Z

d

g g mn @m x @n x eikx +

"

Z

d g Rg eik x :

The physical particle corresponding to this vertex operator is the dilaton. Recall that the dilaton eld entered the generalized sigma model action with a Gaussian curvature term Rg as well. 3) Higher mass states: the general structure of vertex operators is given by

V"(k) = "

1

::: 2p

Z

d g gm1n1 : : : gmpnp @m1 x 1 : : : @np x 2p eik x
III.19

plus terms involving higher derivatives on x. To cancel the overall exponential Weyl dependence, we must require k2 = 2p +2, yielding the same mass spectrum as in the free string case. In complete analogy with the case 2), there will be further conditions of transversality on " and and further terms involving Rg will have to be added to render the trace parts Weyl invariant.

H. Non-Critical Strings
Conformal matter eld theories with c 6= 26 are called non-critical string theories. The amplitudes for these theories retain a non-trivial Weyl dependence through the Liouville action, and through the vertex operators. Its direct quantization requires understanding the dynamics of Liouville theory. Despite much e ort, there is no complete picture to date of how this can be achieved consistently, and without the presence of a tachyon. A tremendous number of results was obtained indirectly (by matrix model techniques) when c is less than 1 and rational.

I. Tree Level Amplitudes
Tree level amplitudes correspond to the worldsheet topology of a sphere S 2, which we stereographically project onto the complex plane C . The moduli space M0 of the sphere consists of just a single point, which we may choose to represent by the round metric, of curvature Rg = 1, and area 4 : ^
2 g = (1 4jdzjj2)2 ^ + jz

z2C : a b 2 PSL(2; C ) : c d

(3:57)

The group of conformal automorphisms is PSL(2; C ) and acts by Mobius transformations

az + b : z ! (z) = cz + d
z=1 z=z

A convenient basis for the associated vector elds (called conformal Killing vectors) is
1 2 3

z = z2

;

z and similarly for a , a = 1; 2; 3.

III.20

To obtain the general expression for tree level transition amplitudes, we must rst complete the treatments of conformal automorphisms, which we had postponed in xF, and of Weyl transformation of the measure. The starting point is our expression (3.28) for the measure Dg, considered now for h = 0

e Dg = D DvZ( 1)(^)e g Z Z

26SL (^; ) g

(3:58)

e where Dv = D0 v det( a ; b)g , a 2 Kerr( 1), and the measure D0 v is over Di 0 ( ) vector z ( 1) Kerr(1). Tree level amplitudes are then given by elds orthogonal to Kerrz z
A0 =
Weyl( )

D

Di 0 ( )=PSL(2;C )

e Dv=N(g)Z( 1)(^) hV1 : : : VN ig g ^

(3:59)

using the same notations as in III.19. While the group PSL(2; C ) leaves the metric g invariant (up to Weyl rescaling), it does transform the positions of vertex operator insertions non-trivially. It is natural and | as we shall establish later on | required for unitarity of the transition amplitudes, to divide by the (formal) volume of the full Di 0( ) group, and not just of Di 0( )=PSL(2; C ). To achieve this, we proceed as follows.
1) For N 3 cases Let the last three vertex operators be given by (of course, we may choose any three vertex operators)

Vi = d2 zi Wi(zi ) ;
C

Z

i = N 2; N 1; N :

We propose to make a change of variables from the vertex insertion points zi, zi i = N 2; N 1; N to the group elements of PSL(2; C ), thus completing the measure D0 v into Dv. This is possible since, given any three points zi 2 C , there is a unique element 2 PSL(2; C ), such that maps zi0 onto any triplet zi 2 C , with

zi = (zi0) :
III.21

z to carry this out in detail, let a be a basis of the Kerr( 1), a = 1; 2; 3, chosen to be Weyl z invariant. We parametrize general vector elds v in psl(2; C ) by complex parameters a, a with

vz =

3 X

The measure on PSL(2; C ) vector elds is then

a=1

z a a
3 Y

vz =

3 X

a=1

z a a

:

d

(6) = Dv=D0 v =

v

a=1

d ad

a det( a ; b )g

where the determinant det( a ; b)g arises as the Jacobian of the coordinate change from v to . On the other hand, from the action of PSL(2; C ) on the points zi0 : zi = (zi0 ) = ev zi0 , P we have dzi = d a a(zi ), so that the measure on d2zi becomes:
a N Y i=N 2

d2z

i=

3 Y

a=1

d a d a j det a(zi )j2 :

Clearly, all factors in this identity are Weyl-invariant. Combining all the results obtained, we have 3 N e Y d2zi = D0 v det( a ; b)g Y d a d a j det a (zi )j2 Dv (3:60) a=1 i=N 2 = Dv j det a (Zi )j2 We may now divide by the formal volume of Weyl( ) n Di ( ) just as in the cases h 2, and we obtain the nal expression for tree level amplitudes with N 3:

A0 = z( 1)(^)j det g

a (zi )j2

V1 : : : VN

3

N Y i=N 2

W (Zi ) g ; ^

(3:61)

valid for any 3-points zi . We shall evaluate some of these amplitudes momentarily for at space-time.
2) N = 0, 1, 2 cases Clearly, here, no three vertex operators are available to complete the integration D0 v into Dv. In fact, these amplitudes vanish! To justify this, notice that D0 v can at most be

III.22

completed by the vector elds in PSL(2; C )=SN where SN is the stabilizer of N points on the sphere. Thus, we are left to divide out by the volume of SN Z Z (3:62) D D0 v=N(g) Vol(1S ) = 0 : N Weyl( ) Di 0 =(PSL(2;C )=SN ) For N = 2, x the two points at 0 and 1, and S2 is the group of dilations, whose volume is 1. An alternative argument that the amplitudes should vanish is that no conformal invariant amplitudes can be constructed, except with value 0. The physical interpretations of these vanishing amplitudes are as follows: 1) 2)

N =0 N =1 N =2

3)

tree-level vacuum energy is zero \vanishing of the cosmological constant". the \tadpole" amplitudes vanish, i.e. conformal eld theory provides solutions (no linear terms) to string theory, at tree level. no mass corrections to tree level.

3) Green function and determinants The scalar Green function on the sphere, with metric g, is given by ^

j z 0 j2 (3:63) G(z; z0 ) = ln (1 + jzzj2 )(1 + jz0 j2) : The determinants involving (0) and ( 1) are just constants. They may be computed explicitly, but we shall not do so here. Instead, we abbreviate
z

0 0 Det Z( 1)(^) @ R d g

g ^

1 (0) A

13

:

(3:64)

Furthermore, the only remaining nite-dimensional determinant is 1 01 1 1 j det a(zi )j2 = j det @ zN 2 zN 1 zN A j2 2 2 2 zN 2 zN 1 zN = j(zN
2

(3:65)

zN 1)(zN
III.23

1

zN )(zN zN 2)j2 :

4) Tachyon Amplitudes The tachyon vertex operator is particularly simple:

VT (k ) =

Z

d2z WT (z; k)

WT (z; k) = " g eik x : ^

p

(3:66)

Here, " is a constant, independent of k, and plays the same r^le as the eld normalization o Z -factors in the Lehmann Symanzik Zcmmerman (LSZ) formalism in quantum eld theory: hkj'(x)j0i = Z eik x for a scalar eld '(x) and its associated 1-particle state jki momentum k, and j0i the ground state. We now make use of the results in p. II.23 on the correlation function of exponential operators. We introduce the renormalized "R by absorbing a multiplicative renormalization factor of the exponential ^ "R = " e GR (zi;zi )g (3:67) The amplitude now takes the form
N 3Z Y i=1 N Yp i=1
1 2

A0 = ( k ) e

2

0

"N R

z

C

d2zi

g(zi ) e ^

i6=j

P ki kj G(zi ;zj )

j det( a (zi ))j2 : (3:68)

The contributions to G of the form ln(1+ jzij2) sum up and, using momentum conservation p^ and ki2, precisely cancel the g prefactors. We are left with

A0(k1 : : : kN ) = (k)e

2

0

"N R

z

j det

a (zi )j2

N 3 Y i=1

d2 zi

N Y i<j

jzi zj j2ki kj

(3:69)

Now, zN 2, zN 1, zN were any 3 points on the space, so we may let them equal 0, 1, 1, respectively, and we nd

A0(k1 ; : : : ; kN ) = (k)e

2

0

"N R

z

N 3Z Y i=1

C

d2 z

i

N 1 Y i<j

jzi zj j2ki kj :

(3:70)

It is very instructive to examine amplitudes for small N : (1) three point function

A0 (k1 ; k2; k3 ) = z e
III.24

2

0

"3 (k) : R

(3:71)

This 3-point function provides the 3-tachyon on shell coupling. (2) four point function

A0 (k1; : : : ; k4) = z e

2

0

"4

R (k )

Z
C

d2z jzj2k1 k2 j1 zj2k1 k3 :

(3:72)

It is standard to introduce the 3 Lorentz invariants s, t, u that characterize the kinematics of the 4-point function:
k1 s t k4

k2

k3

8 <s t :u Z
d2zjzj

(k1 + k2)2 (k2 + k3)2 (k1 + k3 )2 :

(3:73)

(Note that s + t + u = 8.) In terms of s, t, u the four point function is

A0 (k1; : : : ; ku) = z e

2

0

"4

R (k )

This integral expression is absolutely convergent in the following region D, de ned by

C

s 4 jz

1j u 4 :

(3:74)

8 Re(s) < < Re(u < : Re(t)) <

2 2 2

or

8 Re(s) < 2 < < 2 : Re(t)+ t) > Re(s

6:

(3:75)

Taking just the real parts:
Re(t)

-6

-4

-2

Re(s)

(

IR2 )

-2 -4

D

-6

III.25

+

Let s; t 2 D, then we may evaluate the amplitude by elementary methods, and we nd the Virasoro-Shapiro amplitude:

A0 (s; t) = ze

2

0

" 4 (k ) R

( 1 s=2) ( 1 t=2) ( 1 u=2) : (2 + s=2)( (2 + t=2) (2 + u=2)

(3:76)

Since we know the analytic continuation of (z) throughout C , with poles only at z 2 N, we automatically have an analytic continuation of the full amplitude A0 (s; t), throughout (s; t) 2 C C . As a byproduct, we also immediately have the amplitude in Minkowski space-time momenta, by letting
kE
0

ki0 ! iki0
k 2+m2

kM
-i ε

0

(s ! s+i

t!t+i u! u+i

(k ) ! i (k )

where it is understood that > 0 and that we only consider the limit in which ! 0. Thus, the 4-point amplitude in Minkowski space-time is given by

A0 (s; t) = ze

2

0

4

R (k )

=2 t= ( 1 u=2 i ( 1 +2s=2 +ii)) ((21+ t=22+ i i)) (2 + u=2 + i ) i ) : (3:77) (2

The amplitude has only pole singularities | as expected at tree level | and their location is easily identi ed. The -function contributions from the denominator are entire. From the numerator, we have poles at

8s = > > < >t = > :

2 + 2ns ns 2 N 22nt

nt 2 N

(3:78)

u = 2 + 2nu nu 2 N :
III.26

These poles precisely correspond to the creation of intermediate string states whose mass

is the above value for s, t or u. The states may occur either in the s, t or u channel :
k1 k1 s k2 k k4 u t k4 k1 k4

3

k2

k

3

k2

k3

It is instructive to identify where these singularities arise from in the integral representation for the amplitude:
z

s poles: t poles: u poles:

z !0 z!1 z ! 1:

s

u

t

0

1

ο ο

The fact that three QFT diagrams arise from a single string diagram is the simplest example of a general phenomenon mentioned in the introduction. Let us concentrate on the s = 2 pole, which corresponds to a tachyon intermediate state. The diagram there factorizes into a propagator, and 2 three point functions for external tachyon:
s

~ -2

~

1 s+2-i ε

Insisting upon this factorization, we obtain a non-linear equation between the 3-point function and 4-point function, expressing factorization | or unitarity | of the transition amplitudes (or so-called S -matrix elements). This relation xes "R :

"2 = 2z e2 0 : R
III.27

(3:79)

J. One loop amplitudes
At one loop, the worksheet has the topology of a torus, and there is a single complex modulus 2 C . We represent by = C =(Z+ Z ) Im > 0

with the at metric g = 2jdzj2. Teichmuller space is T1 = f 2 C ; Im > 0g, the mapping ^ class group is G = SL(2; Z), acting on as PSL(2; Z) by +b ! 0 = a +d c

a b 2 SL(2; Z): c d

(3:80)

Moduli space is conveniently taken as T1=PSL(2; Z) = M1, but we shall have to recall that the full mapping class group also divides out by f I g in SL(2; Z). It is standard to take the fundamental domain

M1 =

= 1 + i 2; 1;2 2 R;

2 > 0;

1 j 1j 2 ; j j 1 :

(3:81)

Determinants of Laplace operators on tensors of any integer weight are given by the case of Laplacians on functions, which was computed by Gawedzki: Det0 ( )
2 (0) = 2 j

ei =12

1 Y

( )j4

n=1

(1 e2 in ) :

(3:82)

The Green function on the scalar eld x is given by
2 ( 2 G(z; wj ) = ln #1#z (0jw)j ) (3:83) 01 2 2 (z w z + w ) ; where #1 (zj ) is the Jacobi theta function that has a zero at z = 0. The N -string transition amplitude is given by the following expression Z d2 1 1 A1(k1 ; : : : ; kN ) = V1; : : : ; VN (3:84) 2 (4 2 2 )12 j ( )j48 M1 2 2 where V1 : : : VN stands for the normalized correlation function of the vertex operators V1 : : : VN : V1 : : : VN = hV1 : : : VN i = h1i.

III.28

For example, considering only tachyon vertex operators, we have

V1 : : : VN = (k)"R

N Z NY i=1

0 1 X 1 d2zi exp @ 2 ki kj G(zi ; zj j )A
i6=j

(3:85)

There is no dependence on the dilaton constant 0 here, because the Euler number on the torus vanishes. Other correlation functions may be similarly derived. To one loop order, we may now also have non-zero N = 0; 1; 2 point functions. Let us consider N = 0 rst: 1 = 1.

A1 (

Z d2 ) = Vol(M )

M1 2 (4

2 2

2 2 )12

1

1 : j ( )j48

(3:86)

Using the asymptotics for Im ! 1, ( ) ei =12 = ei 1 =12 e
2

=12

(3:87)

we see immediately that this amplitude diverges for large 2. In fact, this ( ) factor is common to all amplitudes, for any type of vertex operators, and produces a divergence in any amplitude, for any arrangement of external momenta. We shall not show this here in general, but leave this point to be checked by the reader. Thus, bosonic closed oriented string theory is divergent in at space-time.
Nature of Divergence Let us try to gain additional insight into the physical origin of this divergence. To do so, it is helpful to exhibit the dependence on internal momenta by inserting a factor:

1=

Z

d26k

1 I dz @ x ; k 2 i z A 1

(3:88)

where A is the cycle in whose pre-image in C runs from z = 0 to z = 1. We nd

A1 ( ) = Vol(M )

Z

d26k

Z d2

R 26

M1 2 2 (4
III.29

2 )12

1 e j ( )j48

2

2

k2

:

(3:89)

τ

²

M

¹

k

¹

A τ ¹ -½ ½

Substituting the asymptotics of the ( )-function

A1 ( ) = Vol(M )

Z

d26k

Z d2
M1 2

R 26

2

(4 2 )12 e

1

2

2

(k2 2) (1 + #e 2

2

+

);

(3:90)

it is now immediately apparent why a divergence occurs, and where it occurs. For 2 ! 1, the momentum range 0 k2 < 2 contributes an exponentially growing factor. In fact, integrating out 2 for large 2:

Z d2 e 2

2

2

(k2 2)

k2

1

2

This contribution arises from the tachyon! It is an I.R. problem related to the stability of at space-time. It is equally instructive to see where the integral is convergent: at large k2, since the range of 2 is cut o from below by the choice of M2 , the integral is exponentially suppressed for large momenta k2. Thus, this loop amplitude is superconvergent at high energy, in contrast with eld theory. In fact, we can use this simple example to exhibit the distinction between what this partition function would look like in quantum eld theory and what it looks like in string theory. In eld theory, we may imagine the partition function for the same states, given III.30

by the same generating function. The only di erence is the region M1 :
τ²

0

τ
½

Integration region for QFT
¹

with the same states as string theory.

Now, since 2 reaches down to 2 = 0, the superconvergence disappears and the integrand is power behaved in momenta. Thus, we see here that a crucial di erence between string theory and quantum eld theory arises from modular invariance, producing ultraviolet nite answers in the case of strings

III.31