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Lecture 7

IASSNS-HEP-97/72

IV. Faddeev{Popov Ghosts | BRST Quantization

Eric D'Hoker It is standard practice to recast the Faddeev-Popov determinant, which arose from xing Di ( ) gauge invariance, in terms of ghost elds. (See also Faddeev's lectures.) One introduces Grassmann-valued ghost elds (c; c) = (cz (dz) 1 , cz (dz) 1 ) and anti-ghost elds (b; b) = (bzz (dz)2 ; bzz (dz )2 ) transforming as the gauge transformation vector elds (v; v) and as the metric deformations ( gzz ; gzz ), respectively. It is convenient to study such b-c systems for general weight rst, since we shall make use of such systems as well: c 2 K 1 n; b 2 K n. For now n is an integer, but later n will also be allowed to be a half-integer.

A. Determinants and b-c systems
We therefore generalize by considering a system of a pair of Grassmann-valued elds (c; c) = (c(dz)1 n , c(dz)1 n ) and (b; b) = (b(dz)n ; b(dz)n ), so that the above case is n = 2. In this notation, b and c are independent whereas b, c are their complex conjugates. The action is rst order in derivatives: 1 Z d brz c + brz c : (4:1) Sn(b; c) = 2 g (1 n) (n 1) We have the following Theorem:

Z(n)(g)j det j (zk )j2 j det a(wb)j2
=
Z

D(bb)D(cc)e Sn (b;c)

( Yn)

N

j =1

b(zj )b(zj )

(n Y

N

1)

a=1

c(wa)c(wa ) ;

(4:2)

where the measures D(bb) and D(cc) are obtained from the L2 norms on K n, K n, K (1 n) and K (1 n); j 2 Ker rzn), a 2 Ker rz n) and N(n) = dim Ker (n). Note that for n 2 ( (1 there are no 's whereas for h = 0 there are no j 's. IV.1

We begin the proof by recalling a nite-dimensional Grassmann integral, over variables bi , ci, i = 1; : : : ; N , such that fbi ; bj g = fci; cj g = fbi ; cj g = 0. We use the standard Grassmann integration rules:
Z

dci cj =
N YZ i=1

Z

ij

dbi bj =

ij

(4:3)

and dci 1 = dbi 1 = 0. Then, for any matrix Mij , we have

R

R

dbidci ebiMij cj = det M :

(4:4)

To prove the Theorem, we begin by expanding b and c in an orthonormal basis of eigenfunctions of (n) and (1 n) as follows. Let be an orthonormal basis of eigenfunctions of (1 n) corresponding to the non-zero eigenvalues 2 , and let a be an orthonormal basis of zero modes of (1 n). We have
8 < :

(1 n) (1

= 2 n) a = 0 ;

(4:5)

and we de ne

by

; so that provides an orthonormal basis of eigenfunctions of ( n) for non-zero eigen( values. Let j be an orthonormal basis for Ker rz n). As a result, (gzz )n together with the zero modes (gzz )n j provides an orthonormal basis of eigenfunctions for (n). Thus, we have the decompositions
+

p z 2 r(1 n) = : p (1 2 rz n) =
8 <

(4:6)

c= b=

X

c

+

X

X

b (gzz )n

a

ca
+

a
X

j

bj (gzz )n j :

(4:7)

The L2 norm then induces the following measures: 8 Q Q db db d bj d bj > D(bb ) = <
> D ( cc) :

= dc dc IV.2

Q

Q

j

a

dca dca

(4:8)

and it is straightforward to evaluate the action: 1 X b c Z d (g )n rz Sn(b; c) = 2 g zz (1 n) + c:c: ; 1 X b c Z d (g )n + c:c = p g zz 2 2 ; 1 X(b c + b c ) : = p 2 2

(4:9)

Notice that the zero mode coe cients bj , ca do not enter the action. Modulo a constant (0) 1 p2 coming from the -function regularization, 2
Z Y

db db dc dc e

Sn (b;c) = Y 2 = Det0 (1 n) :

(4:10)

The remaining nite product of factors can only involve the zero modes, since the number of factors of b and c precisely equals the number of zero-mode integrations.
Z Y

a

dcadca

Y

a=1 j =1 2 j det (w )j2 = j det j (zk )j a b j

dbj dbj

N(n)
Y

b(zj )b(zj )

N(1 n) Y

c(wa)c(wa ) :

(4:11)

Recall that our bases j , a had been chosen orthonormal. In an arbitrary basis, the result would be j det j (zk )j2 j det( a (wb))j2 : (4:12) det( ; ) det( ; ) Putting all together, we obtain the result in the Theorem by using the de nition of the determinant combination Z(n)(g). Notice that the functional integral without b or c insertions,
Z

j k

a b

D(bb)D(cc)e

Sn (b;c)

;

vanishes because of the existence of zero modes which do not enter the action at all.

IV.3

B. Ghost representation of the Faddeev-Popov determinant
For bosonic string theory, n = 2 is the suitable weight, and we have the following general form for the amplitudes
1 X
h=0

A=
where

e

Z
0

Mh

dmj dmj

Z

Y D(bb)D(cc)e S2 (b;c) j( j ; b)j2 j Map( ;M )

Z

Dx O e

Sm (x)

(4:13)

(N = 0; 1; 2; h = 0) > > > (N 1; h = 1) > > > : (h 2) (4:14) and S2(b; c) is the action for the ghost elds in the case n = 2. This representation is valid for any matter action Sm, and any set of vertex operators Vi . The elds c and b are called the Faddeev-Popov ghosts and anti-ghosts.
O=>

8 > > > > > > > <

N Q a=N 2

c(za)c(za)V1 : : : VN 3W (zN 2)W (zN 1 )W (zN ) (N 3; h = 0)

0 c(zN )c(zN )V1 : : : VN 1W (zN ) V1 : : : VN ;

C. Conformal Field Theory of the b-c system
From the Weyl transformation law of the determinant combinations Z(n)(g), and the Weyl invariance of det j (zk ) and det a(wb), we know that the b-c system is a conformal eld theory with central charge 2c(n) = 2(6n2 6n + 1) : In particular, we con rm that for the ghost system of the bosonic string (i.e. n = 2) the central charge is cghosts = 26, cancelling the central charge of the matter part. We now 1 study this conformal eld theory for any n 2 2 Z, assuming that a spin structure has been 1 chosen on . In particular, for n = 2 , we have a Dirac fermion ~ = b, = c; ~ = b, = c (in which case b, c are in the same space of Dirac spinors), or two Majorana spinors: ( ; ~ ) and ( ; ~ ) = ( ; ~ ) . (See Witten's lectures.)
+ + + + + +

IV.4

From the classical action, we obtain the stress tensor by varying with respect to gzz and using 1 (1 rz n) = 2 gzz rz n) + 1 2 n rz ( gzz ) : (4:15) (1 We nd for the classical stress tensor: (bc T (bc)(z) = Tzz ) = (1 n)rz bc nbrz c

The quantum stress tensor may now be de ned by subtracting the OPE singularities from the classical stress tensor. The holomorphic stress tensor is de ned by (4:19) T (bc)(z) = w!z (1 n)@b(z)c(w) nb(z)@c(w) + (z 1w)2 : lim One immediately veri es (6n2 6n + 1) + 2 T (bc)(w) + 1 @ T (bc) T (bc)(z)T (bc)(w) (z w)4 (z w)2 z w w (w) 1 n c( w ) + 1 @ c( w ) (4:20) T (bc)(z)c(w) (z w)2 z w w n b(w) + 1 @ b(w) : T (bc)(z)b(w) (z w)2 (z w ) w (There is no singularity in the expansion of b(z)b(w) or c(z)c(w).) The classical action Sn is invariant under U (1)bc U (1)bc phase rotations:

(4:16) = (1 n)(@z b n b)c nb(@z c (1 n) c) = (1 n)(@z b)c nb@z c : Using Weyl rescaling, we may study the system on a surface with locally at metric g = ^ 2jdzj2. At the same time, covariant derivatives become just Cauchy-Riemann operators: rzn) becomes @(n) and r(n) becomes @(n) (@ and @ for short). The action is then z ( 1 Z d2 z(b@c + b@ c) : (4:17) Sn(b; c) = 2 The eld equations are @c = @b = 0, @ c = @ b = 0. The OPE of b and c is given by the Green function of @ : b(z)c(w) z 1 w c(z)b(w) : (4:18)

c ! ei c b!e i b
IV.5

(

c ! e i 0c b ! ei 0 b

(4:21)

Only the diagonal subgroup with = 0 leaves the measure D(bb)D(cc) invariant, and results in a quantum symmetry. The current associated with U (1)bc is given by
( jzbc) = : cb : = w!z c(w)b(z) w 1 z ; lim

(4:22)

and we nd the OPE's:
( jzbc)c(w)

1 c( w ) ; z w

( jzbc)b(w) z 1 w b(w) :

(4:23)

( ( The current jzbc) has an anomaly, as can be established from the fact that jzbc) does not 1 transform as a tensor (for n 6= 2 ):

1 2 ( ( ( (4:24) T (c)(z)jwbc) (z wn3 + (z 1w)2 jwbc) + z 1 w @w jwbc) : ) Thus, under analytic di eomorphisms z ! z0 = f (z), we have 1 (4:25) j 0(bc)(z0 )dz0 = j (bc)(z)dz + n 2 d(ln f 0 (z)) Note that there is no anomaly for the case of spinors when n = 1=2. Also, on a worldsheet ( with general metric g, j (bc) is not conserved; instead rz jzbc) = 1 n Rg . 2

D. Bosonization of the b-c system
In Witten's lectures, a Bose-Fermi correspondence was established between a 2-dimensional Dirac fermion and a real scalar boson eld. The Dirac fermion corresponds here to 1 the case n = 2 . We will generalize the Bose-Fermi correspondence to the case of any n 2 1 Z. We begin by noticing that the b-c stress tensor can be expressed in terms of the 2 U (1)bc current only: 1 T (bc)(z) = 1 j (bc)(z)2 + n 2 @z j (bc)(z) ; 2 where the product of operators is always renormalized a la OPE. Using j (bc)(z)j (bc)(w) (z 1w)2 ; IV.6 (4:26)

(4:27)

it is straightforward to verify that T (bc) satis es all identities listed above. We now introduce a scalar eld , with action (for general metric on ) 1 Z d 1 SQ(x) = 4 : (4:28) g 2 g mn @m @n + QRg This system was studied extensively in Problem Set #1. Let us consider it only on locally at metrics. Its central charge is c = 1 + 3Q2, and there is a current @z . Identifying the two systems will require that they have equal central charge: 1 + 3Q2 = 12n2 + 12n 2 or

Q = i(2n 1) :

(4:29)

(The second solution Q = i(2n 1) is equivalent upon changing the sign of .) The identi cation of the currents gives

j (bc)(z) = i@z 1 2 1 T (bc)(z) = 2 (@z )2 + 2 Q@z :
The elds b, c and b, c may be identi ed in terms of the chiral boson elds with (z; z ) = +(z) + (z ) by
(
+

(4:30)
+ (z ),

(z ),

c(z ) = e+i (z) c(z) = ei (z) (4:31) b(z) = e i (z) : b(z) = e i (z) The U (1)bc U (1)bc transformations now simply shift + and by and 0 , respectively. It is now easy to see that the number (Nb ; Nc) of b and c operator insertions yielding non-zero correlation functions is constrained by the Riemann-Roch-Atiyah-Singer theorem: i Nb Nc 2 Q = 0 or Nb Nc = 1 n ; 2 where is the Euler number of .
+

(

E. The b-c Fock Space
The full Fock space is obtained as a tensor product of the bc Fock space F(bc) and the bc Fock space F(bc): Fock(b; c; b; c) = F(bc) F(bc) : (4:32) IV.7

We proceed to construct F(bc), and F(bc) is constructed analogously. To do so, we consider the system on an annulus , centered at z = 0, with at metric g = 2jdzj2 , and we expand the holomorphic elds b(z) and c(z) in a Laurent series:

c( z ) = b(z) =

X X

r

cr z br z

r (1 n) r n

r 2 Z:

(4:33)

r

The shifts in the powers of z re ect the conformal weights of the elds. The OPE of b and c yields fbr ; bs g = fcr ; csg = 0 fbr ; csg = r+s;0 : (4:34) The stress tensor (renormalized as in IV.7) yields the Virasoro generators
(bc Lm ) =
X

r 2Z

(mn r)br cm r

m 6= 0
1 n(n 1) : 2 (4:35)

X ( L0bc) = r(b r cr + c r br ) r=1

1

The U (1)bc current gives the bc number operator:

U=

I

1 dz j (bc) = X(c b b c ) + 1 (c b b c ) + n 1 : r r r r 2 iz 2 00 00 2 r=1

(4:36)

( (The constant shifts in L0bc) and U0 require great care, and are fundamental in the sequel.) The polarization here is again inherited from Minkowski worldsheet signature:

by = b r

r

cy = c r ; r

r 2 Z:

(4:37)

The ground state of the b-c system is doubly degenerate, since b0 and c0 commute with L0 (in fact they do not enter into the expession for L0), and since b0 , c0 generate an algebra fb0 ; c0g = 1, b2 = c2 = 0 of which the ground state is a two-dimensional representation. 0 0 We de ne the basis vectors by j"i and j#i, with

br ; cr j"i j#i = 0
IV.8

r>0 :

(4:38)

We choose the states so that It follows that

c0 j"i = 0 b0 j#i = 0 :

(4:39) (4:40)

b0 j"i = j#i U j"i = n j"i c0 j#i = j"i U j#i = (n 1) j#i : It is natural to choose the following inner products

h#j"i = h"j#i = 1

(4:41)

(Notice that h"j"i = h#j#i = 0 by their properties under b0 and c0.) The b-c Fock space is naturally obtained by applying the creation operators fb r ; c r gr2N to either one of the ground states j"i or j#i. The inner product thus inherited on F(bc) is not positive de nite.

F. BRST Quantization
We now return to string theory, where the relevant b-c system is the one with n = 2, in the notation used above. The combined matter-ghost action is (in a locally at g)

S = 21

Z

1 d2z 2 @x @x + b@c + b@ c :

(4:42)

The combined stress tensor (we denote the x stress tensor by T (x))

T (z) = T (x)(z) + T (bc)(z)

(4:43)

has zero central charge in D = 26 and is thus a primary eld of weight (2; 0). The associated Virasoro generators are
8 >L > m > > < > > > > :

=

X

1 L0 = 2 p2 1 + r(x r xr + b r cr + c r br ) r=1 IV.9

r 2Z

X (2m r)br cm r + 1 xr xm r (m 6= 0) 2

1 X

r 2Z

(4:44)

The second term ( 1) in the second equation arises from the ghost stress tensor on p. IV. 8 for n = 2. The Virasoro algebra of Lm reduces to the Witt algebra (i.e. with zero central charge) L`; Lm ] = (` m)L`+m (4:45) Recall the ghost number
1 X
r=1

U = 1 + c 0 b0 +

(c r br b r cr )

(4:46)

and recall that the round states j"i and j#i have ghost number 2 and 1, respectively. The full Fock space of states of the closed bosonic string, including the ghost states, is
Fclosed =
M ! e Fk Fk

k2R 26

F(bc) F(bc)

(4:47)

We now wish to identify, inside F, the subspace of physical states. We shall concentrate e on Fk F(bc), the treatment of Fk F(bc) is analogous. Since the Virasoro algebra of L` generators holds with vanishing central charge, it is natural to impose L` j i = 0 8 ` 2 Z: However, since the Fock space now also contains ghost states, this condition is insu cient. One would like to supplement it with a condition of \no ghosts". But from the treatment above, we see that ghost number changes under conformal mappings, so the no ghost condition is not invariant. The proper framework for imposing physical state conditions, when ghosts are present, is BRST quantization. It permits to recast the physical state conditions in terms of cohomology. We begin by discussing a nite-dimensional case, with nite-dimensional Lie group G and associated Lie algebra G. Let be a representation of G, with representation matrices k i , i = 1; : : : ; dim G, and let fij be the structure constants of G:
k i ; j ] = fij k

(4:48)

IV.10

One introduces anti-ghosts bi in the adjoint representation of G and ghosts ci in the dual to the adjoint representation of G. (For compact G, these are identi ed, but in general, it may not be possible to do so.) These satisfy

fbi ; cj g =
U = cibi

j j

fci; cj g = fbi ; bj g = 0 :
U; ci] = ci ; U; bi ] = bi

(4:49)

The number operator is the analogue of the ghost number (4:50)

and is invariant under G. The Fock space F is determined by choosing a polarization. The natural polarization here is as follows

bi j 0i = 0

F = fcig j 0i ;

(4:51)

and F contains 2dim G states. This model may be realized concretely by taking ci, i = 1; : : : ; dim G to be a basis of left-invariant 1-forms on G, and bi to be the contraction with the form ci: bi = @=@ci . The operator U gives the degree of the form and the ground state j 0i corresponds to forms of degree 0, i.e. constants. The Fock space F is the vector space of all left-invariant forms on G: inv (G). In BRST theory, one introduces the BRST operator (still for our nite-dimensional group G): k (4:52) Q ci i 1 fij cicj bk : 2 This operator acts on F , where is the representation vector space of . This operator is nilpotent. To see this, rst show that Q2 = 0 when i = 0; the remaining terms with present are 1 k Q2 = 2 cicj i; j ] fij k ; (4:53)

which vanishes in view of the structure relations on . In terms of left-invariant forms on the group G, the operator Q has a natural interpretation as well. This is understood by examining how a di erential acts on a left-invariant IV.11

di erential form in (p)(G): if ! 2 (p)(G) then ! = !i : : : ip ci ^ : : : ^cip ; with constant !i :::ip . The di erential on ci is given by the Cartan structure equations
1 1 1

1 i dci + 2 fjk cj ^ ck = 0 and thus its action on ! may be recast in a purely algebraic form 1 i d! = 2 fjk cj ck bi :

(4:54)

(4:55)

Furthermore, when ! transforms under the representation of G, then Q is nothing but the covariant derivative acting on F , and its square vanishes in view of the atness of the connection ci. We now consider states in the Fock space F(m) of degree m = 0; 1; : : : ; dim G. The BRST operator Q has degree 1, and maps Q: F(m) ! F(m+1) for m dim G 1, and Q: F(dim G) ! 0. A state j i is BRST invariant if

Qj i=0 and BRST trivial if for some jxi 2 F(m 1), we have j i=Qj i

(i.e. Q-closed) (i.e. Q-exact)

BRST cohomology is de ned by the following equivalence relation: j i there is some j i such that j 0i = j i + Q j i :

j 0 i provided

BRST cohomology classes of degree m are denoted by H (m) (Q). The BRST cohomology of degree 0 is easily computed. First, j i 2 F(0) means that bj j i = 0 for all j , so that the condition of BRST invariance becomes

Q j i = ci i j i = 0

)

ij

i=0

Here, we have used the fact that, since fbi ; cj g = ij , we have ci j i 6= 0 for all i, and these vectors are linearly independent. Thus, all BRST invariant states of ghost number 0 are IV.12

G-invariant. Clearly no states in F(0) are BRST trivial. Vice versa, all G-invariant states of ghost number 0 are BRST invariant. In string theory, the BRST formalism is implemented as follows. The Lie aglebra G is the in nite-dimensional Virasoro algebra, with structure constants
k Li ; Lj ] = (i j )Li+j + central; fij = (i j ) ik+j :

(4:56)

We do not specify the central term, since we shall not infer its implications from the nite-dimensional model. The representation of G is given by the matter elds x, with generators Li(x), and central charge 26. The ghost and anti-ghost modes are

c` = c

`

and

b`

` 2 Z:

(4:57)

The polarization for the string theory BRST is di erent from that for the nite-dimensional model b` ; c` j #i ; j "i = 0 ` > 0 : (4:58)
k The BRST operator is de ned by the structure constants fij , but the precise ordering prescription, and the e ects of the central terms cannot be obtained from the nitedimensional model. It will turn out (see next paragraph) that the correct prescription is given by X X ( Q (Lrx) r;0 )c r 1 (r s) : c r c sbr+s : (4:59) 2 r 2Z r;s2Z

The correct prescription may be derived most e ciently from the fact that the BRST charge derives from a conserved (in fact analytic) BRST current, which arises as the Noether current of BRST symmetry of the action S . The transformation rules are (they may be derived from the commutation of the operator Q, for some constant Grassmann parameter , with the elds x , b, c):
8 > > > < > > > :

x = c@x c = c@c b = 2 (T (x) + T (bc)) :
IV.13

(4:60)

The resulting BRST current is 1 j BRST(z) = 2 c@x @x + bc@c + 3 @ 2 c 2 1 cT (bc) + 3 @ 2c : = cT (x) + 2 2 (4:61)

The last term on the right hand side ensures that j BRST is a (1; 0) form as a quantum operator. The quantum (renormalized) current is de ned as usual by OPE singularity subtractions. The BRST charge is then I (4:62) Q = 2dzi j BRST(z) ; and agrees with the expression of (4.59). Using the OPE algebra for the b-c system, derived in xC, we nd that for D = 26 we (x have Q2 = 0. Conversely, if Q2 = 0, then the Virasoro algebra of Lm = Lm ) + Lgh) must m be satis ed with zero central charge. This is easily established from the fact that

Lm = fQ; bm g
and hence

=)

Lm ; Q] = 0

(4:63)

Lm; Ln] = fQ; Lm ; bn]g = (m n)fQ; bm+n g = (m n)Lm+n :
The BRST invariance condition Q j i = 0 now reproduces the physical state conditions phys Lm j i = 0, m 2 Z, in the following way. First, we de ne a map i from Fk into phys F(bc). which maps physical states in Fphys into states of ghost number 1 as follows: Fk k
phys i: Fk ! Fk F(bc); j"; ki ! j"; k; #i = j"; ki j #i
+

(4:64)

Since bm j #i = 0 for all m 2 N and cn j #i = 0 for all n 2 N , it follows that if j ; ki is physical, then Q j"; k; #i = 0. Thus, i is really a map into Ker Q
phys i: Fk ! Ker Q :

(4:65) (4:66)

Next, let us consider a state j i 2 Fk F(bc), of the form

j i = j ; ki j #i
IV.14

with ghost number 1, and belonging to Ker Q: Q j i = 0. Then, in view of bm j #i = 0 for m 2 N and cn j#i = 0 for n 2 N , we have
+

Qj i=
=

X (

r 2Z

( (Lrx)

r;0 )c r

j"; ki j #i
( Lrx)c r
)

( (L0x)

1)c0 +

1 X
r=1

j"; ki j #i ;
+

(4:67)

( ( The condition Q j i = 0 implies (L0x) 1) j"; ki = 0 and Lrx) j"; ki = 0 for r 2 N , which are the correct physical state conditions on Fk. (The ground state j "i would miss the ( conditions (L0x) 1) j"; ki = 0.) Which of these states are BRST trivial? Again, from the de nition of Q and the fact that bm j i = cm j i = 0 for m 2 N , it follows that if j i = Q j i, with j i of ghost number 0 then 1 X (x) j i = L r j ri (4:68)
+

for some states j r i. But then j i is spurious. In fact, one can show that any state j i in Ker Q, of ghost number 1, is of the form

r=1

j i = j"; ki j #i + Q jxi
phys where j"; ki 2 Fk and jxi is some state of ghost number 0. Thus, the cohomology of Q of ghost number 1, i.e. space of states of ghost number 1 which are BRST invariant, modulo BRST trivial states, is isomorphic to the physical state space F de ned previously:
+

F = Fphys=Fspurious H (1)(Q)
+

(4:69)

IV.15