Lectures 9 and 10
VI. Strings on General Manifolds


Eric D'Hoker In the preceding lectures, we have quantized strings in at Minkowski space-time. The existence of a Hilbert space of physical string states (i.e. the consistent elimination of negative norm states) requires Weyl( ) and Di ( ) invariance of the full quantum theory. This condition xes the dimension of space-time to be D = 26 and results in the appearance of massless spin 1 and spin 2 string states which behave like Yang-Mills particles and gravitons, respectively. The spectrum also contains massless dilatons and anti-symmetric tensor states. In the present lecture, we wish to extend the analysis of the consistent elimination of negative norm states to the case of arbitrary space-time manifolds, with general metric G , anti-symmetric tensor B and dilaton , and possible other background elds. On physical grounds, we shall assume that the space-times of interest have Minkowski signature ( ; +; ; +). For simplicity, we assume that the dimension of space-time D is such that D 4 in order to avoid dealing with certain peculiarities that arise in D = 2; 3. We expect again that the space-time dimension D will be xed by the condition that all negative norm states be consistently eliminated. The precise value of D where this happens may, however, depend on the background elds G , B and , so we shall leave D to be determined later on. We shall also assume that space-time M has at least 2 non-compact dimensions, including the time direction, so that scattering can be de ned in M . Given the signature of the space-time manifold M , the Fock space of states produced by the quantization of the map x will contain again negative norm states. These states are to be eliminated before a Hilbert space of string states can be constructed. To achieve elimination of negative norm states, it is clearly necessary that the worldsheet quantum eld theory of the map x, de ned in terms of the background G , B , (and perhaps other elds), together with the Faddeev-Popov ghost elds b, c, b, c, be invariant under VI.1

Di ( ) and Weyl( ) transformations. In this case, the BRST quantization scheme of xIV may be set up, just as in the case of at Minkowski M . For certain classes of space-time manifolds M , this condition can be shown to be also su cient. When M = R2 MD 2, where R2 includes the time direction, so that the metric G on MD 2 is positive, we have the usual Hilbert space construction for the states arising from the MD 2 part of space-time, since these states have positive norm. One can show that the BRST quantization scheme for all of M leads to a Hilbert space. The proof proceeds by passing to the lightcone gauge variables, which may be de ned for the R2 part of M just as in the case of at M . In lightcone gauge, only positive norm, physical states survive, and may be mapped onto BRST cohomology classes in a one-to-one fashion, just as for at M . For more general M , I am not aware of a proof that a Hilbert space may be constructed, but it is generally believed to be the case, at least \under certain conditions". For example, a space-time M with a black hole is expected to cause problems. Henceforth, we shall restrict to space-time manifolds M and background elds, such that Weyl( ) n Di ( ) invariance of the x, b, c, b, c system leads to a Hilbert space. Equivalently, the quantum eld theory of the x eld is a conformal eld theory of central charge c = 26. Thus, we have reduced the conditions of consistent string propagation in space-time manifolds M background elds to a problem in quantum eld theory: that of identifying and parametrizing conformal eld theories of the map x with central charge c = 26.

Before launching into a study of the conditions for conformal invariance of the eld theory of the map x with general space-time M , general G , B , , (and possibly other background elds), we wish to clarify the physical signi cance of string quantization in non- at background eld con gurations. We proceed by comparison with perturbation theory in quantum eld theory (QFT). In QFT, we start with canonical elds and a classical action S ] which we assume to be independent of }. Perturbation theory (in the loop expansion) is carried out by choosing VI.2

A) Perturbation Theory Around General Field Con gurations

a eld con guration 0, and expanding the eld in powers of ~ : = 0 + ~ '. The p Feynman rules are then obtained by an expansion of the action S ] in powers of ~ : 1 S ] = 1 S ] + p1 } } 0




' S

1 0] + { 2



2S 2

p ]+ 1 } 0 6


3 ''' S 3

0] +

x x x y y z


S ] (x) 0
(x) (y)
2S 0] 1


. . .


(x) (y) (z)



Both the Feynman rules for the ' propagator and for the ' interaction vertices depend upon the background eld 0 in a non-trivial way, as is evident from the Feynman rule expansion in (6.A.1). In string theory, we have no equivalent of the canonical eld and of the classical action S ] that is as well understood as in QFT. (Many attempts at constructing a string eld theory formulation have been made over the years, but have met with only limited success.) In string theory, our starting point consists only of the Feynman rules, which are given in terms of a summation over surfaces , and maps ! M , and which yield on-shell transition amplitudes only. The r^le of 0 in QFT is played in string theory by the o background elds G , B , and possibly other elds. And indeed, the Feynman rules of string theory depend upon these background elds, just as the Feynman rules of QFT depended upon 0. Fortunately, much crucial physical information may be reconstructed from the Feynman rules: we already know that they yield the transition amplitudes for physical states, i.e. the S -matrix (at least in perturbation theory). In particular, it is clear from QFT that certain transition amplitudes yield direct information on the background 0 . The most important one for our purposes is that 0 is a classical solution, i.e. S= 0] = 0 if and only if all tadpole graphs are zero to tree level. The string theory equivalent of this criterion VI.3

is that a given background eld con guration G , B , (and possibly other elds) are a solution to the string equations of motion to tree level (i.e. classically) if and only if all tadpole graphs vanish. This criterion gives us a powerful tool to investigate whether a certain con guration is a classical solution or not. In QFT, we do not usually investigate the Feynman rules to decide whether a con guration 0 is a solution, because we can directly check whether S= 0] vanishes or not. In string theory, this alternative is not available, at present. We have established previously that the existence of a Hilbert space of string states requires the map x to de ne a conformal eld theory of central charge c = 26. It is a simple consequence of conformal invariance on the sphere (established for x in at space-time M in xIII) that the 1-point function of any primary conformal eld of weight (1; 1), describing an on-shell physical state, must vanish to tree level. Combining this result with that of the preceeding paragraph, we discover that if x de nes a conformal eld theory of central charge 26, for a certain background con guration G , B , , (and possibly other elds), then this con guration is a classical (tree level) solution to the string equation! In other words, demanding that the backgrounds G , B , , : : : de ne a c = 26 CFT will enforce on G , B , (and possibly other elds), the string equations of motion and guarantee the existence of a Hilbert space of physical states. While in QFT, we knew the equations of motion for 0 directly from the action, in string theory the equations on the background elds will be novel. We nish this subsection by noticing that other useful information may be obtained from the Feynman rules. First, a con guration G , B , ; : : : is a solution to the full (perturbative) quantum string equations if the sum of all tadpoles cancels to all orders. This is in analogy with QFT, where a solution to the full (perturbative) quantum elds equations is an extremum of the full e ective action, so that the sum of all tadpole graphs cancels. Secondly, the presence of tachyons in the spectrum signals that the background around which the perturbative expansion was formulated is not a local minimum.


Let M be a Riemannian manifold of dimension D, with metric G , and elds B , de ned in xI. The starting point for string dynamics in the background of these elds is the generalized non-linear sigma model action for the maps x: ! M , given by S = SG;B + S and 1 Z d @ x @ x fgmnG (x) + "mn B (x)g SG;B x; g] = 8 `2 g m n (6:B:1) 1 Z d R (x) S x; g] = 2 g g Recall that the term involving B is the pullback of a two form B = B dx ^dx under the map x, written out in coordinates. Here, "mn is the tensor de ned by

B) Renormalization of Generalized Non-linear sigma Models

"mn "mn = det gpq


"01 = "10 = 1 :


We have re-exhibited the dependence on the string tension , introduced in xI via the parameter `. It is standard notation to express in terms of the Regge slope parameter 0 ; we nd it convenient to use the Planck length scale `, instead, with the following relations = 4 1 0 = 8 1`2 ;
0 = 2` 2 ;



It is possible to include a further term in S corresponding to the dynamics of the tachyon state, to which we shall associated the eld U :

SU x; g] = 41
(a) (b) (c) Di ( ) Di (M )


d g U (x)


Recall from Lecture 1 that the classical action S is invariant under

U (1)B gauge invariance, acting by B ! B + d , for some 2

(1)(M ).

Weyl( ) transformations on g leave SG;B invariant, but will develop anomalies upon quantization. S and SU fail to be Weyl invariant, even classically. VI.5

We naturally have two notions of dimension in the problem: the worldsheet or dimension, and the space-time or M -dimension. The -dimension of x, g, G, B, and ` vanishes, while that of @ and Rg is 1 and 2, respectively. The M -dimension of x and ` is 1, and that of g, G, B, vanishes. We begin by discussing the renormalization of the quantum eld theory de ned by S , for general elds G , B , . We shall not discuss here the e ects of including the tachyon eld in S . We shall see that in certain regularization schemes, such as dimensional regularization, its contribution can be ignored. Also, in the superstring, the tachyon will be absent anyway. 1) Low Energy or 0 -expansion. The parameter ` is a very small length-scale (see Prob. 5), compared to scales accessible at present (whose order of magnitude we denote by Lexpt)

` 10 33cm

Lexpt 10 17cm :


Thus, we consider the quantum theory de ned by S in an expansion in powers of ` (or equivalently in powers of 0 ), and we are guaranteed that this approximation will be reliable if we just retain the leading contributions. The 0 = 2`2 expansion is an expansion in increasing powers of M -derivatives on the elds, hence the name low-energy expansion. If it were only for SG;B , the parameter `2 would play precisely the same r^le as ~ plays o in quantum eld theory, and the expansion is powers of ` would yield a loop expansion. S has a di erent dependence in ` though, as each factor of e ectively contributes an extra factor of `2, and this will rearrange the orders of the loop expansion. Perturbation theory may be carried out as usual by letting x = x0 + `y for some xed reference con guration x0 . Expansion of the elds G, B, , for example of { G (x) = G (x0 ) + `@ G (x0 )y + 1`2@ @ G (x0 )y y + (6:B:6) 2 reveals that S is a quantum eld theory with an in nite number of couplings. It is seen from (6.B.6) that the independent couplings of this quantum eld theory correspond to the successive derivatives of the elds G, B and at the expansion point x0. VI.6

2) Regularization schemes. It is possible to choose regularization schemes that preserve the classical symmetries (Di ( ); Di (M ); U (1)B ) of S . We shall always assume that such a regulator is used, and give here two examples. It is of course not possible to choose a regularization scheme that also preserves Weyl( ) invariance. This failure precisely results in the appearance of the Weyl anomaly as was already discovered for at M and vanishing B and in xIV. a) Dimensional regularization consists in replacing the dimensionlity of by an arbitrary complex number 2 ", and multiplying the action S by a factor of ". Here is the dimensional regularization renormalization scale with -dimension 1. Dimensional regularization has the advantage that it never generates quadratic divergences, so that if we start with SU = 0 (no contribution of the tachyon to the action), then no tachyon dependence will ever be generated upon renormalization. Dimensional regularization has the disadvantage that the "mn tensor of (6.B.2) is speci cally 2-dimensional, so that an additional ad hoc prescription for its regularization must be provided, and the results should be veri ed using the Ward identities to make sure that the ad hoc prescription is consistent with all symmetries. b) Heat-kernel methods have already been used in the de nition of determinants resulting from Gaussian quantum theories. They may also be used for QFT with non-trivial interactions by replacing its propagator by the heat-kernel regularization propagator. Let 0 be the second order operator on the eld y at x0 , and 0 1 the associated propagator for y. We de ne the heat-kernel propagator by using a small real constant > 0:





0 2



3) Di (M ) and U (1)B invariant renormalization. Since x and y have zero -dimension, all terms listed in (6.B.1) for S have -dimension 2 and thus S is power counting renormalizable. Under the renormalization group ow, the change in each one of the in nite number of coupling constants (i.e. the Taylor coe cients of the expansion of G, B, in powers of y as shown for G in (6.B.6)) will be given VI.7

by a beta function associated with that coupling constant. An in nite number of renormalization conditions is required to specify the initial condition of the theory completely. These conditions amount to providing the functions G (x), B (x) and (x) at some reference renormalization scale which we denote by 0. For the metric, for example, the renormalization group equations will read: 8 > dd G (x) = (x) < (6:B:8) > : G (x) = G 0(x) 0

Here (x) depends on x only through the dependence of on the elds G , B and , as well as the derivatives of these elds. Now, we impose upon the renormalization procedure that it preserve the Di (M ) and U (1)B invariance of S . The existence of a regulator that preserves these symmetries guarantees that there will be no anomalies in these symmetries. This implies that must be a U (1)B -invariant, symmetric rank 2 Di (M ) tensor. Similarly for the -functions of the elds B and . We conclude with a remark on the nature of the renormalizability of the action S . Customarily, renormalizable QFT's are power counting renormalizable, but depend only upon a nite number of input parameters, which may be viewed as initial conditions on the renormalization group equations. In four dimensional QFTs of particle dynamics, the fact that only a nite number of input parameters is needed renders the theory physically predictive. Indeed, once those parameters have been determined (even approxiamtely), the theory is speci ed and all physical quantities are in principle calculable. Here, however, the number of input parameters in the theory of action S is in nite. In string theory, this is precisely what is needed in order to be able to formulate string theory in in nite dimensional families of backgrounds, which will correspond to solutions to string equations of motion. 4) Irrelevance of Higher Mass Couplings. The elds G , B , are associated with the graviton, anti-symmetric tensor and dilaton states in string theory, respectively. Those are precisely all the massless states of VI.8

the bosonic string. A natural question arises as to whether elds associated with massive string states should also be included in S . In other words, we wish to nd out whether S is the most general action possible for the dynamics of bosonic string theory. Using the correspondence (established in xII) between variations in the background elds (such as G , B and ) and vertex operators for the associated physical states, we may infer the structure of possible contributions to S from massive states, directly from the corresponding vertex operators. A vertex operator of a string state of square mass M 2 = 2 + 2p is of the form

V ("; k) =


d g"

1 ::: 2p (k )P

1 ::: 2p (@x; @ 2 x; : : : ; k )eik x


where " is a polarization tensor characterizing the string state and P is a polynomial of degree 2p in derivatives on x, so that P has -dimension 2p. Denoting the eld associated with this state by E 1::: 2p (x), the contribution to the action S will take the form

SE x; g] =


d gE

e 1 ::: 2p (@x; @ 2 x; : : : ) 1 ::: 2p (x)P



e Here P is again a polynomial of worldsheet dimension 2p. For p = 0, we recover the tachyon action, which we omit. For p = 1, we recover the action S , associated with massless string states. For p 2, SE produces a non-renormalizable, or irrelevant, contribution to the worldsheet action. Addition of SE to S yields a quantum eld theory that can also be de ned solely from the action S , but with modi ed background eld values G, B, . In other words, the family of renormalized QFT's de ned by S + SE coincides with the family of renormalized QFT's de ned solely by S . This means that bosonic string theory is completely speci ed by the background elds associated with massless states only (we continue to ignore the tachyon). Once those have been speci ed, the dynamics of all massive states is a consequence of string dynamics and is completely determined. Of course, as argued in the beginning of this lecture, the condition of consistent string propagation will further limit the possible backgrounds to those yielding a conformal eld theory of central charge c = 26.


We now determine the general structure of the Weyl dependence of Green functions in the quantum eld theory speci ed by the action S in terms of xed background elds G , B , . We consider unnormalized correlation functions of operators 1 : : : n, inserted at points 1; : : : ; n 2 . In xE, we shall provide a concrete and useful reformulation of correlation functions in terms of the e ective action, via the covariant background eld method. From this reformulation, it will be immediate to establish in perturbation theory the properties that we shall use formally in this section and in the next one (xD). Under a Weyl( ) transformation g ! e2 g, with support away from 1 : : : n, we have by de nition of the stress tensor Tmn:

C) General Structure of Weyl Dependence

h 1 : : : nig = 21




hTmm 1 : : : nig :


We assume throughout that correlation functions are covariant under Di ( ), so that

rmTmn = 0 :


Tmm receives contributions from the explicit Weyl-non-invariance of S , from Weyl anomalies, and from the interplay between non-invariance of S and Weyl anomalies. All such contributions to Tmm are local functions of x, (i.e. dependent on x and on nite order derivatives on x) and polynomial in the derivatives of x (see Witten's lectures). Collecting the various criteria, we nd that Tmm has to be
1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) local in x and polynomial in derivatives of x; Di ( ) scalar; of -dimension 2; of M -dimension 0; Di (M )-invariant; U (1)B invariant; invariant under shifts in by a constant. VI.10

Only the last point may need justi cation: a shift in by a constant yields a shift in the action S by a term proportional to the Euler number, which is Weyl independent. Making use of a combination of these criteria, we nd that Tmm must involve precisely 2 derivatives on , and must be determined in terms of 4 unknown local functions G, B , and V of x: Tmm = @m x @n x G (x)gmn + B (x)"mn (6:C:3) V (x)g mn D @n xn : + (x)Rg + m Here, Dm is the covariant derivative on T TM pulled back to by the map x, and is de ned by Dm @nx = rm@n x + @m x @nx ; (6:C:4) where rm is the standard covariant derivative on T , as de ned in xII, and is the a ne connection of the metric G . The functions G , B , , V are called beta functions, even though in this context they govern a change of Weyl scale rather than a change of renormalization scale. The structure of Tmm reveals a puzzle: the action S involves only the three elds G, B, , but the Weyl variation of the correlation functions produces four beta functions. Indeed, there is an additional beta function V . If only constant Weyl transformations are performed in (6.C.1), the term involving V may be integrated by parts and e ectively absorbed into G . For general Weyl transformations, however, the term involving V is truly independent. The resolution of this puzzle lies in the fact that upon performing a Weyl transformation on g, we are free to simultaneously transform x. On general grounds, the form of this transformation is given by x = `2V (x) , where V (x) is a vector eld on M . We shall make it clear later on how to implement this additional e ect of a Weyl transformation in actual calculations. Using the freedom to make this additional transformation, we see that V (x) may be chosen so as to compensate for the V -function. The remaining -functions
We shall denote the pullback under the map x of covariant derivatives D on TM by D .


then have precisely as many components as the elds G , B and whose Weyl variation they describe. Assuming now that the V term has been cancelled by a suitable transformation x , we have the most general expression for Tmm as follows (we continue to use the same notation for 's):

G , B, ;

Tmm = @m x @n x

G (x)g mn + B (x)"mn +

(x)Rg :


(This phenomenon of augmenting Weyl transformations on g by further transformations on the elds was already encountered in Problem Set #1. There, we studied a special case of action S where D = 1, G = 1, B = 0, = Qx and 1 Z d 1 x x + QR x (6:C:6) S x; g] = 4 g g { g 2 and discovered that upon a Weyl transformation, x = Q .)
Classical contribution to Tm m . The contribution to Tmm arising from the variation of the classical action with respect to x is given by Tmm ( x ) = gmnDm @n x V (x)G (x) : (6:C:7)

To de ne the covariant derivative Dm , we need the torsion tensor, H , which is the eld strength of the eld B , given by H = dB, or in component notation

Then, we have

@ B +@ B +@ B : Dm @n x


1 H gm "qp @q x @nx { (6:C:9) 2 1 so that Dm is a covariant derivative with respect to a connection with torsion + 2 H on TM . It is now clear that a vector eld V (x) may be chosen so as to cancel V in the expression for Tmm in (6.C.3). To lowest order in `2 , we have

Dm @n x

V (x)G (x) =

V (x) + O(`2 ) :



Notice that this cancellation of the V term produces modi cations in the functions G and B and possibly also .

An exact computation of G , B and is possible only if G, B and exhibit a high degree of symmetry. (e.g. at G , B = = 0.) For general G, B and , only approximate expressions can be obtained. Fortunately, the constant ` is exceedingly small compared to Lexpt, so an expansion in power of ` should be very reliable. On general grounds, the expansion of the functions G, B and has the following structure (x) = where the coe cients (p)(x) are 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) local in x and function of x, but not of derivatives of x; independent of g; of dimension 0; of M dimension 2 + 2p for G , B ; 2p for ; Di (M ) tensors; U (1)B invariant, dependent upon B only through H = dB; invariant under shifts in by a constant.
1 X

D) General Structure of Weyl Anomaly in Low Energy Expansion




Expanding up to and including terms with two derivatives (total) on the elds G, B, requires expansion up to order p = 0 for G , B and orders p = 0; 2 for . Up to this order, we nd the most general possible expression satisfying the above criteria:
G = a1 RG + a2 G

+ a6 D D B = b1 D H + b2 D H = c0 + `2 c1RG + c2D2 + c3D D VI.13

+ a3 G RG + a4H H + a5 G H H + a7G D2 + a8 G D D + c4H H


Here, RG and RG are the Ricci scalar and tensor of the metric G, indices are raised and lowered with the help of the metric G, and D is the covariant derivative with respect to the a ne connection . On a vector eld V , D acts by


@V +

V :


The coe cients a1 ; : : : ; a8 , b1, b2, c0; c1; : : : ; c4 are now the only remaining unknowns, and we shall determine them shortly. It is very useful to investigate the `-dependence of the graphs contributing to each coe cient. This counting is given by the usual loop expansion, except that each factor of contributes a factor of `2 additionally. Within this counting, a8 would arise from a graph with 1 loops, and thus must be absent: a8 = 0. We have furthermore 0 loops: a6 ; a7; b2 ; c3 1 loop: a1 ; : : : ; a5 ; b1 ; c0; c2 2 loops: c1; c4 : Two of these coe cients may be obtained from the Weyl anomaly calculation in at G , with B = = 0. We have

a2 = 0 :

no eld renormalization in free x- eld theory;

c0 = +D=6 : the central charge of D scalars x .


The tree-level coe cients may be obtained from classical calculations, and are thus also easily gotten. One nds (see Problem Set #7)

a6 = 1 ; b2 = 1=2 : c3 = 2 :

a7 = 0

It remains to obtain the 1-loop coe cients a1, a3 , a4 , a5, b1 , c2 and the 2-loop coe cients c1 and c4. To do so, we use the background eld method. VI.14

The background eld quantization method is a powerful tool for obtaining the effective action, which is the generating functional for 1-particle irreducible (1PI) Feynman diagrams, in terms of a functional integral. When local symmetries are present, the method may be organized in a manifestly covariant way, thereby greatly enhancing the e ectiveness of perturbative expansion methods. We start by explaining the background eld method for a general scalar eld , and then adapt the method to the case of sigma models. Let S be the classical action for the classical eld , given in terms of classical coupling constants. We shall designate by coupling constants all the parameters entering the de nition of S . Their dependence will not be exhibited. By replacing classical eld and coupling constants by bare quantities, we obtain the bare action S0 0] in terms of the bare eld 0 and bare coupling constants. We shall assume that the eld 0 is multiplicatively renormalized by a eld renormalization factor Z , which depends only upon the coupling constants and the renormalization scale , but not on the eld . Let J be a source function. Then the generating functional W J ], which is the generating functional for renormalized connected Feynman diagrams, is de ned by

E) Background Field Quantization Method

eW J ]


D 0e

S0 0 ]+Z


J 0



Alternatively, the above functional integral may be expressed directly in terms of the renormalized eld Z 0. It is standard to introduce the renormalized action SR ] by

S0 Z 1] SR ]


(SR consists of the classical action, plus renormalization counterterms.) Then, we have

eW J ] =

D e

SR ]+ J




The e ective action for connected, 1PI renormalized Feynman diagrams is denoted by '] and is de ned as the Legendre transform of W J ]:



J' W J ]

] J (x) = '(') : x


Expressing W J ] in terms of '], eliminating J , and shifting by ' in (6.E.3), we obtain the nal formula for ']:


'] =


D exp

SR ' + ] +


'] '


At rst sight, it would appear that we have gained little: the right hand side depends upon '] itself, and we have only obtained an implicit equation for ']. However, a loop expansion (in powers of } in QFT, which we shall perform in terms of `2 here, for later use) reveals that the above expression yields a powerful recursive equation for ']. To see this, rede ne ! ` , and expand SR and '] around the classical action. We make use of the fact that '] admits a Laurent expansion in powers of `2 (not just `). We have and 1 S '] + 1 Z SR ' + ` ] = `2 `

S '] + S '; ](`) '

(6:E:6) (6:E:7)

'] = `12 S '] + '](`)

Here, S and admit a Taylor series expansion in ` and `2, respectively. Substituting these general forms into (6.E.5), we nd:


'](`) =


D exp

S '; ](`) + `


'](`) '


from which it is transparent that is determined by a nice recursive equation. For example, to order `0, we have a standard formula for the 1-loop e ective action


'](0) =


D e

S '; ](0)



F) Covariant Expansion Methods

Applying the background eld method to the non-linear sigma model with action S , given in (6.B.1), the quantum eld becomes the coordinate x of a point on the Riemannian manifold M , while the classical eld ' becomes a reference point x0 on M . Addition of coordinates | as would apparently be needed in the background eld method VI.16

developed above | is not covariant under Di (M ). It is bene cial to make use of the Riemann normal coordinate expansion instead, since this method yields Di (M ) covariant results. For x0 and x su ciently close to one another, there is a unique shortest geodesic curve C , parametrized by x , that interpolates between x0 for = 0 and x for = `. The function x obeys the geodesic equation

D x =x + D _

(x )x x = 0 _ _


The tangent vector to C at = 0 is a vector eld (in a neighborhood of x0 ) by x0 and : x = e` x0 .
µ µ

x0 and x may be parametrized _

xτ x0


Di (M )-tensors admit covariant expansions in powers of `. For example, the expansion of rank 0 tensors (scalars, such as ) is given by { (x) = (x0 ) + D (x0 )` + 1 D D (x0 )`2 2 + O(`3 ): (6:F:2) while the expansion of rank 2 tensors (such as G, B) is given by { T (x) = T (x0 ) + D T (x0 )` + 1fD D T (x0 ) 2 1 R T (x0 ) 1 R T (x0 )g`2 { { + O(`3 ) : 3 3 Here, D is the covariant derivative with respect to the a ne connection is the associated Riemann curvature. VI.17

(6:F:3) , and R

As a result, the generalized non-linear sigma model action S x; g] of xB may be similarly expanded around x0 , in a power series in `, by setting x = e` x0 .

S x; g] =S x0; g] + `




S (1) x0 ; g] + S x0 ; ; g]
0 =0

S (1) x0 ; g] =

1 S e 0 x0 ; g] pdet g 0


Here, S admits a Taylor series expansion in `. Notice that S and S (1) are each the sum of a term of order ` 2 and a term of order `0 arising from the dilaton action S . The e ective action x0 ; g] is now obtained just as in (6.E.8), except with the eld ' replaced by x0 and replaced by .


x0 ;g] =


D exp

S e` x0; g] + `





x; g]


It will be understood throughout that S stands for the renormalized action, denoted by SR previously. We have also used the de nition e 0 x0 ; g ] (1) x ; g ] p 1 : (6:F:50 ) 0 0 0 =0 det g The functional measure D is de ned through the L2 norm on TM , which is given explicitly by Z 2 k k d g G (x0 ) : (6:F:6) Using again the property that x0 ; g] admits a Laurent expansion in terms of `2 rather than `, we have x0 ; g] = S x0; g] + x0; g] (6:F:7) where admits a Taylor series expansion in `2, and is given by


x0 ;g] =


D e

S x;g]+`




(1) x0 ;g]



Here, S is de ned as in (6:F:4), and (1) is de ned as in (6:F:50 ) by replacing by . It remains to list the explicit expansion terms that we shall need to evaluate G, B and , up to order `0 in G and B and `0, `2 in . They are given by

S = S0 + ` S1 + `2S2 + O(`3 )



S0 = 81 S1 = 81


d d


n n

Dm Dn G (x0 )gmn + R

(x0 )@m x0 @nx0

(gmn "mn )


S2 = 81

o 1H { Dm Dn "mn g 3 n { { Dm Dn gmn 1 R d g 1R 3 2 o + 2D D (x0 )Rg :


Dm Dn "mn

Here, the covariant derivative with torsion on TM and pulled back to , is de ned by


Dm + 1 H { 2

gmp "pq @q x



(This de nition agrees with that of (6.C.9).) Furthermore, we have the following covariant derivatives with torsion on TM



{ +1H 2


whose structure relations yield the torsion H and the curvature tensor R of the connection 1 with torsion + 2 H : D ;D ] = H D +R : (6:F:13) It is easy to express R in terms of the Riemann tensor R and the torsion tensor H : 1D H { { R = R + 1D H 2 2 (6:F:14) 1H H + 1H H { { 4 4 The di culty encountered in the above formulation is that the quadratic form representing the kinetic term for the eld in (6.F.10) depends in a non-trivial way on the metric G and on the background eld x0 . As a result, perturbation theory will involve determining the -propagator in arbitrary x0 background, which is an impossible task. One may get around this complication by changing variables and absorbing the G and x0 dependence into the new eld. VI.19

G) Reformulation as an SO(1; D 1) gauge theory

One introduces an orthonormal frame, which we denote by e a, with a = 0; 1; : : : ; D 1 representing the tangent space direction of TM . We have, by de nition

G = e ae

b ab


where ab = diag( + +) is the SO(1; D 1) invariant at metric. The inverse frame is denoted by ea , so that ea e b = ab and e a ea = . We also introduce the SO(1; D 1)-valued connection ! , with components ! ab, such hat under the covariant derivative with respect to the a ne connection , and the spin connection ! , the frame e a is covariantly constant





e a+!

ab e b = 0


1 The covariant derivative D, including the torsion connection 2 H , is similarly de ned. For example, on e a, we have { (6:G:3) D e a = D e a + 1H e a 2

We now rewrite all tensors with respect to the orthonormal frame basis. Thus, we have = e ae be R = e ae be = aea Da = ea D


c Habc

c e d Rabcd


where all tensors are evaluated at the same point on M , which in our background calculation will be x0 . We also introduce the pullback of the tangent vector @m x0 , expressed in orthonormal frame basis: em a @m x0 e a(x0 ) (6:G:5) The expression for the quantum contributions to the e ective action x0; g] of (6.F.8) is now Z Z x0 ;g] = D a exp S e` x0 ; g ] + ` d g a (1) (6:G:6) e a VI.20

The functional measure D a is again de ned with respect to the L2 norm


a k2 =



g a b ab


which does not depend upon x0 or G anymore. The action S may be expanded, just as in (6.F.10), and we obtain

S0 = 81 S1 = 81 S2 = 81


d g fDm a Dn

b ab g mn + Rabcd e a e c b d (g mn m n

"mn )g (6:G:8a)
(6:G:8b) (6:G:8c)

{ { d g f1(Rabcd 1 Hcaf Hdb f ) b cDm a Dn dgmn 3 4 1 Rabcd b cD aD d"mn + 2DaDb Rg a bg : { m n 2

{ d g f1 Habc aDm bDn c "mng 3

The pullback covariant derivative is now very simple:

Dm a = rm a + Am ab



The e ective SO(1; D 1) gauge eld Am is de ned by the pullback of the spin connection !: Aa ( ) @m x0 ( )! ab (6:G:10) mb In particular, the kinetic term for the a - eld is now also independent of the metric G and the background eld x0 . As a result, standard perturbation methods in ` may be used to evaluate the e ective action x0 ; g], with a standard propagation for a. The de nition of the trace of the stress tensor for Green functions introduced in (6.C.1) may be translated into an equation for the Weyl variation of the e ective action, x0 ; g]. One nds 1 Z d x0 ; g] = 2 (6:H:1) g Tmm :

H) Weyl Variation of the E ective Action

where Tm m denotes the expectation value of the operator Tmm in the bakcground eld x0 , and metric g. The derivation of (6.H.1) from (6.C.1) is given in Appendix A. It is VI.21

understood that x0 is also allowed to transform under Weyl( ), as explained in xC. The arguments developed in xC for what the most general structure of Tmm is, carry over here, and we nd, for a suitable Weyl( ) action on x0 :

Tmm = @m x0 @n x0 (

G g mn + B "mn ) +



where G , B and are evaluated at x0. This de nition of Tmm and G, B , and is now completely precise, and these quantities may be directly evaluated from x0 ; g]. Notice that the variation obtained by substituting (6.H.2) into (6.H.1) must satisfy an integrability condition, known as the Wess-Zumino consistency condition. This condition provides a relation between G, B and , which we shall discuss in xI. The e ective action x0 ; g] is the sum of the classical action S x0; g] and the quantum corrections x0 ; g]. The contribution of S to G, B and was already evaluated previously (Problem Set #7). It remains to evaluate the Weyl transformation of to the order we are computing. We begin by evaluating the O(`0 ) contribution, which arises solely from S0. We shall treat the contributions to Tmm perturbatively in the number of M -derivatives applied to the elds G, B and . This expansion is reliable since we know from general considerations that we should only retain contributions to Tm m with two derivatives. For example, the R-term in S0 can contribute at most to rst order. The form of the rst term in S0 is that of a gauge eld | the spin connection ! | minimally coupled to a . By power counting its one-loop graphs with one insertion of ! ! and with two insertions of ! @ are the only ones that could potentially contribute to the Weyl anomaly.





graph ! ! graph ! @ All other graphs are absolutely convergent and obey anomaly-free Ward identities. By gauge invariance, however, the degree of divergence is lowered by 2 and the sum of the two VI.22

graphs does not contribute to the Weyl anomaly either (see also Gawedzki's lectures). Thus, the only contribution from the rst term in S0 is to the central charge: +D=6 contribution to , which we have already discussed previously by xing c0 = +D=6. It remains to evaluate the contributions from the rst order expansion of the R-term in S0 to G and B . We directly use the Ansatz for these functions in terms of G, B, : we denote their contribution to this order by ~G, ~B , ~ . Clearly ~ = 0, and the Weyl transformation of this part is given by 1 Z d g @m x0 @n x0 ~G (x0 )g mn + ~B (x0 )"mn 2 (6:H:3) E D 1 Z a b (g mn "mn ) ; d g R a b(x0 )@m x0 @n x0 = 8 where h i stands for the normalized correlation function taken with respect to the action given by only the rst term in S0. But, since x0 was arbitrary throughout, we may identify the symmetric and antisymmetric tensor parts: a b 1 (R a b + R a b ) ~G (x0 ) = 8 (6:H:4) a b 1 (R a b R a b ) B (x0 ) = ~ 8 The correlation function of 's to this order is independent of x0 , and we we nd
a b =2 ab



Making use of the expression for R in terms of RG and H of (6.F.14), we nd ~G = 1 RG 1 H H { { 2 8 B = 1D H ~ { : 4


We now combine this result with the one obtained to tree level: this yields the full functions G, B to order `0 ; we also collect the results obtained thus far for : G = 1 RG 1 H H { { +D D 2 8 B = 1D H + 1 D H (6:H:7) { { 4 2 = D=6 + `2f2D D 2D D + c1RG + c4H 2 g : VI.23

Here, we have included the coe cient of D D , which is obtained from a simple 1loop calculation, from the last term in S2. The calculation of c1, c4 requires a full 2-loop computation, with the following Feynman diagram contributions:

The result is

{ c1 = 1 ; 2

1 c4 = 24 :


The string eld equations are obtained by including also the e ects of the FaddeevPopov ghosts b c; this e ect is limited to an addition of 13=3 to . We then obtain the following equations for string dynamics: 8 1H H + D D = 0 > G = 1 RG { { > 2 8 > > > > < B = 1D H + 1D H (6:I:1) { { =0 4 2 > > > > > > : 1 RG + 1 H 2 g = 0 : { = (D 26)=6 + `2f2D D 2D D 24 2 to leading order in the expansion in powers of derivatives on G, B and . There is an interesting consistency condition, whose origin may be understood as follows. On a (locally) at worldsheet, conformal invariance requires only that G = B = 0. One expects that these conditions should su ce to make the model conformal on nonat worldsheets as well. This in turn suggests that the equation = 0 is not independent from the equations G = B = 0. In fact, this interdependence may indeed be established with the help of the Bianchi identities: { D RG = 1 D RG 2 (6:I:2) { D (H H ) = D H H + 1 D H 2 ; 6 VI.24

I) Low Energy String Field Equations and String E ective Action

1 D +1 B H +2 G D ; { (6:I:3) 2 2`2 so that the equations G = B = 0 imply that is constant. We see that it su ces indeed to render the quantum- eld theory of the x- eld conformal on a (locally) at worldsheet. The only quantity left undetermined is then the central charge. There are arguments in the physics literature that such an equation for holds to all orders in `. The only way to satisfy = 0, given that D must be an integer, and that ` is an expansion parameter, is to set D = 26. The above equations can be put in a more standard form, which re ects the fact that B and may be viewed as matter elds, coupling to the metric G by their energy-momentum tensor. Alternatively, the above eld equations are seen to derive from an action Z 1 H 2o ; 1 d26xpdet G e 2 nRG + 4D D (6:I:4) I (G; B; ) = 2 2 12 provided the dimension is critical D = 26. The way the dilaton coupling enters exposes the fact that e2 0 is the string loop expansion parameter, or string coupling constant, when the dilaton vacuum expection value is 0. The presence of the factor e 2 0 reveals that this e ective action arises from string tree level e ects. (One loop contributions would have no exponential dependence.) It is possible to put the action in a more standard form, by performing a Weyl transformation on G. (For later use, we consider arbitrary dimension Di on results will then have application also to superstring theory, where D = 10.)

where H 2 H powers of `:


. The following relation is then found to hold to this order in
G =

G ! G0 = e

4 =(D 2) G



The action in this metric assumes the form Z n p 1 e 8 =(D 2) H 2o : (6:I:6) 0 ; B; ) = 1 dD x det G0 RG0 D 4 2 D D I (G 2 2 12 The metrics G and G0 are usually called the string metric and the Einstein metric, respectively. VI.25

The action I (G0 ; B; ) is in fact well-known in eld theory. If we ignore the peculiar value of the D = 26 dimension, and arbitrarily set D = 10 instead, we recover the action for the bosonic part of the N = 1 supergravity multiplet in D = 10 which is part of the so-called Chapline-Manton action (see xX). When we deal will with superstrings, we shall see that the superstring calculation to this order yields the same as the bosonic string, except for the dimension! Finally, we point out that the eld equations (6.I.1) are consistent with the low energy limit of transition amplitudes of strings, scattering in at Minkowski space-time. The simplest example of such a low energy limit was encountered in xII, where we argued that the transversality conditions on the graviton polarization tensor required conditions that arise as the low energy limit of the linearized limit of RG = 0. In fact, string scattering amplitudes may be used directly to compute the string eld equations. Unfortunately, it is di cult to compute the e ective action directly from string transition amplitudes, since the latter are always evaluated on-shell only. One of the most remarkable results of string theory is that the dimension of space-time (at long distances) is dynamically determined: D = 26 for bosonic strings and D = 10 for superstrings in at (or nearly at) space-time. The nagging aspect of this result, however, is that the number of dimensions we observe is only 4. Well, at least 10 is larger than 4! In attempts at unifying general relativity and Maxwell's electromagnetism, Kaluza and Klein proposed in the 1920's that space-time could really be of higher dimension. And that as long as space-time e ectively appears to be 4-dimensional at all length scales where present day experiments can probe it, the extra dimensions would not be directly observable. This scheme is usually termed Kaluza-Klein theory. The most straightforward way to realize such unobservable extra dimensions is to consider space-times M of the form M = R4 K . Here, dim K = dim M 4, and K is a compact manifold, whose (largest) size will be denoted by RK . As long as RK Lexpt, the K manifold should not be directly observable. More generally, we may consider M to be of the form M = M4 K , where M4 is approximately Minkowskian (such as would be VI.26

J) A rst Look at Compacti cation

the case for our universe, where M4 is a manifold curved by the presence of matter). The low energy approximation to string theory yields information on the possible solutions for the compact manifold K , provided the size RK of K is much larger than the Planck scale: p (6:J:1) RK ` = 0 =2 In this case the approxiamtion in which higher powers of ` are neglected is reliable. The string eld equations (6.I.1) restrict the elds G, B and that are allowed on K and thus restrict K . If it is assumed that space-time sypersymmetry remains partially unbroken at distance scales of order RK , then K must be a Kahler manifold, and must be constant. A particular solution corresponds to H = 0, so that K must be Kahler and Ricci at. For superstrings, where the critical dimension is D = 10, the combination of these conditions amounts to demanding that K be a Calabi Yau manifold of complex dimension 3.

Appendix A

The correlation functions in (6.C.1) are de ned by

h 1 : : : n ig = D


1 ::: ne

S ;g]

= J : : : J eW J;g] J =0 1 n Here, we consider correlation functions of a canonical eld , which in our case is just the map x or the eld and J is some function, just as in (6.E.1). We now perform an in nitesimal Weyl rescaling , whose support does not contain the points where the operators 1 : : : n are applied. Thus the Weyl variation becomes:

h 1 : : : nig = J : : : J W J; g] e 1 n
W J; g] J =0 =

W J;g]

J =0

and using the de nition of the e ective action by Legendre transform

'; g] '

where ' is such that J = 0. Equation (6.H.1) follows immediately.