Wednesday, August 18, 2021

10:00 a.m. (sharp)

PhD Candidate: Dylan Butson

Supervisor: Kevin Costello

Thesis title: Equivariant Localization in Factorization Homology and Vertex

Algebras from Supersymmetric Gauge Theory

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We develop a theory of equivariant factorization algebras on varieties with an action of a connected algebraic group $G$, extending the definitions of Francis-Gaitsgory [FG] and Beilinson-Drinfeld [BD1] to the equivariant setting. We define an equivariant analogue of factorization homology, valued in modules over $\textup{H}^\bullet_G(\text{pt})$, and in the case $G=(\mathbb{C}^\times)^n$ we prove an equivariant localization theorem for factorization homology, analogous to the classical localization theorem [AtB]. We establish a relationship between $\mathbb{C}^\times$ equivariant factorization algebras and filtered quantizations of their restrictions to the fixed point subvariety. These results provide a model for predictions from the physics literature about the $\Omega$-background construction introduced in [Nek1], interpreting factorization $\mathbb{E}_n$ algebras as observables in mixed holomorphic-topological quantum field theories.

We give an account of the theory of factorization spaces, categories, functors, and algebras, following the approach of [Ras1]. We apply these results to give geometric constructions of factorization $\mathbb{E}_n$ algebras describing mixed holomorphic-topological twists of supersymmetric gauge theories in low dimensions. We formulate and prove several recent predictions from the physics literature in this language:

We recall the Coulomb branch construction of [BFN1] from this perspective. We prove a conjecture from [CosG] that the Coulomb branch factorization $\mathbb{E}_1$ algebra $\mathcal{A}(G,N)$ acts on the factorization algebra of chiral differential operators $\mathcal{D}^{\text{ch}}(Y)$ on the quotient stack $Y=N/G$. We identify the latter with the semi-infinite cohomology of $\mathcal{D}^{\text{ch}}(N)$ with respect to $\hat{ \mathfrak{g}}$, following the results of [Ras3]. Both these results require the hypothesis that $Y$ admits a Tate structure, or equivalently that $\mathcal{D}^{\text{ch}}(N)$ admits an action of $\hat{\mathfrak{g}}$ at level $\kappa=-\text{Tate}$.

We construct an analogous factorization $\mathbb{E}_2$ algebra $\mathcal{F}(Y)$ describing the local observables of the mixed holomorphic-B twist of four dimensional $\mathcal{N} =2$ gauge theory. We identify $S^1$ equivariant structures on $\mathcal{F}(Y)$ with Tate structures on $Y=N/G$, and prove that the corresponding filtered quantization of $\iota^!\mathcal{F}(Y)$ is given by the two-periodic Rees algebra of chiral differential operators on $Y$. This gives a mathematical account of the results of [Beem4]. Finally, we apply the equivariant cigar reduction principle to explain the relationship between these results and our account of the results of [CosG] described above.

A copy of the thesis can be found here: thesis draft-1