Algebraic structures and differential geometry in two-dimensional string theory

Edward Witten, Barton Zwiebach

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126 Scopus citations


A careful treatment of closed string BRST cohomology shows that there are more discrete states and associated symmetries in D = 2 string theory than has been recognized hitherto. The full structure, at the SU (2) radius, has a natural description in terms of abelian gauge theory on a certain three-dimensional cone Q. We describe precisely how symmetry currents are constructed from the discrete states, explaining the role of the "descent equations". In the uncompactified theory, we compute the action of the symmetries on the tachyon field, and isolate the features that lead to nonlinear terms in this action. The resulting symmetry structure is interpreted in terms of a homotopy Lie algebra.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-112
Number of pages58
JournalNuclear Physics, Section B
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 22 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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