Worldline approach to vector and antisymmetric tensor fields

Fiorenzo Bastianelli, Paolo Benincasa, Simone Giombi

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68 Scopus citations


The N = 2 spinning particle action describes the propagation of antisymmetric tensor fields, including vector fields as a special case. In this paper we study the path integral quantization on a one-dimensional torus of the N = 2 spinning particle coupled to spacetime gravity. The action has a local N = 2 worldline supersymmetry with a gauged U(1) symmetry that includes a Chern-Simons coupling. Its quantization on the torus produces the one-loop effective action for a single antisymmetric tensor. We use this worldline representation to calculate the first few Seeley-DeWitt coefficients for antisymmetric tensor fields of arbitrary rank in arbitrary dimensions. As side results we obtain the correct trace anomaly of a spin 1 particle in four dimensions as well as exact duality relations between differential form gauge fields. This approach yields a drastic simplification over standard heat-kernel methods. It contains on top of the usual proper time a new modular parameter implementing the reduction to a single tensor field. Worldline methods are generically simpler and more efficient in perturbative computations than standard QFT Feynman rules. This is particularly evident when the coupling to gravity is considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-240
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


  • Anomalies in Field and String Theories
  • Duality in Gauge Field Theories
  • Sigma Models


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