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Durham e-Theses
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Strings, branes, and gravity duals of gauge theories

Lovis, Kenneth John (2002) Strings, branes, and gravity duals of gauge theories. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



We study the correspondence between certain supersymmetric gauge theories and their dual supergravity descriptions. Using low-energy brane probes of the super-gravity geometries we find moduli spaces of vacua, as expected from considering the dual gauge theories. The metrics on these spaces can be put into a form consistent with field theory expectations. This provides a non-trivial check on the supergravity solutions, in addition to strong-coupling predictions for the gauge theories. In the case of N = 2 supersymmetric gauge theory, proposed supergravity duals have previously been shown, using brane probe techniques, to display the 'enhangon mechanism'. In particular, the supergravity geometries correctly reproduce the per-turbative behaviour of the gauge theory. We calculate exact non-perturbative results at low-energies using the method of Seiberg & Witten. These correctly reproduce the perturbative results in the supergravity limit, but also make predictions for when the supergravity approximation is not valid. Finally, we study the Penrose limit of a geometry that is dual to a known N= 1 superconformal gauge theory. The resulting spacetime is a new plane-wave solution with constant three-form fluxes. We quantize type IIB superstrings on this background using the Green-Schwarz formalism. We find the spectrum of string excitations and discover that it is particularly simple, due to the specific form of the plane-wave background. Using the gauge theory/gravity duality, we make predictions (beyond the supergravity approximation) for gauge theory quantities in the corresponding limit.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2002
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 11:39

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