Communications in Mathematical Physics

, Volume 153, Issue 2, pp 391–422 | Cite as

Geometry and kinematics of two Skyrmions

  • M. F. Atiyah
  • N. S. Manton
Article

Abstract

In Skyrme's soliton model of baryons, a single Skyrmion has six degrees of freedom, so it is expected that two-Skyrmion dynamics at modest energies can be modelled by motion on a 12-dimensional space of Skyrme fields. A candiate for this space is generated by the gradient flow of the potential energy function, descending from the unstable, baryon number two, hedgehog solutions of the Skyrme field equation. An apparently very similar space is obtained by restricting the gradient flow to the Skyrme fields derived fromSU(2) Yang-Mills instantons of charge two. On both of these spaces, one may quotient out by the group of translations and isospin rotations. Hartshorne's geometrical description of charge two instantons leads us to a conjecture for the global structure of the 6-dimensional quotient space. The conjectured structure is that of complex projective 3-space, with complex conjugate points on one projective plane identified and the real points in this plane removed.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. F. Atiyah
    • 1
  • N. S. Manton
    • 2
  1. 1.Trinity CollegeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoreitcal PhysicsCambridgeUK

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