Journal of High Energy Physics

, 2016:115 | Cite as

Classical limit of irregular blocks and Mathieu functions

  • Marcin Piątek
  • Artur R. Pietrykowski
Open Access
Regular Article - Theoretical Physics


The Nekrasov-Shatashvili limit of the \( \mathcal{N}=2 \) SU(2) pure gauge (Ω-deformed) super Yang-Mills theory encodes the information about the spectrum of the Mathieu operator. On the other hand, the Mathieu equation emerges entirely within the frame of two-dimensional conformal field theory (2d CFT) as the classical limit of the null vector decoupling equation for some degenerate irregular block. Therefore, it seems to be possible to investigate the spectrum of the Mathieu operator employing the techniques of 2d CFT. To exploit this strategy, a full correspondence between the Mathieu equation and its realization within 2d CFT has to be established. In our previous paper [1], we have found that the expression of the Mathieu eigenvalue given in terms of the classical irregular block exactly coincides with the well known weak coupling expansion of this eigenvalue in the case in which the auxiliary parameter is the noninteger Floquet exponent. In the present work we verify that the formula for the corresponding eigenfunction obtained from the irregular block reproduces the so-called Mathieu exponent from which the noninteger order elliptic cosine and sine functions may be constructed. The derivation of the Mathieu equation within the formalism of 2d CFT is based on conjectures concerning the asymptotic behaviour of irregular blocks in the classical limit. A proof of these hypotheses is sketched. Finally, we speculate on how it could be possible to use the methods of 2d CFT in order to get from the irregular block the eigenvalues of the Mathieu operator in other regions of the coupling constant.


Supersymmetric gauge theory Field Theories in Lower Dimensions Integrable Equations in Physics Conformal and W Symmetry 


Open Access

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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhysicsUniversity of SzczecinSzczecinPoland
  2. 2.Institute of Theoretical PhysicsUniversity of WroclawWroclawPoland
  3. 3.Bogoliubov Laboratory of Theoretical PhysicsJoint Institute for Nuclear ResearchDubnaRussia

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