The non-compact elliptic genus: mock or modular

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Article

Abstract

We analyze various perspectives on the elliptic genus of non-compact supersymmetric coset conformal field theories with central charge larger than three. We calculate the holomorphic part of the elliptic genus via a free field description of the model, and show that it agrees with algebraic expectations. The holomorphic part of the elliptic genus is directly related to an Appell-Lerch sum and behaves anomalously under modular transformations. We analyze the origin of the anomaly by calculating the elliptic genus through a path integral in a coset conformal field theory. The path integral codes both the holomorphic part of the elliptic genus, and a non-holomorphic remainder that finds its origin in the continuous spectrum of the non-compact model. The remainder term can be shown to agree with a function that mathematicians introduced to parameterize the difference between mock theta functions and Jacobi forms. The holomorphic part of the elliptic genus thus has a path integral completion which renders it non-holomorphic and modular.

Keywords

Conformal Field Models in String Theory Extended Supersymmetry Conformal and W Symmetry 

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© The Author(s) 2010

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physique Théorique,1 Ecole Normale SupérieureParis Cedex 05France

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