Dai-Freed anomalies in particle physics

  • Iñaki García-EtxebarriaEmail author
  • Miguel Montero
Open Access
Regular Article - Theoretical Physics


Anomalies can be elegantly analyzed by means of the Dai-Freed theorem. In this framework it is natural to consider a refinement of traditional anomaly cancellation conditions, which sometimes leads to nontrivial extra constraints in the fermion spectrum. We analyze these more refined anomaly cancellation conditions in a variety of theories of physical interest, including the Standard Model and the SU(5) and Spin(10) GUTs, which we find to be anomaly free. Turning to discrete symmetries, we find that baryon triality has a ℤ9 anomaly that only cancels if the number of generations is a multiple of 3. Assuming the existence of certain anomaly-free ℤ4 symmetry we relate the fact that there are 16 fermions per generation of the Standard model — including right-handed neutrinos — to anomalies under time-reversal of boundary states in four-dimensional topological superconductors. A similar relation exists for the MSSM, only this time involving the number of gauginos and Higgsinos, and it is non-trivially, and remarkably, satisfied for the SU(3) × SU(2) × U(1) gauge group with two Higgs doublets. We relate the constraints we find to the well-known Ibañez-Ross ones, and discuss the dependence on UV data of the construction. Finally, we comment on the (non-)existence of K-theoretic θ angles in four dimensions.


Anomalies in Field and String Theories Discrete Symmetries Gauge Symmetry Differential and Algebraic Geometry 


Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematical SciencesDurham UniversityDurhamUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institut für PhysikMünchenGermany
  3. 3.Instituut voor Theoretische FysicaKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  4. 4.ITFUtrecht UniversityUtrechtNetherlands

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