Seiberg-Witten Theory Without Tears

  • L. O’Raifeartaigh
Part of the CRM Series in Mathematical Physics book series (CRM)


The widespread use of the work of Jiri Patera and Paul Winternitz is evidence not only of its own intrinsic and lasting merit, of which we are all aware, but also supports the view that symmetry principles are universal in physics. Accordingly, it may not be out of place to record here yet another, quite recent, success of symmetry principles. The success I have in mind is the recent work of Seiberg and Witten [6] in which they use a combination of symmetry principles, namely, N = 2 supersymmetry, non-Abelian gaugesymmetry and electromagnetic duality, to connect the strong and weak coupling regimes of quantum field theory (QFT). It is true that they do this only for a specific model, indeed only for its massless (unbroken) part, but the fact that they obtain for the first time a nontrivial nonperturbative result for the strong coupling part of QFT represents a very important advance. The fact that their results are obtained almost entirely by the use of symmetry principles is, at the same time, a great triumph for the symmetry principle approach. The purpose of this talk is to give a resume of the SW results in the simplest possible mathematical terms.


Partition Function Line Bundle Supersymmetric Gauge Theory Monodromy Matrix Monodromy Group 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

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  • L. O’Raifeartaigh

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