A profusion of 1/2 BPS Wilson loops in (Formula presented.) Chern-Simons-matter theories

Michael Cooke*, Nadav Drukker, Diego Trancanelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: We initiate the study of 1/2 BPS Wilson loops in N=4(Formula presented.) Chern-Simons-matter theories in three dimensions. We consider a circular or linear quiver with Chern-Simons levels k, −k and 0, and focus on loops preserving one of the two SU(2) subgroups of the R-symmetry. In the cases with no vanishing Chern-Simons levels, we find a pair of Wilson loops for each pair of adjacent nodes on the quiver connected by a hypermultiplet (nodes connected by twisted hypermultiplets have Wilson loops preserving another set of supercharges). We expect this classical pairwise degeneracy to be lifted by quantum corrections. In the case with nodes with vanishing Chern-Simons terms connected by twisted hypermultiplets, we find that the usual 1/4 BPS Wilson loops are automatically enlarged to 1/2 BPS, as happens also in 3-dimensional Yang-Mills theory. When the nodes with vanishing Chern-Simons levels are connected by untwisted hypermultiplets, we do not find any Wilson loops coupling to those nodes which are classically invariant. Rather, we find several loops whose supersymmetry variation, while non zero, vanishes in any correlation function, so is weakly zero. We expect only one linear combination of those Wilson loops to remain BPS when quantum corrections are included. We analyze the M-theory duals of those Wilson loops and comment on their degeneracy. We also show that these Wilson loops are cohomologically equivalent to certain 1/4 BPS Wilson loops whose expectation value can be evaluated by the appropriate localized matrix model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • ChernSimons Theories
  • M-Theory
  • Supersymmetry and Duality
  • Wilson
  • ’t Hooft and Polyakov loops


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