Quantum Black Holes, Wall Crossing, and Mock Modular Forms

Atish Dabholkar, Sameer Murthy, Don Zagier

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paper


We show that the meromorphic Jacobi form that counts the quarter-BPS states in N=4 string theories can be canonically decomposed as a sum of a mock Jacobi form and an Appell-Lerch sum. The quantum degeneracies of single-centered black holes are Fourier coefficients of this mock Jacobi form, while the Appell-Lerch sum captures the degeneracies of multi-centered black holes which decay upon wall-crossing. The completion of the mock Jacobi form restores the modular symmetries expected from AdS3/CFT2 holography but has a holomorphic anomaly reflecting the non-compactness of the microscopic CFT. For every positive integral value m of the magnetic charge invariant of the black hole, our analysis leads to a special mock Jacobi form of weight two and index m, which we characterize uniquely up to a Jacobi cusp form. This family of special forms and another closely related family of weight-one forms contain almost all the known mock modular forms including the mock theta functions of Ramanujan, the generating function of Hurwitz-Kronecker class numbers, the mock modular forms appearing in the Mathieu and Umbral moonshine, as well as an infinite number of new examples.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages151
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


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