New Supersymmetric Defects in Three and Six Dimensions

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


In this thesis we assemble recent results on BPS defect operators in N = (2, 0) and ABJM theory. Following a brief review of prerequisite material, we first construct a locally 1/2-BPS surface operator in the abelian N = (2, 0) theory, whose conformal anomaly we compute. The comparison of the anomaly coefficients at N = 1 to the holographic result is suggestive of a general linear relation between them, which we go on to prove using the framework of defect CFT. We then show how this approach can be used to find an expansion of bulk operators in terms of excitations of the defect. Along the way, we comment on surfaces with conical singularities and derive some useful technical results regarding the representation theory of certain superconformal algebras. Secondly, we revisit the known 1/6-BPS Wilson loops in ABJM theory, which we reinterpret as deformations around a bosonic loop operator. We proceed to adapt this construction to the N = 4 case, and show that supersymmetric deformations of the 1/2-BPS Wilson loop yield a plethora of previously unknown operators which preserve various amounts of super- and conformal symmetry.
Date of Award1 Dec 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorNadav Drukker (Supervisor) & Neil Lambert (Supervisor)

Cite this