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Journal Article

Nilpotence varieties


Saberi,  Ingmar
Max Planck Institute for Mathematics, Max Planck Society;

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Eager, R., Saberi, I., & Walcher, J. (2021). Nilpotence varieties. Annales Henri Poincaré, 22(4), 1319-1376. doi:10.1007/s00023-020-01007-y.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-D0BC-8
We consider algebraic varieties canonically associated with any Lie superalgebra, and study them in detail for super-Poincaré algebras of physical interest. They are the locus of nilpotent elements in (the projectivized parity reversal of) the odd part of the algebra. Most of these varieties have appeared in various guises in previous literature, but we study them systematically here, from a new perspective: As the natural moduli spaces parameterizing twists of a super-Poincaré-invariant physical theory. We obtain a classification of all possible twists, as well as a systematic analysis of unbroken symmetry in twisted theories. The natural stratification of the varieties, the identification of strata with twists, and the action of Lorentz and R-symmetry are emphasized. We also include a short and unconventional exposition of the pure spinor superfield formalism, from the perspective of twisting, and demonstrate that it can be applied to construct familiar multiplets in four-dimensional minimally supersymmetric theories. In all dimensions and with any amount of supersymmetry, this technique produces BRST or BV complexes of supersymmetric theories from the Koszul complex of the maximal ideal over the coordinate ring of the nilpotence variety, possibly tensored with any equivariant module over that coordinate ring. In addition, we remark on a natural connection to the Chevalley–Eilenberg complex of the supertranslation algebra, and give two applications related to these ideas: a calculation of Chevalley–Eilenberg cohomology for the (2, 0) algebra in six dimensions, and a degenerate BV complex encoding the type IIB supergravity multiplet.