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Kenneth Intriligator - UC San Diego. La Jolla, CA, US

Kenneth Intriligator Kenneth Intriligator

Professor | UC San Diego


Ken Intriligator specializes in quantum field theory, string theory, supersymmetry, and interconnections of these theories.






Supersymmetry Breaking 4 (TASI 2007) - Ken Intriligator (UCSD) 2007.6.1 15:45-17:00 Supersymmetry Breaking 3 (TASI 2007) - Ken Intriligator (UCSD) 2007.6.1 9:00-10:15 Supersymmetry Breaking 2 (TASI 2007) - Ken Intriligator (UCSD) 2007.5.31 9:00-10:15 Supersymmetry Breaking 1 (TASI 2007) - Ken Intriligator (UCSD) 2007.5.30 10:45-12:00



My research is on quantum field theory, string theory, supersymmetry, and especially the exploration of novel aspects, phenomena, and interconnections of these theories at strong coupling.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Quantum Electrodynamics


Quantum Physics

String Theory

Qauntum Field Theory

Accomplishments (2)

Fellow of the American Physical Society


Simons Investigator


Education (1)

Harvard University: Ph.D. 1992

Articles (5)

Exploring 2-group global symmetries

arXiv Preprint

Clay Cordova, Thomas T Dumitrescu, Kenneth Intriligator

2018 We analyze four-dimensional quantum field theories with continuous 2-group global symmetries. At the level of their charges such symmetries are identical to a product of continuous flavor or spacetime symmetries with a 1-form global symmetry U(1)(1)B, which arises from a conserved 2-form current J(2)B. Rather, 2-group symmetries are characterized by deformed current algebras, with quantized structure constants, which allow two flavor currents or stress tensors to fuse into J(2)B. This leads to unconventional Ward identities, which constrain the allowed patterns of spontaneous 2-group symmetry breaking and other aspects of the renormalization group flow. If J(2)B is coupled to a 2-form background gauge field B(2), the 2-group current algebra modifies the behavior of B(2) under background gauge transformations. Its transformation rule takes the same form as in the Green-Schwarz mechanism, but only involves the background gauge or gravity fields that couple to the other 2-group currents. This makes it possible to partially cancel reducible 't Hooft anomalies using Green-Schwarz counterterms for the 2-group background gauge fields. The parts that cannot be cancelled are reinterpreted as mixed, global anomalies involving U(1)(1)B and receive contributions from topological, as well as massless, degrees of freedom. Theories with 2-group symmetry are constructed by gauging an abelian flavor symmetry with suitable mixed 't Hooft anomalies, which leads to many simple and explicit examples. Some of them have dynamical string excitations that carry U(1)(1)B charge, and 2-group symmetry determines certain 't Hooft anomalies on the world sheets of these strings. Finally, we point out that holographic theories with 2-group global symmetries have a bulk description in terms of dynamical gauge fields that participate in a conventional Green-Schwarz mechanism.

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Multiplets of superconformal symmetry in diverse dimensions

arXiv Preprint

Clay Cordova, Thomas T Dumitrescu, Kenneth Intriligator

2016 We systematically analyze the operator content of unitary superconformal multiplets in spacetime dimensions. We present a simple, general, and efficient algorithm that generates all of these multiplets by correctly eliminating possible null states. The algorithm is conjectural, but passes a vast web of consistency checks. We apply it to tabulate a large variety of superconformal multiplets. In particular, we classify and construct all multiplets that contain conserved currents or free fields, which play an important role in superconformal field theories (SCFTs). Some currents that are allowed in conformal field theories cannot be embedded in superconformal multiplets, and hence they are absent in SCFTs. We use the structure of superconformal stress tensor multiplets to show that SCFTs with more than 16 Poincar\'e supercharges cannot arise in , even when the corresponding superconformal algebras exist. We also show that such theories do arise in , but are necessarily free.

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Deformations of superconformal theories

Journal of High Energy Physics

Clay Córdova, Thomas T Dumitrescu, Kenneth Intriligator

2016 We classify possible supersymmetry-preserving relevant, marginal, and irrelevant deformations of unitary superconformal theories in d ≥ 3 dimensions. Our method only relies on symmetries and unitarity. Hence, the results are model independent and do not require a Lagrangian description. Two unifying themes emerge: first, many theories admit deformations that reside in multiplets together with conserved currents. Such deformations can lead to modifications of the supersymmetry algebra by central and non-central charges. Second, many theories with a sufficient amount of supersymmetry do not admit relevant or marginal deformations, and some admit neither. The classification is complicated by the fact that short superconformal multiplets display a rich variety of sporadic phenomena, including supersymmetric deformations that reside in the middle of a multiplet. We illustrate our results with examples in diverse dimensions. In particular, we explain how the classification of irrelevant supersymmetric deformations can be used to derive known and new constraints on moduli-space effective actions.

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Anomalies, renormalization group flows, and the a-theorem in six-dimensional (1, 0) theories

Journal of High Energy Physics

Clay Córdova, Thomas T Dumitrescu, Kenneth Intriligator

2016 We establish a linear relation between the a-type Weyl anomaly and the ’t Hooft anomaly coefficients for the R-symmetry and gravitational anomalies in six-dimensional (1, 0) superconformal field theories. For RG flows onto the tensor branch, where conformal symmetry is spontaneously broken, supersymmetry relates the anomaly mismatch Δa to the square of a four-derivative interaction for the dilaton. This establishes the a-theorem for all such flows. The four-derivative dilaton interaction is in turn related to the Green-Schwarz-like terms that are needed to match the ’t Hooft anomalies on the tensor branch, thus fixing their relation to Δa. We use our formula to obtain exact expressions for the a-anomaly of N small E 8 instantons, as well as N M5-branes probing an orbifold singularity, and verify the a-theorem for RG flows onto their Higgs branches. We also discuss aspects of supersymmetric RG flows that terminate in scale but not conformally invariant theories with massless gauge fields.

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Deformations of WA, D, E SCFTs

Journal of High Energy Physics

Ken Intriligator, Emily Nardoni

2016 We discuss aspects of theories with superpotentials given by Arnold’s A, D, E singularities, particularly the novelties that arise when the fields are matrices. We focus on 4d =1 variants of susy QCD, with U(N c ) or SU(N c ) gauge group, N f fundamental flavors, and adjoint matter fields X and Y appearing in W A,D,E (X, Y) superpotentials. Many of our considerations also apply in other possible contexts for matrix-variable W A,D,E . The 4d W A,D,E SQCD-type theories RG flow to superconformal field theories, and there are proposed duals in the literature for the

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