Fri, Apr 29, 2016, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Bloomberg Hall of Physics Library - Institute for Advanced Study
The 4d superconformal index is a partition function (somewhat analogous to the quantum mechanical Witten index, or the 2d SCFT elliptic genus) that counts supersymmetric operators in 4d superconformal field theories. As a partition function it depends on a ``temperature'' parameter which enters the Boltzmann weights of various operators. I will discuss the rich structure in the high-temperature limit of this partition function, and present its leading and next-to-leading asymptotics. In particular, I explain that in certain theories a recent result of Di Pietro and Komargodski on the leading high-temperature asymptotics of the index can be evaded via an ``infinite-temperature Higgs mechanism''. Knowledge of the high-temperature asymptotics of the index leads to two new tests of supersymmetric dualities, and to a new perspective on low-energy dynamics of 4d supersymmetric gauge theories compactified on a circle.