Branes: from free fields to general backgrounds

Research paper by J. Fuchs, C. Schweigert

Indexed on: 28 Jan '98Published on: 28 Jan '98Published in: High Energy Physics - Theory


Motivated by recent developments in string theory, we study the structure of boundary conditions in arbitrary conformal field theories. A boundary condition is specified by two types of data: first, a consistent collection of reflection coefficients for bulk fields on the disk; and second, a choice of an automorphism $\omega$ of the fusion rules that preserves conformal weights. Non-trivial automorphisms $\omega$ correspond to D-brane configurations for arbitrary conformal field theories. The choice of the fusion rule automorphism $\omega$ amounts to fixing the dimension and certain global topological features of the D-brane world volume and the background gauge field on it. We present evidence that for fixed choice of $\omega$ the boundary conditions are classified as the irreducible representations of some commutative associative algebra, a generalization of the fusion rule algebra. Each of these irreducible representations corresponds to a choice of the moduli for the world volume of the D-brane and the moduli of the flat connection on it.