Massless Black Holes and Conifolds in String Theory

Research paper by Andrew Strominger

Indexed on: 18 Apr '95Published on: 18 Apr '95Published in: High Energy Physics - Theory


Low-energy effective field theories arising from Calabi-Yau string compactifications are generically inconsistent or ill-defined at the classical level because of conifold singularities in the moduli space. It is shown, given a plausible assumption on the degeneracies of black hole states, that for type II theories this inconsistency can be cured by nonperturbative quantum effects: the singularities are resolved by the appearance of massless Ramond-Ramond black holes. The Wilsonian effective action including these light black holes is smooth near the conifold, and the singularity is reproduced when they are integrated out. In order for a quantum effect to cure a classical inconsistency, it can not be suppressed by the usual string coupling $g_s$. It is shown how the required $g_s$ dependence arises as a result of the peculiar couplings of Ramond-Ramond gauge fields to the dilaton.