Higher form symmetries and orbifolds of two-dimensional Yang-Mills theory

Leonardo Santilli, Richard J. Szabo

Research output: Working paperPreprint

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We undertake a detailed study of the gaugings of two-dimensional Yang-Mills theory by its intrinsic charge conjugation 0-form and centre 1-form global symmetries, elucidating their higher algebraic and geometric structures, as well as the meaning of dual lower form symmetries. Our derivations of orbifold gauge theories make use of a combination of standard continuum path integral methods, networks of topological defects, and techniques from higher gauge theory. We provide a unified description of higher and lower form gauge fields for a $p$-form symmetry in the geometric setting of $p$-gerbes, and derive reverse orbifolds by the dual $(-1)$-form symmetries. We identify those orbifolds in which charge conjugation symmetry is spontaneously broken, and relate the breaking to mixed anomalies involving $(-1)$-form symmetries. We extend these considerations to gaugings by the non-invertible 1-form symmetries of two-dimensional Yang-Mills theory by introducing a notion of generalized $\theta$-angle.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2024


  • hep-th
  • math-ph
  • math.DG
  • math.MP
  • math.QA


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