Superconnections, anomalies and non-BPS brane charges

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The properties of brane-antibrane systems and systems of unstable D-branes in Type II superstring theory are investigated using the formalism of superconnections. The low-energy open string dynamics is shown to be probed by generalized Dirac operators. The corresponding index theorems are used to compute the chiral gauge anomalies in these systems, and hence their gravitational and Ramond-Ramond couplings. A spectral action for the generalized Dirac operators is also computed and shown to exhibit precisely the expected processes of tachyon condensation on the brane worldvolumes. The Chern-Simons couplings are thereby shown to be naturally related to Fredholm modules and bivariant K-theory, confirming the expectations that D-brane charge is properly classified by K-homology. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-292
Number of pages52
JournalJournal of Geometry and Physics
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Extrinsic curvature
  • Null hypersurfaces
  • Space splitting


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