On the Conformal Field Theories for Bosonic Strings in PP-Waves

Mukhopadhyay, Partha
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Recently Kazama and Yokoi (arXiv:0801.1561 [hep-th]) have used a phase-space method to study the Virasoro algebra of type IIB superstring theory in the maximally supersymmetric R-R plane wave background in a semi-light-cone gauge. Two types of normal ordering have been considered, namely "phase space normal ordering" (PNO) and "massless normal ordering" (MNO). The second one, which is the right one to choose in flat background, has been discarded with the argument that the Virasoro algebra closes only in the first case. To understand this issue better with a completely covariant treatment we consider the easiest case of bosonic strings propagating in an arbitrary pp-wave of the simplest kind. Using the phase-space method we show that MNO is in fact the right one to choose because of the following reason. For both types of normal ordering the energy-momentum tensor satisfies the desired Virasoro algebra up to anomalous terms proportional to the space-time equation of motion of the background. However, it is MNO which gives rise to the correct spectrum - we compute the quadratic space-time action by restricting the string field inside a transverse Hilbert space. This turns out to be non-diagonal. Diagonalizing this action reproduces the spectrum directly obtained in light-cone quantization. The same method with PNO gives rise to a spectrum with negative dimensions.
Comment: 19 pages
High Energy Physics - Theory