Supermanifold cohomology and the Wess-Zumino term of the covariant superstring action
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The cohomology theory of supermanifolds is developed. Its basic properties are established and simple examples given. The Wess-Zumino term in the Green-Schwarz covariant superstring action is interpreted as a nontrivial class in the “supersymmetric cohomology” of flat superspace. A quotient supermanifold with nontrivial topology reflecting this class is constructed. It is shown that there is no topological quantization condition for the coefficient of the Wess-Zumino term. The superstring differs from conventional sigma models in this respect because its action is Grassmann-valued and its group manifold (superspace) is noncompact.
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