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Closed-String Tachyon Condensation and the Worldsheet Super-Higgs Effect

Abstract

Alternative gauge choices for worldsheet supersymmetry can elucidate dynamical phenomena obscured in the usual superconformal gauge. In the particular example of the tachyonic E_8 heterotic string, we use a judicious gauge choice to show that the process of closed-string tachyon condensation can be understood in terms of a worldsheet super-Higgs effect. The worldsheet gravitino assimilates the goldstino and becomes a dynamical propagating field. Conformal, but not superconformal, invariance is maintained throughout.

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