Department of Physics

Postgraduate research profiles


Joseph Novak

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 7014


Start date

Feb 2009

Submission date

Feb 2013

Joseph Novak


Topics in locally supersymmetric non-linear sigma models


It is widely thought that a complete picture that resolves at least some of the problems with the standard model (such as the absence of a description of gravity and the well known hierarchy problem) could be described by a supersymmetric extension of the Standard Model. On the other hand, the rapidly growing field of string theory makes use of supersymmetry as a crucial ingredient. Supersymmetric extensions of Einstein's theory of gravity, called (supergravity theories) allow the coupling of matter fields to the gravitational interaction, described by a massless particle of spin 2 (called the graviton). This coupling is made possible due to invariance under local supersymmetry transformations. Non-linear sigma models (NLSMs) have many successful applications in field theory, string theory and statistical mechanics. They appear naturally as low energy effective actions and have a useful geometric interpretation. NLSMs of increasing interest are those possessing supersymmetry. Supersymmetric NLSMs possess an intimate relationship with complex geometry. In particular, NLSMs possessing local N = 2 supersymmetry are related to quaternion metrics of a quaternion Kähler manifold. This project is aimed at exploring the applications of a recently found projective superspace formulation for 4D N = 2 matter-coupled supergravity (hep-th/0805.4683). This research project aims to derive new quaternion Kähler metrics and explore some of their applications to black hole physics.

Why my research is important

The construction of new quaternion metrics have a number of applications in string theory such as for the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy for 4D N = 2 supersymmetric BPS black holes.


  • Hackett Scholarship


Department of Physics

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