Chiral gauge theories and their applications
This thesis is concerned with so called chiral gauge theories, also known as self dual gauge theories. In particular, the aim of this thesis to investigate the role that chiral gauge theories play in duality symmetries in lower dimensions through dimensional reduction. Chapter one serves as an introduction to the notions of duality in field and string theory. The problems of formulating well defined actions for self-dual gauge theories are introduced as well as a brief presentation of the different approaches used to over come these problems. Chapter two introduces dimensional reduction and demonstrates how duality symmetries arise from the dimensional reduction of self-dual theories in a variety of dimensions and on different compact spaces. Examples are presented where the couplings of the resulting theories are calculated explicitly in terms of the geometrical data of the compact space. The duality generators acting on these couplings are also calculated explicitly and related to the geometry/topology of the compact space. Chapter three deals with the idea of duality manifest actions and their relation to the self-dual theories in higher dimensions. Non-linear Born-Infeld type actions are introduced and again dimensional reduction is shown to play a role in the duality of the Born-Infeld action. This leads to a duality manifest version of the Born-Infeld action. Chapter four describes perhaps the main application of this thesis. The effective action of the M-theory five brane wrapped on a torus is identified with the effective action of the IIB D-3 brane dimensionally reduced on a circle (after some appropriate world volume dualizations). The IIB S-duality then arises as a result of the modular symmetry of the torus. The final chapter contains a brief summary and a hint of further directions for research that were outside the scope of this thesis.