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Worldsheet Formalism for Decoupling Limits in String Theory

Joaquim GomisZiqi Yan
Nov 2023
We study the bosonic sector of a decoupling limit of type IIA superstring theory, where a background Ramond-Ramond one-form is fined tuned to its critical value, such that it cancels the associated background D0-brane tension. The light excitations in this critical limit are D0-branes, whose dynamics are described by Banks-Fischler-Shenker-Susskind (BFSS) Matrix theory that corresponds to M-theory in the Discrete Light-Cone Quantization (DLCQ). We develop the worldsheet formalism for the fundamental string in the same critical limit of type IIA superstring theory. We show that the fundamental string has a nonrelativistic worldsheet, whose topology is described by nodal Riemann spheres as in ambitwistor string theory. We study the T-duality transformations of this string sigma model and provide a worldsheet derivation for the recently revived and expanded duality web that unifies a zoo of decoupling limits in type II superstring theories. By matching the string worldsheet actions, we demonstrate how some of these decoupling limits are related to tensionless (and ambitwistor) string theory, Carrollian string theory, and the Spin Matrix limits of the AdS/CFT correspondence.
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