Can fermions save large N dimensional reduction?

Paulo F. Bedaque, Michael I. Buchoff, Aleksey Cherman, Roxanne P. Springer

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15 Scopus citations


This paper explores whether Eguchi-Kawai reduction for gauge theories with adjoint fermions is valid. The Eguchi-Kawai reduction relates gauge theories in different numbers of dimensions in the large N limit provided that certain conditions are met. In principle, this relation opens up the possibility of learning about the dynamics of 4D gauge theories through techniques only available in lower dimensions. Dimensional reduction can be understood as a special case of large N equivalence between theories related by an orbifold projection. In this work, we focus on the simplest case of dimensional reduction, relating a 4D gauge theory to a 3D gauge theory via an orbifold projection. A necessary condition for the large N equivalence between the 4D and 3D theories to hold is that certain discrete symmetries in the two theories must not be broken spontaneously. In pure 4D Yang-Mills theory, these symmetries break spontaneously as the size of one of the spacetime dimensions shrinks. An analysis of the effect of adjoint fermions on the relevant symmetries of the 4D theory shows that the fermions help stabilize the symmetries. We consider the same problem from the point of view of the lower dimensional 3D theory and find that, surprisingly, adjoint fermions are not generally enough to stabilize the necessary symmetries of the 3D theory. In fact, a rich phase diagram arises, with a complicated pattern of symmetry breaking. We discuss the possible causes and consequences of this finding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number070
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • 1/N Expansion
  • Field Theories in Lower Dimensions
  • Lattice Gauge Field Theories
  • Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking


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