Mathematics, Department of


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Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Mathematics in the Graduate School of Duke University, 2005. Copyright 2008 by Carina Curto. Published at arXiv May 6, 2005.


We use F. Ferrari’s methods relating matrix models to Calabi-Yau spaces in order to explain Intriligator and Wecht’s ADE classification of N = 1 superconformal theories which arise as RG fixed points of N = 1 SQCD theories with adjoints. The connection between matrix models and N = 1 gauge theories can be seen as evidence for the Dijkgraaf–Vafa conjecture. We find that ADE superpotentials in the Intriligator–Wecht classification exactly match matrix model superpotentials obtained from Calabi-Yau’s with corresponding ADE singularities. Moreover, in the additional Ô, Â, Dˆ and Ê cases we find new singular geometries. These ‘hat’ geometries are closely related to their ADE counterparts, but feature non-isolated singularities. As a byproduct, we give simple descriptions for small resolutions of Gorenstein threefold singularities in terms of transition functions between just two coordinate charts. To obtain these results we develop techniques for performing small resolutions and small blow-downs, including an algorithm for blowing down exceptional P1’s. In particular, we conjecture that small resolutions for isolated Gorenstein threefold singularities can be obtained by deforming matrix factorizations for simple surface singularities – and prove this in the length 1 and length 2 cases.

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