Supersymmetric protection and the Swampland

Eran Palti, Cumrun Vafa, Timo Weigand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


For certain terms in the action, supersymmetry can forbid an infinite number of possible contributions. We study whether such protection can occur in quantum gravity even without sufficient supersymmetry. We focus on whether the superpotential can vanish exactly in four-dimensional N = 1 theories, and if the prepotential can be exactly cubic in N = 2 theories. We investigate these questions in string theory and find that for almost all known string constructions the corrections allowed by supersymmetry do occur. However, we do find some special settings where all the corrections can be proven to vanish. These examples all share the common feature that they are related, through a certain orbifolding by a discrete gauged R-symmetry element, to a higher supersymmetric theory. Motivated by these results, we propose a Swampland criterion that any theory which enjoys such protection beyond its realised supersymmetry must have a direct connection to a higher supersymmetric theory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number168
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • F-Theory
  • Nonperturbative Effects
  • Superstring Vacua
  • Supersymmetric Effective Theories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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