The theta dependence of the vacuum energy in large N Yang-Mills theory has been studied some time ago by Witten using a duality of large N gauge theories with string theory compactified on a certain space-time. We show that within the field theory context vacuum fluctuations of the topological charge give rise to the vacuum energy consistent with the string theory computation. Furthermore, we calculate 1 /N suppressed corrections to the string theory result. The reconciliation of the string and field theory approaches is based on the fact that the gauge theory instantons carry zerobrane charge in the corresponding D-brane construction of Yang-Mills theory. Given the formula for the vacuum energy we study certain aspects of stability of the false vacua of the model for different realizations of the initial conditions. The vacuum structure appears to be different depending on whether N is infinite or, alternatively, large but finite.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics