Topological violation of global symmetries in quantum gravity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


We discuss a topological reason why global symmetries are not conserved in quantum gravity, at least when the symmetry comes from compactification of a higher form symmetry. The mechanism is purely topological and does not require any explicit breaking term in the UV Lagrangian. Local current conservation does not imply global charge conservation in a sum over geometries in the path integral. We explicitly consider the shift symmetry of an axion-like field which originates from the compactification of a p-form gauge field. Our topological construction is motivated by the brane/black-brane correspondence, brane instantons, and an idea that virtual black branes of a simple kind may be realized by surgery on spacetime manifolds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sep


  • Black Holes in String Theory
  • Global Symmetries
  • p-branes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Topological violation of global symmetries in quantum gravity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this