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Mathematics  2012 

Membrane Sigma-Models and Quantization of Non-Geometric Flux Backgrounds

DOI: 10.1007/JHEP09(2012)012

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We develop quantization techniques for describing the nonassociative geometry probed by closed strings in flat non-geometric R-flux backgrounds M. Starting from a suitable Courant sigma-model on an open membrane with target space M, regarded as a topological sector of closed string dynamics in R-space, we derive a twisted Poisson sigma-model on the boundary of the membrane whose target space is the cotangent bundle T^*M and whose quasi-Poisson structure coincides with those previously proposed. We argue that from the membrane perspective the path integral over multivalued closed string fields in Q-space is equivalent to integrating over open strings in R-space. The corresponding boundary correlation functions reproduce Kontsevich's deformation quantization formula for the twisted Poisson manifolds. For constant R-flux, we derive closed formulas for the corresponding nonassociative star product and its associator, and compare them with previous proposals for a 3-product of fields on R-space. We develop various versions of the Seiberg-Witten map which relate our nonassociative star products to associative ones and add fluctuations to the R-flux background. We show that the Kontsevich formula coincides with the star product obtained by quantizing the dual of a Lie 2-algebra via convolution in an integrating Lie 2-group associated to the T-dual doubled geometry, and hence clarify the relation to the twisted convolution products for topological nonassociative torus bundles. We further demonstrate how our approach leads to a consistent quantization of Nambu-Poisson 3-brackets.


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