Seven-sphere and the exceptional N = 7 and N = 8 superconformal algebras

Murat Günaydin, Sergei V. Ketov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


We study realisations of the exceptional non-linear (quadratically generated, or W-type) N = 8 and N = 7 superconformal algebras with Spin(7) and G2 affine symmetry currents, respectively. Both the N = 8 and N = 7 algebras admit unitary highest-weight representations in terms of a single boson and free fermions in 8 of Spin(7) and 7 of G2, with the central charges c8 = 26/5 and c7 = 5, respectively. Furthermore, we show that the general coset ansätze for the N = 8 and N = 7 algebras naturally lead to the coset spaces SO(8) × U(1)/SO(7) and SO(7) × U(1)/G2, respectively, as the additional consistent solutions for certain values of the central charge. The coset space SO(8)/SO(7) is the seven-sphere S7, whereas the space SO(7)/G2 represents the seven-sphere with torsion, S7T. The division algebra of octonions and the associated triality properties of SO(8) play an essential role in all these realisations. We also comment on some possible applications of our results to string theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-246
Number of pages32
JournalNuclear Physics B
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 1996


  • Conformal field theory
  • Seven sphere
  • String theory
  • Superconformal symmetry
  • Triality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Seven-sphere and the exceptional N = 7 and N = 8 superconformal algebras'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this