A matrix model for WZW

Dorey, Nicholas ; Tong, David ; Turner, Carl (2016-08-01)


We study a U($\small N$) gauged matrix quantum mechanics which, in the large $\small N$ limit, is closely related to the chiral WZW conformal field theory. This manifests itself in two ways. First, we construct the left-moving Kac-Moody algebra from matrix degrees of freedom. Secondly, we compute the partition function of the matrix model in terms of Schur and Kostka polynomials and show that, in the large $\small N$ limit, it coincides with the partition function of the WZW model. This same matrix model was recently shown to describe non-Abelian quantum Hall states and the relationship to the WZW model can be understood in this framework.