We argue for the existence of many new 1/4 BPS states in N = 4 SU(Nc) Super-Yang-Mills theory with Nc ≥ 3, by constructing them from supersymmetric string webs whose external strings terminate on parallel D3-branes. The masses of the string webs are shown to agree with the BPS bound for the corresponding states in SYM. We identify the curves of marginal stability, at which these states decay into other BPS states. We find the bosonic and fermionic zero-modes of the string webs, and thereby the degeneracy and spin content of some of the BPS states. States of arbitrarily high spin are predicted in this manner, all of which become massless at the conformal point. For Nc ≥ 4 we find BPS states which transform in long multiplets, and are therefore not protected against becoming stable non-BPS states as moduli are varied. The mass of these extremal non-BPS states is constrained as they are connected to BPS states. Analogous geometric phenomena are anticipated.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
the ITP, Santa Barbara and in particular Hirosi Ooguri; and discussions with Renata Kallosh, Arvind Rajaraman and Scott Thomas. O.B. is supported in part by the NSF under grant PHY-92-18167. B.K. is supported by NSF grant PHY-9219345.