The heterotic string free fermionic formulation produced a large class of three generation models, with an underlying SO(10) GUT symmetry which is broken directly at the string level by Wilson lines. A common subset of boundary condition basis vectors in these models is the NAHE set, which corresponds to &Zdbl;2× &Zdbl2orbifold of an SO(12) Narain lattice, with (h1,1, h2,1) = (27,3). Alternatively, a manifold with the same data is obtained by starting with a &Zdbl;2× &Zdbl;2orbifold at a generic point on the lattice, with (h1,1, h2,1) = (51,3), and adding a freely acting &Zdbl;2involution. The equivalence of the two constructions is proven by examining the relevant partition functions. The explicit realization of the shift that reproduces the compactification at the free fermionic point is found. It is shown that other closely related shifts reproduce the same massless spectrum, but different massive spectrum, thus demonstrating the utility of extracting information from the full partition function. A freely acting involution of the type discussed here, enables the use of Wilson lines to break the GUT symmetry and can be utilized in non-perturbative studies of the free fermionic models. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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