The superstring cosmological constant and the Schottky form in genus 5


Combining certain identities for modular forms due to Igusa with Schottky-Jung relations, we study the cosmological constant for the recently proposed ansatz for the chiral superstring measure in genus 5. The vanishing of this cosmological constant turns out to be equivalent to the long-conjectured vanishing of a certain explicit modular form of genus 5 on the moduli of curves ${\cal M}_5$, and we disprove this conjecture, thus showing that the cosmological constant for the proposed ansatz does not vanish identically. We exhibit an easy modification of the genus 5 ansatz satisfying factorization constraints and yielding a vanishing cosmological constant. We also give an expression for the cosmological constant for the proposed ansatz that should hold for any genus if certain generalized Schottky-Jung identities hold.