The Higgs and Coulomb branches of 3d N=4 theories from branes

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The moduli space of vacua of 3d N=4 gauge theories splits essentially into two ``branches”: the Higgs branch parametrised by the vevs of hypermultiplet scalars and the Coulomb branch parametrised by the vevs of dressed monopole operators. They can be described as complex algebraic varieties. I will present a new approach to the analysis of the Higgs and Coulomb branches based on the type IIB brane realisation of the gauge theory. Focusing on abelian theories, I will show how the addition of new ingredients in the brane setup can be linked to the path integral insertions of Higgs or Coulomb operators. I will explain how this construction can be used to derive the ring relations and study mirror symmetry.