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Our world as a typical F-theory vacuum?

  1. Nov 10, 2015 #1
    This paper presents an unusually concrete hypothesis about the string theory landscape - that it is numerically dominated by "flux vacua" arising from a single compactification manifold. And our world could be one of them.

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.03209
    The F-theory geometry with most flux vacua
    Washington Taylor, Yi-Nan Wang
    (Submitted on 10 Nov 2015)
    Applying the Ashok-Denef-Douglas estimation method to elliptic Calabi-Yau fourfolds suggests that a single elliptic fourfold ##{\cal M}_{\rm max}## gives rise to ##{\cal O} (10^{272,000})## F-theory flux vacua, and that the sum total of the numbers of flux vacua from all other F-theory geometries is suppressed by a relative factor of ##{\cal O} (10^{-3000})##. The fourfold ##{\cal M}_{\rm max}## arises from a generic elliptic fibration over a specific toric threefold base ##B_{\rm max}##, and gives a geometrically non-Higgsable gauge group of ##E_8^9 \times F_4^8 \times (G_2 \times SU(2))^{16}##, of which we expect some factors to be broken by G-flux to smaller groups. It is not possible to tune an ##SU(5)## GUT group on any further divisors in ##{\cal M}_{\rm max}##, or even an ##SU(2)## or ##SU(3)##, so the standard model gauge group appears to arise in this context only from a broken ##E_8## factor. The results of this paper can either be interpreted as providing a framework for predicting how the standard model arises most naturally in F-theory and the types of dark matter to be found in a typical F-theory compactification, or as a challenge to string theorists to explain why other choices of vacua are not exponentially unlikely compared to F-theory compactifications on ##{\cal M}_{\rm max}##.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 11, 2015 #2

    fresh_42

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm probably not the one whom you wanted to address since my knowledge here is basic at its best. Therefore my question: Did you post this as information for string theorists or as germ of a discussion? Do you want it to keep it under "unanswered"?
    Am I right that I counted more than ##10^{61}## dimensions of this gauge group? That's a hell of a group.
    If I'm allowed may I ask something general: Why are all gauge groups, except some small ##SU(n)## always exceptional Lie Groups? Is it because it has to be a Lie Group plus high coefficients, i.e. variability in the root system?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  4. Nov 20, 2015 #3
    It was meant for discussion...

    Those Lie group factors in the "geometrically non-Higgsable gauge group" actually come from a geometric incarnation of the Dynkin diagrams. The "elliptic fourfold ##{\cal M}_{\rm max}##" contains singularities which are what you would get if you started with a set of two-spheres touching each other with a topology encoded in a Dynkin diagram (point = sphere, edge = touching), and then shrank the sphere's volumes to zero. And I think the gauge field comes from D2-branes wrapping the two-spheres.

    ##{\cal M}_{\rm max}## is basically a Calabi-Yau space, such as you hear about in popular descriptions of string theory - a microscopic six-dimensional space which is to be understood as existing at each point in our macroscopic four-dimensional space-time - but filled with an "axio-dilaton field" that takes different values throughout its volume.

    If I have understood correctly, the singularities I just mentioned pertain to the combination "metric + axio-dilaton". And at 33 separate locations in ##{\cal M}_{\rm max}##, there is a point or a surface where this combination becomes singular in the way described, giving rise to a gauge field (or actually, an N=1 superfield) at that location.

    All these gauge superfields lead separate lives - this is a type of braneworld model, where the 33 parallel "worlds" only interact gravitationally. So although that overall gauge group is big (not as big as you said - its dimension is more like ##10^{3}##), in practice it's only the individual factors which are relevant, one for each braneworld.

    If this does describe reality, we must be in one of the ##E_8## braneworlds.
     
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