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Computational methods in string theory and applications to the swampland conjectures


Schlechter,  Lorenz
Max Planck Institute for Physics, Max Planck Society and Cooperation Partners;

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Schlechter, L. (2021). Computational methods in string theory and applications to the swampland conjectures. PhD Thesis, LMU München, München.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-1B2C-8
The goal of the swampland program is the classification of low energy effective theories which can be consistently coupled to quantum gravity. Due to the vastness of the string landscape most results of the swampland program are still conjectures, yet the web of conjectures is ever growing and many interdependencies between different conjectures are known. A better understanding or even proof of these conjectures would result in restrictions on the allowed effective theories. The aim of this thesis is to develop the necessary mathematical tools to explicitly test the conjectures in a string theory setup. To this end the periods of Calabi-Yau manifolds are computed numerically as well as analytically. Furthermore, tools applicable to general string phenomenological models are discussed, including the computation of target space Calabi-Yau metrics, line bundle cohomologies and Strebel differentials. These periods are used to test two conjectures, the refined swampland distance conjecture as well as the dS conjecture. The first states that an effective field theory is only valid up to a certain value of field excursions. If larger field values are included, the effective description breaks down due to an infinite tower of states becoming exponentially light. The conjecture is tested explicitly by computing the distances in the moduli space of CY manifolds. Challenging this conjecture requires the computation of the periods of different Calabi-Yau spaces. The dS conjecture on the other hand forbids vacua with positive cosmological constant. To test this conjecture, the KKLT construction is examined in detail and some steps of the construction are carried out explicitly. Moreover, the validity of the assumed effective theory in a warped throat is investigated. Besides these traditional approaches more exotic ones are followed, including the construction of dS theories using tachyons as well as modifying the signature of space time.