T-ERC_STG - Tremplin-ERC Starting

Stability of non-supersymmetric string theory backgrounds – NON-SUSY-STRINGS

Submission summary

Over the last decade, experiments have all but ruled out low-energy supersymmetry. It has thus become imperative to understand supersymmetry breaking in our best-developed theory of quantum gravity, string theory. However, constructing stable, and thus physically viable, non-supersymmetric solutions of string theory is such an open and difficult problem that even their existence has recently been thrown into doubt.

In NON-SUSY-STRINGS, I will address the following existential question for string theory: Does string theory admit stable non-supersymmetric solutions?

My study differs in a crucial way from previous work, which largely ignored the difficulty of 10-dimensional string theory by using simplified lower-dimensional models. However, these models typically fail to capture all the relevant physics. In NON-SUSY-STRINGS, I will instead determine stability directly in 10 dimensions by using the powerful new geometric formalism of Exceptional Field Theory (ExFT). In a recent breakthrough, I have set the stage for this research, by developing a method to determine the 10-dimensional perturbative stability of a large class of non-supersymmetric vacua of string theory.

In NON-SUSY-STRINGS, I will construct new non-supersymmetric vacua and develop novel methods to address two other crucial challenges for their stability: non-perturbative decays and the effects of string corrections. Finally, I will calculate important physical signatures of non-supersymmetric vacua of string theory and establish their phenomenology.

The results of NON-SUSY-STRINGS will determine whether string theory can model our non-supersymmetric universe. In addition, NON-SUSY-STRINGS develops crucial new tools for the study of string theory, with a variety of applications in string phenomenology and the AdS/CFT correspondence.

Project coordination

Emanuel Malek (Laboratoire de physique théorique et hautes énergies)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LPTHE Laboratoire de physique théorique et hautes énergies

Help of the ANR 113,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: June 2022 - 24 Months

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