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Exploring the String Landscape: The Dynamics, Statistics, and Cosmology of Parallel Worlds

Ahlqvist, Stein Pontus

This dissertation explores various facets of the low-energy solutions in string theory known as the string landscape. Three separate questions are addressed - the tunneling dynamics between these vacua, the statistics of their location in moduli space, and the potential realization of slow-roll inflation in the flux potentials generated in string theory. We find that the tunneling transitions that occur between a certain class of supersymmetric vacua related to each other via monodromies around the conifold point are sensitive to the details of warping in the near-conifold regime. We also study the impact of warping on the distribution of vacua near the conifold and determine that while previous work has concluded that the conifold point acts as an accumulation point for vacua, warping highly dilutes the distribution in precisely this regime. Finally we investigate a novel form of inflation dubbed spiral inflation to see if it can be realized near the conifold point. We conclude that for our particular models, spiral inflation seems to rely on a de Sitter-like vacuum energy. As a result, whenever spiral inflation is realized, the inflation is actually driven by a vacuum energy.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Physics
Thesis Advisors
Greene, Brian
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 15, 2013
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