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dc.contributor.authorBachlechner, Thomas
dc.identifier.otherbibid: 9333217
dc.description.abstractThe first run at the Large Hadron Collider has deeply challenged conventional notions of naturalness, and CMB polarization experiments are about to open a new window to early universe cosmology. As a compelling candidate for the ultraviolet completion of the standard model, string theory provides a prime opportunity to study both early universe cosmology and particle physics. However, relating low energy observations to ultraviolet physics requires knowledge of the metastable states of string theory through the study of vacua. While it is difficult to directly obtain infrared data from explicit string theory constructions, string theory imposes constraints on low energy physics. The study of ensembles of low energy theories consistent with ultra-violet constraints provides insight on generic features we might expect to occur in string compactifications. In this thesis we present a statistical treatment of vacuum stability and vacuum properties in the context of random supergravity theories motivated by string theory. Early universe cosmology provides another avenue to high energy physics. From the low energy perspective large field inflation is typically considered highly unnatural: the scale relevant for the diameter of flat regions in moduli space is sub-Planckian in regions of perturbative control. To approach this problem, we consider generic Calabi-Yau compactifications of string theory and find that super-Planckian diameters of axion fundamental domains in fact arise generically. We further demonstrate that such super-Planckian flat regions are plausibly consistent with the Weak Gravity Conjecture.
dc.subjectFlux vacua, string theory, cosmology
dc.titleUniversality And String Theory
dc.typedissertation or thesis University of Philosophy D., Physics
dc.contributor.committeeMemberBean,Rachel E.

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