Ralph Blumenhagen - Humboldt University, Berlin

Ralph Blumenhagen
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Ralph Blumenhagen
Humboldt University, Berlin

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High Energy Physics - Theory (50)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (9)
Mathematics - Mathematical Physics (8)
Mathematical Physics (8)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (5)
Mathematics - Algebraic Geometry (4)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (3)
Computer Science - Mathematical Software (1)

Publications Authored By Ralph Blumenhagen

This brief article reviews a recently proposed scenario of moduli stabilization constructed in the vicinity of a conifold locus in the complex structure moduli space. We discuss typical features of moduli stabilization due to the logarithmic structure of the periods over the Calabi-Yau threefold. Integrating out heavy moduli implies exponential terms in the superpotential very reminiscent of non-perturbative contributions. Read More

Recent progress on the relation between asymmetric conformal field theories and vacua of gauged supergravities is reviewed. This includes an attempt to classify asymmetric Gepner models in 8D, 6D and 4D with at least eight supercharges, and how they can be categorized by just a few mechanisms including the super Higgs-effect. The latter is a prerequisite for the identification with non-geometric flux compactifications. Read More

We give a brief overview of the current status of Double Field Theory on Group Manifolds (DFTWZW). Therefore, we start by reviewing some basic notions known from Double Field Theory (DFT) and show how they extend/generalize into the framework of Double Field Theory on Group Manifolds. In this context, we discuss the relationship between both theories and the transition from DFTWZW to DFT. Read More

We continue the investigation of F-term axion monodromy inflation in string theory, while seriously taking the issue of moduli stabilization into account. For a number of closed and open string models, we show that they suffer from serious control issues once one is trying to realize trans-Planckian field excursions. More precisely, the flux tuning required to delay the logarithmic scaling of the field distance to a trans-Planckian value cannot be done without leaving the regime where the employed effective supergravity theory is under control. Read More

We study asymmetric simple-current extensions of Gepner models in dimensions $D=4,6,8$ with at least eight supercharges in the right-moving sector. The models obtained in an extensive stochastic computer search belong to a small number of different classes. These classes can be categorized as dimensional reductions, asymmetric orbifolds with $(-1)^{F_L}$, extra gauge enhancement and as coming from the super Higgs-effect. Read More

Using the method of simple current extensions, asymmetric Gepner models of Type IIB with N=1 space-time supersymmetry are constructed. The combinatorics of the massless vector fields suggests that these classical Minkowski string vacua provide fully backreacted solutions corresponding to N=1 minima of N=2 gauged supergravity. The latter contain abelian gaugings along the axionic isometries in the hypermultiplet moduli space, and can be considered as Type IIB flux compactifications on Calabi-Yau manifolds equipped with (non-)geometric fluxes. Read More

We study moduli stabilization for type IIB orientifolds compactified on Calabi-Yau threefolds in the region close to conifold singularities in the complex structure moduli space. The form of the periods implies new phenomena like exponential mass hierarchies even in the regime of negligible warping. Integrating out the heavy conic complex structure modulus leads to an effective flux induced potential for the axio-dilaton and the remaining complex structure moduli containing exponentially suppressed terms that imitate non-perturbative effects. Read More

Violating the strong constraint of double field theory, non-geometric fluxes were argued to give rise to noncommutative/nonassociative structures. We derive in a rather pedestrian physicist way a differential geometry on the simplest nonassociative (phase-)space arising for a constant non-geometric R-flux. This provides a complementary presentation to the quasi-Hopf representation categorial one delivered by Barnes, Schenkel, Szabo in arXiv:1409. Read More

Intersecting D-brane models in string theory can naturally support the gauge and matter content of left-right symmetric extensions of the Standard Model with gauge symmetry SU(3)_c x SU(2)_L x SU(2)_R x U(1)_{B-L}. Considering such models as candidates for explaining the 2TeV excesses seen in Run-1 by both ATLAS and CMS, the minimal possible scale of supersymmetry breaking is determined by the requirement of precise one-loop gauge coupling unification. For the vector-like, bifundamental and (anti-)symmetric Higgs content of such brane configurations, this comes out fairly universally at around 19TeV. Read More

Recent developments on large scale string moduli stabilization via non-geometric fluxes are reviewed. In the framework of type IIB orientifolds on fluxed Calabi-Yau manifolds, the existence of so-called flux-scaling minima provides a good starting point for the realization of parametrically controlled models of F-term axion monodromy inflation. Read More

Non-geometric flux-scaling vacua provide promising starting points to realize axion monodromy inflation via the F-term scalar potential. We show that these vacua can be uplifted to Minkowski and de Sitter by adding an anti D3-brane or a D-term containing geometric and non-geometric fluxes. These uplifted non-supersymmetric models are analyzed with respect to their potential to realize axion monodromy inflation self-consistently. Read More

The double field theory action in the flux formulation is dimensionally reduced on a Calabi-Yau three-fold equipped with non-vanishing type IIB geometric and non-geometric fluxes. First, we rewrite the metric-dependent reduced DFT action in terms of quantities that can be evaluated without explicitly knowing the metric on the Calabi-Yau manifold. Second, using properties of special geometry we obtain the scalar potential of N=2 gauged supergravity. Read More

Tree-level moduli stabilization via geometric and non-geometric fluxes in type IIB orientifolds on Calabi-Yau manifolds is investigated. The focus is on stable non-supersymmetric minima, where all moduli are fixed except for some massless axions. The scenario includes the purely axionic orientifold-odd moduli. Read More

It is shown that Starobinsky-like potentials can be realized in non-geometric flux compactifications of string theory, where the inflaton involves an axion whose shift symmetry can protect UV-corrections to the scalar potential. For that purpose we evaluate the backreacted, uplifted F-term axion-monodromy potential, which interpolates between a quadratic and a Starobinsky-like form. Limitations due to the requirements of having a controlled approximation of the UV theory and of realizing single-field inflation are discussed. Read More

We rewrite the recently derived cubic action of Double Field Theory on group manifolds [arXiv:1410.6374] in terms of a generalized metric and extrapolate it to all orders in the fields. For the resulting action, we derive the field equations and state them in terms of a generalized curvature scalar and a generalized Ricci tensor. Read More

A number of issues in heterotic double field theory are studied. This includes the analysis of the T-dual configurations of a flat constant gauge flux background, which turn out to be non-geometric. Performing a field redefinition to a non-geometric frame, these T-duals take a very simple form reminiscent of the constant Q- and R-flux backgrounds. Read More

A new version of double field theory (DFT) is derived for the exactly solvable background of an in general left-right asymmetric WZW model in the large level limit. This generalizes the original DFT that was derived via expanding closed string field theory on a torus up to cubic order. The action and gauge transformations are derived for fluctuations around the generalized group manifold background up to cubic order, revealing the appearance of a generalized Lie derivative and a corresponding C-bracket upon invoking a new version of the strong constraint. Read More

A systematic analysis of possibilities for realizing single-field F-term axion monodromy inflation via the flux-induced superpotential in type IIB string theory is performed. In this well-defined setting the conditions arising from moduli stabilization are taken into account, where we focus on the complex-structure moduli but ignore the Kaehler moduli sector. Our analysis leads to a no-go theorem, if the inflaton involves the universal axion. Read More

The recent BICEP2 measurements of B-modes indicate a large tensor-to-scalar ratio in inflationary cosmology, which points towards trans-Planckian evolution of the inflaton. We propose possible string-theory realizations thereof. Schemes for natural and axion monodromy inflation are presented in the framework of the type IIB large volume scenario. Read More

In this pedagogical mini course the basics of the derivation of the noncommutative structures appearing in string theory are reviewed. First we discuss the well established appearance of the noncommutative Moyal-Weyl star-product in the correlation functions of open string vertex operators on a magnetized D-brane. Second, we will review the most recent attempts to generalize these concepts to the closed string moving in a nongeometric flux background. Read More

In double field theory, motivated by its field theoretic consistency, the level matching condition is generalized to the so-called strong constraint. In this note, it is investigated what the two-dimensional conformal field theory origin of this constraint is. Initially treating the left- and right-movers as independent, we compute the torus partition function as well as a generalized Virasoro-Shapiro amplitude. Read More

Non-geometric string backgrounds were proposed to be related to a non-associative deformation of the space-time geometry. In the flux formulation of double field theory (DFT), the structure of mathematically possible non-associative deformations is analyzed in detail. It is argued that on-shell there should not be any violation of associativity in the effective DFT action. Read More

Some aspects of string compactifications with non-geometric fluxes are revisited in the light of recent progress in double field theory. After rederiving the general form of these fluxes, we consider the proposed flux induced four-dimensional effective superpotential and oxidize its induced scalar potential to terms in a ten-dimensional action. This analysis is performed independently for an explicit toroidal type IIA and its T-dual type IIB orientifold. Read More

Non-geometric frames in string theory are related to the geometric ones by certain local O(D,D) transformations, the so-called $\beta$-transforms. For each such transformation, we show that there exists both a natural field redefinition of the metric and the Kalb-Ramond two-form as well as an associated Lie algebroid. We furthermore prove that the all-order low-energy effective action of the superstring, written in terms of the redefined fields, can be expressed through differential-geometric objects of the corresponding Lie algebroid. Read More

Based on the structure of a Lie algebroid for non-geometric fluxes in string theory, a differential-geometry calculus is developed which combines usual diffeomorphisms with so-called \beta-diffeomorphisms emanating from gauge symmetries of the Kalb-Ramond field. This allows to construct a bi-invariant action of Einstein-Hilbert type comprising a metric, a (quasi-)symplectic structure \beta and a dilaton. As a salient feature, this symplectic gravity action and the resulting equations of motion take a form which is similar to the standard action and field equations. Read More

Inspired by recent studies on string theory with non-geometric fluxes, we develop a differential geometry calculus combining usual diffeomorphisms with what we call beta-diffeomorphisms. This allows us to construct a manifestly bi-invariant Einstein-Hilbert type action for the graviton, the dilaton and a dynamical (quasi-)symplectic structure. The equations of motion of this symplectic gravity theory, further generalizations and the relation to the usual form of the string effective action are discussed. Read More

Equipped with concrete examples of Type IIB orientifolds featuring poly-instanton corrections to the superpotential, the effects on moduli stabilization and inflationary cosmology are analyzed. Working in the framework of the LARGE volume scenario, the Kaehler modulus related to the size of the four-cycle supporting the poly-instanton contributes sub-dominantly to the scalar potential. It is shown that this Kaehler modulus gets stabilized and, by displacing it from its minimum, can play the role of an inflaton. Read More

The zero mode structure for the generation of poly-instanton corrections for Euclidian D3-branes wrapping complex surfaces in Type IIB orientifolds with O7- and O3-planes is analyzed. Working examples of such surfaces and explicit embeddings into compact Calabi-Yau threefolds are presented, with special emphasis on geometries capable of realizing the LARGE volume scenario. Read More

Starting from a (non-associative) quasi-Poisson structure, the derivation of a Roytenberg-type algebra is presented. From the Jacobi identities of the latter, the most general form of Bianchi identities for fluxes (H,f,Q,R) is then derived. It is also explained how this approach is related to the mathematical theory of quasi-Lie and Courant algebroids. Read More

A Palatini-type action for Einstein and Gauss-Bonnet gravity with non-trivial torsion is proposed. Three-form flux is incorporated via a deformation of the Riemann tensor, and consistency of the Palatini variational principle requires the flux to be covariantly constant and to satisfy a Jacobi identity. Studying gravity actions of third order in the curvature leads to a conjecture about general Palatini-Lovelock-Cartan gravity. Read More

I summarize some of the ideas and motivations behind a recently performed conformal field theory analysis of closed strings in both geometric and nongeometric three-form flux backgrounds. This suggests an underlying nonassociative structure for the coordinates. Read More

In the framework of (0,2) gauged linear sigma models, we systematically generate sets of perturbatively dual heterotic string compactifications. This target space duality is first derived in non-geometric phases and then translated to the level of GLSMs and its geometric phases. In a landscape analysis, we compare the massless chiral spectra and the dimensions of the moduli spaces. Read More

We study closed bosonic strings propagating both in a flat background with constant H-flux and in its T-dual configurations. We define a conformal field theory capturing linear effects in the flux and compute scattering amplitudes of tachyons, where the Rogers dilogarithm plays a prominent role. For the scattering of four tachyons, a fluxed version of the Virasoro-Shapiro amplitude is derived and its pole structure is analyzed. Read More

In this review, novel non-standard techniques for the computation of cohomology classes on toric varieties are summarized. After an introduction of the basic definitions and properties of toric geometry, we discuss a specific computational algorithm for the determination of the dimension of line-bundle valued cohomology groups on toric varieties. Applications to the computation of chiral massless matter spectra in string compactifications are discussed and, using the software package cohomCalg, its utility is highlighted on a new target space dual pair of (0,2) heterotic string models. Read More

Massless modes of both heterotic and Type II string compactifications on compact manifolds are determined by vector bundle valued cohomology classes. Various applications of our recent algorithm for the computation of line bundle valued cohomology classes over toric varieties are presented. For the heterotic string, the prime examples are so-called monad constructions on Calabi-Yau manifolds. Read More

In an on-shell conformal field theory approach, we find indications of a three-bracket structure for target space coordinates in general closed string backgrounds. This generalizes the appearance of noncommutative gauge theories for open strings in two-form backgrounds to a putative noncommutative/nonassociative gravity theory for closed strings probing curved backgrounds with non-vanishing three-form flux. Several aspects and consequences of the three-bracket structure are discussed and a new type of generalized uncertainty principle is proposed. Read More

Low string scale models might be tested at the LHC directly by their Regge resonances. For such models it is important to investigate the constraints of Standard Model precision measurements on the string scale. It is shown that highly suppressed FCNC processes like K0- bar K^0 oscillations or leptonic decays of the D0-meson provide non-negligible lower bounds on both the perturbatively and surprisingly also non-perturbatively induced string theory couplings. Read More

We present an algorithm for computing line bundle valued cohomology classes over toric varieties. This is the basic starting point for computing massless modes in both heterotic and Type IIB/F-theory compactifications, where the manifolds of interest are complete intersections of hypersurfaces in toric varieties supporting additional vector bundles. Read More

These short lecture notes provide an introduction to some basic notions of F-theory with some special emphasis on its relation to Type IIB orientifolds with O7/O3-planes. Read More

We revisit the issue of M5-brane instanton corrections to the superpotential in F-theory compactifications on elliptically fibered Calabi-Yau fourfolds. Elaborating on concrete geometries, we compare the instanton zero modes for non-perturbative F-theory models with the zero modes in their perturbative Sen limit. The fermionic matter zero modes localized on the intersection of the instanton with the space-time filling D7-branes show up in a geometric way in F-theory. Read More

We construct global F-theory GUT models on del Pezzo surfaces in compact Calabi-Yau fourfolds realized as complete intersections of two hypersurface constraints. The intersections of the GUT brane and the flavour branes as well as the gauge flux are described by the spectral cover construction. We consider a split S[U(4) x U(1)_X] spectral cover, which allows for the phenomenologically relevant Yukawa couplings and GUT breaking to the MSSM via hypercharge flux while preventing dimension-4 proton decay. Read More

We study the F-theory uplift of Type IIB orientifold models on compact Calabi-Yau threefolds containing divisors which are del Pezzo surfaces. We consider two examples defined via del Pezzo transitions of the quintic. The first model has an orientifold projection leading to two disjoint O7-planes and the second involution acts via an exchange of two del Pezzo surfaces. Read More

We review recent progress in determining the effects of D-brane instantons in N=1 supersymmetric compactifications of Type II string theory to four dimensions. We describe the abstract D-brane instanton calculus for holomorphic couplings such as the superpotential, the gauge kinetic function and higher fermionic F-terms. This includes a discussion of multi-instanton effects and the implications of background fluxes for the instanton sector. Read More

We investigate gauge coupling unification for F-theory respectively Type IIB orientifold constructions of SU(5) GUT theories with gauge symmetry breaking via non-trivial hypercharge flux. This flux has the non-trivial effect that it splits the values of the three MSSM gauge couplings at the string scale, thus potentially spoiling the celebrated one-loop gauge coupling unification. It is shown how F-theory can evade this problem in a natural way. Read More

We systematically analyse globally consistent SU(5) GUT models on intersecting D7-branes in genuine Calabi-Yau orientifolds with O3- and O7-planes. Beyond the well-known tadpole and K-theory cancellation conditions there exist a number of additional subtle but quite restrictive constraints. For the realisation of SU(5) GUTs with gauge symmetry breaking via U(1)_Y flux we present two classes of suitable Calabi-Yau manifolds defined via del Pezzo transitions of the elliptically fibred hypersurface P_{1,1,1,6,9}[18] and of the Quintic P_{1,1,1,1,1}[5], respectively. Read More

Taking into account the recently proposed poly-instanton corrections to the superpotential and combining the race-track with a KKLT respectively LARGE Volume Scenario in an intricate manner, we show that we gain exponential control over the parameters in an effective superpotential. This allows us to dynamically stabilise moduli such that a conventional MSSM scenario with the string scale lowered to the GUT scale is realised. Depending on the cycles wrapped by the MSSM branes, two different scenarios for the hierarchy of soft masses arise. Read More

We revisit type I compactifications with a Spin(32)/Z2 gauge bundle that admits no vector structure. We elucidate the relation of this Z2 obstruction to discrete B-field flux and to 't Hooft flux and clarify some subtleties in the T-duality transformation to type IIA intersecting D-brane models. We reexamine the earliest 3-generation GUT model on magnetized D-branes and show its consistency when a discrete B-flux is switched on. Read More

We provide arguments for the existence of novel hereinafter called poly-instanton corrections to holomorphic couplings in four-dimensional N=1 supersymmetric string compactifications. After refining quantitatively the D-brane instanton calculus for corrections to the gauge kinetic function, we explicitly apply it to the Type I toroidal orbifold defined in arXiv:0710.3080 and compare the results to the proposed heterotic S-dual model. Read More

We review some aspects of D-instantons in intersecting D-brane models. In particular, we present applications of the recently proposed instanton calculus to computations of charged matter superpotential couplings and corrections to the gauge kinetic function in the low energy effective action of type IIA orientifolds. As an interesting byway, we also discuss how one-loop corrections to the gauge kinetic function can be deduced from gauge threshold corrections in the type IIA setting. Read More

We investigate the general question of implementing a chiral MSSM like D-brane sector in Type IIB orientifold models with complete moduli stabilisation via F-terms induced by fluxes and space-time instantons, respectively gaugino condensates. The prototype examples are the KKLT and the so-called large volume compactifications. We show that the ansatz of first stabilising all moduli via F-terms and then introducing the Standard Model module is misleading, as a chiral sector notoriously influences the structure of non-perturbative effects and induces a D-term potential. Read More