Applications of Numerical Methods in Heterotic Calabi-Yau Compactification
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In this thesis, we apply the methods of numerical differential geometry to several different problems in heterotic Calabi-Yau compactification. We review algorithms for computing both the Ricci-flat metric on Calabi-Yau manifolds and Hermitian Yang-Mills connections on poly-stable holomorphic vector bundles over those spaces. We apply the numerical techniques for obtaining Ricci-flat metrics to study hierarchies of curvature scales over Calabi-Yau manifolds as a function of their complex structure moduli. The work we present successfully finds known large curvature regions on these manifolds, and provides useful information about curvature variation at general points in moduli space. This research is important in determining the validity of the low energy effective theories used in the description of Calabi-Yau compactifications. The numerical techniques for obtaining Hermitian Yang-Mills connections are applied in two different fashions in this thesis. First, we demonstrate that they can be successfully used to numerically determine the stability of vector bundles with qualitatively different features to those that have appeared in the literature to date. Second, we use these methods to further develop some calculations of holomorphic Chern-Simons invariant contributions to the heterotic superpotential that have recently appeared in the literature. A complete understanding of these quantities requires explicit knowledge of the Hermitian Yang-Mills connections involved. This feature makes such investigations prohibitively hard to pursue analytically, and a natural target for numerical techniques.
General Audience Abstract
String theory is one of the most promising attempts to unify gravity with the other three fundamental interactions (electromagnetic, weak and strong) of nature. It is believed to give a self-consistent theory of quantum gravity, which, at low energy, could contain all of the physics that we known, from the Standard Model of particle physics to cosmology. String theories are often defined in nine spatial dimensions. To obtain a theory with three spatial dimensions one needs to hide, or ``compactify," six of the dimensions on a compact space which is small enough to have remained unobserved by our experiments. Unfortunately, the geometries of these spaces, called Calabi-Yau manifolds, and additional structures associated to them, called holomorphic vector bundles, turns out to be extremely complex. The equations determining the exact solutions of string theory for these quantities are highly non-linear partial differential equations (PDE's) which are simply impossible to solve analytically with currently known techniques. Nevertheless, knowledge of these solutions is critical in understanding much of the detailed physics that these theories imply. For example, to compute how the particles seen in three dimensions would interact with each other in a string theoretic model, the explicit form of these solutions would be required. Fortunately, numerical methods do exist for finding approximate solutions to the PDE's of interest. In this thesis we implement these algorithmic techniques and use them to study a variety of physical questions associated to the attempt to link string theory to the physics observed in our experiments.
- Doctoral Dissertations