Spectral and Superpotential Effects in Heterotic Compactifications

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Virginia Tech


In this dissertation we study several topics related to the geometry and physics of heterotic string compactification. After an introduction to some of the basic ideas of this field, we review the heterotic line bundle standard model construction and a complex structure mod- uli stabilization mechanism associated to certain hidden sector gauge bundles. Once this foundational material has been presented, we move on to the original research of this disser- tation. We present a scan over all known heterotic line bundle standard models to examine the frequency with which the particle spectrum is forced to change, or "jump," by the hidden sector moduli stabilization mechanism just mentioned. We find a significant percentage of forced spectrum jumping in those models where such a change of particle content is possible. This result suggests that one should consider moduli stabilization concurrently with model building, and that failing to do so could lead to misleading results. We also use state of the art techniques to study Yukawa couplings in these models. We find that a large portion of Yukawa couplings which naively would be expected to be non-zero actually vanish due to certain topological selection rules. There is no known symmetry which is responsible for this vanishing. In the final part of this dissertation, we study the Chern-Simons contribution to the superpotential of heterotic theories. This quantity is very important in determining the vacuum stability of these models. By explicitly building real bundle morphisms between vec- tor bundles over Calabi-Yau manifolds, we show that this contribution to the superpotential vanishes in many cases. However, by working with more complicated, and realistic geome- tries, we also present examples where the Chern-Simons contribution to the superpotential is non-zero, and indeed fractional.



Heterotic Compactification, Calabi-Yau, Chern-Simons Superpotential