VCQ News Talks by Cumrun Vafa (Harvard) on 2 & 3 May

Talks by Cumrun Vafa (Harvard) on 2 & 3 May

photograph by Brigitte Lacombe

Tuesday, May 2, 2023 at 18:15

Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 10:15

String Theory and Our Universe

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023 at 18:15, Christian Doppler Lecture Hall, 3rd floor, Boltzmanngasse 5

String theory landscapes of vacua point to new consistency conditions that a quantum gravitational system must satisfy. There are only a small number of quantum field theories that satisfy these conditions and all the rest belong to the `Swampland’ which cannot be consistently coupled to gravity. In this talk I review some of these conditions and their implications for cosmology and particle physics.

Dark dimension and a unification of the dark sector

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 10:15, Schrödinger Lecture Hall, ESI, Boltzmanngasse 9/2

In this talk I apply consistency conditions of quantum gravity to the dark sector. Motivated by the smallness of the dark energy combined with other experimental data, one is naturally led to a corner of the quantum gravity landscape with one extra mesoscopic dimension in the micron range. Interestingly this also leads to graviton excitations in the 5th dimension as an unavoidable candidate for the dark matter. Moreover, TCC conjecture applied to the late time cosmology motivates specific initial conditions in this scenario, leading to the right abundance of dark matter gravitons and an explanation of the cosmological coincidence problem. I also explain how the cosmological S8 tension gets resolved.

Host: Markus Aspelmeyer

Photograph by Brigitte Lacombe

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