Friday, April 01, 2005

Glashow finds the correct stringy vacuum

Today, the most interesting paper on the arXiv is undoubtedly the paper by Shelly Glashow:
It's a pretty long one but I could not resist to read the whole text. How exciting! Apparently, he identifies the correct vacuum of string theory, and checks it numerically. He obtains various masses of quarks and leptons that seem to agree with observations. The accuracy of his calculations is thrilling. I was particularly impressed by the 6-loop correction to the muon Yukawa coupling and the D3-brane instanton that modifies the Weinberg angle at low energies.

There are many funny points about this paper. For example, in the acknowledgements, the author thanks Peter Woit for emphasizing the importance of the Dirac operator on the moduli space of Calabi-Yau four-folds and the importance of string theory to him. (F-theory on the Glashow Calabi-Yau four-fold is the picture in which he decided to calculate the neutrino mass matrix.)

This may be a pretty important paper, perhaps a second Nobel prize paper. Some of Glashow's points that go beyond the analysis of the particular (correct) model are the following:
  • the landscape is a nonsense, and the vacua that do not have any kind of self-mirror discrete symmetries are eliminated from the initial Hartle-Hawking-like wave function of the Universe

  • a particular sign in the HH wavefunction must be reverted
  • the inflation is driven by 3 scalar fields in a hidden sector, and one gets about 64 e-foldings of inflation
  • the cosmological constant is cancelled at the leading order due to a kind of hidden, broken N=2 supersymmetry; the spontaneous breaking of this symmetry generates vacuum energy of order "m_{SP}^8 / m_{string}^4"; the "m_{SP}^4" terms are trivially cancelled by the underlying broken "N=2" SUSY or, equivalently, the self-mirror discrete symmetry
  • in Glashow's model, the superpartner scale, defined as the mass of the LSP (a neutralino), is about 200 GeV, and "m_{string}=8 x 10^14 GeV" (the heterotic string coupling)
  • the vacua of string theory are not unique, but his vacuum is the only metastable 4D vacuum with completely broken supersymmetry
  • Glashow identifies 3 main new decay channels for vacua that have been neglected so far - the most interesting one is a splitting of the internal manifold into disconnected manifolds, something that destabilizes virtually all type IIB flux vacua
Glashow also humiliates the people who believed that there was a large degeneracy of string vacua that must be considered. Well, they definitely deserve it!

He also proposes a new bootstrap principle that could be the ultimate formulation of string theory. Two-dimensional conformal field theories (perturbative string theory) and AdS/CFT-like theories represent two large classes of solutions of Glashow's bootstrap conditions.

I feel embarassed that I could not finish various concepts that Glashow completes so easily (although I was pretty close).


  1. Good April's Fool joke.

    Too bad things like that cannot be true...

  2. Dear Anonymous,

    whom do you call a joke???


  3. You could ban him for incivility...

  4. Well, if it is not a joke, than must be a dream.

  5. Well, speaking of double standards! Arxiv regularly blacklists reasonable authors when their papers don't agree with the status quo orthodoxy but when someone belonging to the string orthodoxy publishes a joke paper making fun of string theory skeptics, they accept it!

  6. Marvelous, Lubos! All the people criticizing super string theory have all been wrong all the time. It's an absolutely amazing paper that explains everything physicists have been puzzling over the last thousands of years.

    So far I have been through only the first 41 pages of that long paper, and I have verified all calculations to be correct and gives the exactly masses of particles like muon etc. Definitely beats my QUITAR in precision.


  7. Shelly's paper had to be accepted because it has been just a couple of weeks when he belongs to the string orthodoxy.

    Quantoken, great to hear that you enjoy the paper. But I think there is a sign error on page 27, eqn. (3.38). This gives him a Wino at 350 GeV instead of the correct 380 GeV.

  8. cannot be serious.

  9. So interesting!!! I just looked at the abstract, but couldn't see the full text. Do I have to wait until Sunady?

  10. Hmm, interesting that it links to a site on your computer, and not on the archiv. Good one, Lubos.

  11. oh, it's not even on arxiv! Lubos, do you have Glashow's permission to pull off this prank?

  12. Very cute Lubos. I'll see you in court ;->

  13. I wonder, Lubos, what do you have to say about supersplit supersymetry?
    To me it looks like a good candidate!
    so sad it was thought before, oops, wasnt shelly involved in that one too? :)

  14. Breaking News!

    The LILO experiment, as many of you know, the experiment that attempts to detect gravitational waves generated by remote supernova explosions, for the first time, has detected some signal that proves beyond doubt the existence of gravitational waves. Let me quote below my first impression of the news report.

    To the surprise of many of scientists involved, the detected signal is extremely strong, it's 40 orders magnitude stronger than the expected signal strength of a presumed supernova at 10 billion light years away. More over, the signal exhibit a behavior that can only be explained by the existence of an extremely long wavelength (longer than the hubble scale) disturbance of a theoretical tachyon scalar field on a 10-D brane damaged world.

    The signal is so unreasonably strong, that many physicists believe it was simply instrument malfunction caused by the recent 8.7 magnitude earthquake. But a strong of extremely lucky discovers combined, leading physicists to evetually conclude it is a real detection of gravitational wave, not instrumental errors.

    First, scientists noticed that the signal is onmi-directional. Extrapolate the experimental data and it points to a certain direction of the southern sky.

    Some one noticed that that direction is very close to CSL-1 object. But upon closer examination, the coordinates are not the same: it is off by 5 degrees. So initially it was ruled out that the prefered direction has anything to do with CSL-1.

    But then one astronomy group, unaware of the LIGO result, noticed a ring shaped structure in the part of sky where CSL-1 is, It is so bright that it can be seen by naked eyes using a binocular. The center of that ring structure, is exactly along the prefered direction of the LIGO signal!!!

    More surprisingly, a closer examination of the ring structure revealed it is composed of a series of identical bright reddish objects unlike anything astronomers have seen. Their brightness indicate they can not be more than 100 light years away, but the extreme redshift indicate they must be more than 14 billion light years away!!! And rumor has it that there are exactly 6 hundred sixty-six of those identical objects, uniformly distributed.

    The discovery completely puzzled scientists, until one casual calculation revealed a small secret that no one has noticed so far. Scientists exptrapolate the preference direction the opposite way, and try to map it to earth coordinate. It was shown that the city of Roma, Italy, is exactly on the path to pass through that direction, some time in April 2nd, as the earth rotates.

    Connecting the dots, scientists at the new Standford Research Institute has proposed a very plausible theory, which is quickly gaining acceptance.

    The theory is that the gravitaional wave detected, is due to the disturbance of spacetime, caused by a formation of an extremely large scale wormhole, so large that it originates some where in the southern sky, way beyond the boundary of visible universe, and goes across the center of earth, and terminates on the surface of earth where Roma will pass through in the new few hours. But why such a wormhole would form? No body knows.

    I would speculate that the number 666, is not a coincidence. It is an indication of the mark of the beast. Clearly a shortcut from earth to heaven must have been created, for a purpose. Since we know the heaven could not be any where within the radius of observable universe, which is some 14 billion light years. Normally some one's soul, which is a form of quantum information, can not travel faster than the speed of light, the maximum information traveling speed. So a typical soul will spend 14 billion years in hell before reaching the heaven. The only possible way of getting to heaven instantly, is certain through a wormhole.

    It must be that the newly discovered giant wormhole, is the gate to heaven, opened for the first time in the last one hundred years, to allow expedited admission of one particular great soul into heaven.

    We will see in a few hour what happens when the earth rotation brings Roma direction to the opening of the wormhole :-)


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  16. Heh! But I would not think that the way to heaven should be by such a creepy-crawly route as a worms hole; and the beastly number connotation is troubling.

    What I _could_ believe in is that the shortest route to hell is by an asshole... :-)