Statistics on the heterotic landscape: Gauge groups and cosmological constants of four-dimensional heterotic strings

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Recent developments in string theory have reinforced the notion that the space of stable supersymmetric and nonsupersymmetric string vacua fills out a landscape whose features are largely unknown. It is then hoped that progress in extracting phenomenological predictions from string theory-such as correlations between gauge groups, matter representations, potential values of the cosmological constant, and so forth-can be achieved through statistical studies of these vacua. To date, most of the efforts in these directions have focused on type I vacua. In this note, we present the first results of a statistical study of the heterotic landscape, focusing on more than 105 explicit nonsupersymmetric tachyon-free heterotic string vacua and their associated gauge groups and one-loop cosmological constants. Although this study has several important limitations, we find a number of intriguing features which may be relevant for the heterotic landscape as a whole. These features include different probabilities and correlations for different possible gauge groups as functions of the number of orbifold twists. We also find a vast degeneracy amongst nonsupersymmetric string models, leading to a severe reduction in the number of realizable values of the cosmological constant as compared with naïve expectations. Finally, we find strong correlations between cosmological constants and gauge groups which suggest that heterotic string models with extremely small cosmological constants are overwhelmingly more likely to exhibit the standard model gauge group at the string scale than any of its grand-unified extensions. In all cases, heterotic world sheet symmetries such as modular invariance provide important constraints that do not appear in corresponding studies of type I vacua.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106010
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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