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String Theory and Space-Time Singularities

English title String Theory and Space-Time Singularities
Applicant Blau Matthias
Number 121711
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Institut für Theoretische Physik Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Theoretical Physics
Start/End 01.10.2008 - 30.09.2010
Approved amount 333'052.00
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Keywords (8)

String theory; Singularities; Quantum Gravity; Sting Gas Cosmology; Matrix string; Theory; space-time singularities; cosmology

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
One of the major unsolved problems of theoretical high energy and gravitational physics, and one of the main motivations for research in string theory and quantum gravity, is the question of what happens at classical cosmological (Big Bang) or astrophysical (Black Hole) space-time singularities.This research project consists of two parts, both providing concrete proposals to study particular aspects of this problem in the context of string theory, making essential use of various string theory dualities.On the one hand, we hope to gain insight into non-perturbative aspects of the physics of space-time singularities by studying certain classes of null singularities in the framework of matrix string theory. This is a continuation of a long-term research project and the current proposal is aimed at extending previous (more classical) investigations to genuinely quantum and string-theoretical issues. On the other hand, we intend to study aspects of string cosmology within the framework of brane gas cosmology. This is a new research project. Its aim is to gain insight into string cosmology by combining the Brandenberger-Vafa string gas cosmology scenario, relying crucially on the T-dualities of toroidally compactified string theory, with the more recent idea that fluxes can be used to stabilise moduli (massless scalar fields).Concretely, the proposal is to study string (and brane) gas cosmology within the setting of T-folds, since these provide both a manifestly T-duality covariant form of string dynamics and a natural language and arena to accommodate fluxes. The concrete goals are thus to first develop a quantum statistical treatment of a gas of strings on a T-fold, and to then analyse the flux stablisation mechanism in this context.Results obtained from this research project can be expected to have direct implications for our understanding of the physics of realistic space-time singularities and, in the latter case, also for string theory phenomenology.Moreover, since questions related to the fate of cosmological singularities will involve Planck scale physics , they can be regarded as a litmus test for the success of any candidate theory of quantum gravity.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants



Geometry of Schrodinger Space-Times II: Particle and Field Probes of the Causal Structure
Blau Matthias, Hartong Jelle, Rollier Blaise (2010), Geometry of Schrodinger Space-Times II: Particle and Field Probes of the Causal Structure, in JHEP, 07, 069-069.
Geometry of Schrodinger Space-Times, Global Coordinates, and Harmonic Trapping
Blau Matthias, Hartong Jelle, Rollier Blaise (2009), Geometry of Schrodinger Space-Times, Global Coordinates, and Harmonic Trapping, in JHEP, 07, 027-027.

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
113528 String Theory and Space Time Singularities 01.10.2006 Project funding
132412 String Theory, Quantum Gravity, and Space-Time Singularities 01.10.2010 Project funding