TH String Theory Seminar

Strings in compact cosmological spaces.

by Ben Craps (VUB Bruxelles)

4-3-006 - TH Conference Room (CERN)

4-3-006 - TH Conference Room


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We confront the problem of giving a fundamental definition to perturbative string theory in spacetimes with totally compact space (taken to be a torus for simplicity, though the nature of the problem is very general) and non-compact time. Due to backreaction induced by the presence of even a single string quantum, the usual formulation of perturbative string theory in a fixed classical background is infrared-divergent at all subleading orders in the string coupling, and needs to be amended. The problem can be seen as a closed string analogue of D0-brane recoil under an impact by closed strings (a situation displaying extremely similar infrared divergences). Inspired by the collective coordinate treatment of the D0-brane recoil, whereby the translational modes of the D0-brane are introduced as explicit dynamical variables in the path integral, we construct a similar formalism for the case of string-induced gravitational backreaction, in which the spatially uniform modes of the background fields on the compact space are quantized explicitly. The formalism can equally well be seen as an ultraviolet completion of a minisuperspace quantum cosmology with string degrees of freedom. We consider the amplitudes for the universe to have two cross-sections with specified spatial properties and string contents, and show (at the first non-trivial order) that they are finite within our formalism.
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