TH String Theory Seminar

Miguel Montero - "Cobordisms, anomalies, and the Swampland in d>6"

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The Swampland program aims at constraining the EFTs that can be consistently coupled to quantum gravity from general principles. In particular cases, absence of global symmetries can lead to strong constraints at low energies. In this talk I will explain how and illustrate this in the particular context of supersymmetric theories in d>6. In particular, vanishing of certain cobordism classes requires existence of singular defects, which we call "I-folds". I-fold compactifications can have anomalies, rendering the theory inconsistent. In this way, we find additional constraints in the rank of the gauge group in d>6. In d>7, our constraints are very restrictive, and the only solutions are precisely realized by the known string compactifications to 8d and 9d. This establishes the "String Lamppost Principle", the idea that the only consistent quantum gravities are string compactifications, in d>7 on a generic point of the Coulomb branch. I will also briefly comment on applications of these techniques to other interesting setups.