String theory

String theory is a promising solution for a profound problem: How does everyday gravitation behave on the short distance scales where the phenomena of quantum physics become noticeable?

In the basic approach of string theory, the fundamental objects of physics are no longer point-like particles but rather one-dimensional objects, so-called strings.

It appears that the strings move through a ten-dimensional space-time and must be supersymmetrical there. This assumption has many consequences: for example, that besides the strings there are also higher-dimensional objects, so-called D-branes.

A central question is how our familiar four-dimensional space-time, with the physics known to us, can be derived from this higher-dimensional theory.

In this context, the string theory group at MPP deals with different compactification scenarios. In doing so, the theorists also investigate what implications these have for particle physics and cosmology. Furthermore, we study general properties of quantum gravity and string theory in the framework of the swampland program. Among other things, it deals with the question which quantum field theories allow a consistent embedding in string theory at low energies or in quantum gravity at high energies - and for which quantum field theories this is not the case. The latter then belong to the so-called swampland.

Further, they are studying the quantum properties of black holes and the structure of quantum scattering processes in quantum field theory and quantum gravitation as well as the mathematical properties of compactifications, and non-associative algebras in particular.

String theory at the MPP

The torus is an auxiliary geometric object for calculating the interaction of gravitons. If the torus is cut into two halves, two cylinders are created that represent the respective interactions of two gauge theories (Graphics: S. Stieberger/MPP)

String theory: gravity and the standard model move closer together

The topic is considered THE classic dilemma in physics: the incompatibility of the quantum world - the description of the smallest building blocks of matter - with space-time in the universe, which is in the regime of gravity. With string theory,…

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Professor Cumrun Vafa (Photo: private)

Humboldt Research Award winner Cumrun Vafa comes to the MPP as a guest

The highly respected theoretical physicist Cumrun Vafa from Harvard University has received one of the prestigious Humboldt Research Awards. Along with this award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation comes an invitation for a stay of up to one…

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Quantum Gravity: German-Israeli cooperation signed and sealed

Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) will collaborate closely in the field of quantum gravity. The German Research Foundation (DFG) recently approved a three-year cooperation project that is…

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Vladislav Kupriyanov

Max Planck Institute for Physics welcomes Vladislav Kupriyanov as a Capes-Humboldt Research fellow

Vladislav Kupriyanov has recently joined the Max Planck Institute for Physics as a postdoctoral research fellow. The scientist dedicates himself primarily to aspects of the quantization of string theory and M-theory and will collaborate with the…

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Looking into the future of theoretical particle physics

Symposium May 18-20, 2016

Where do the most important topics and trends in theoretical physics lie? This is the question to be pursued by internationally renowned experts at the symposium “New Developments in Theoretical Particle Physics.” The event takes place from May 18 to…

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X. Bekaert, J. Erdmenger, D. Ponomarev and C. Sleight,
Quartic AdS Interactions in Higher-Spin Gravity from Conformal Field Theory
Journal of High Energy Physics 1511 (2015) 149  

R. Blumenhagen, A. Font, M. Fuchs, D. Herschmann, E. Plauschinn, Y. Sekiguchi, F. Wolf
"A Flux-Scaling Scenario for High-Scale Moduli Stabilization in String
Theory", Nucl.Phys. B897 (2015) 500-554

G. Dvali, C. Gomez, R. Isermann, D. Lüst, S. Stieberger
Black Hole Formation and Classicalization in ultra-Planckian 2 -> N Scattering
Nucl.Phys. 893 (2015) 187

A. Font, I. Garcia Etxebarria, D. Lüst, S. Massai, C. Mayrhofer
Heterotic T-fects, 6D SCFTs and F-Theory