TASI Lectures on Remnants from the String Landscape
February 23, 2018
September 13, 2018
Superstring theories are very promising theoretically, but the enormous landscape of string vacua and the (likely) very large underlying string scale imply that they may never be tested directly. Nevertheless, concrete constructions consistent with the observed world frequently lead to observable remnants, i.e., new particles or features that are apparently accidental consequences of the ultraviolet theory and that are typically not motivated by specific shortcomings of the standard models of particle physics or cosmology. For example, moduli, axions, large extended gauge sectors, additional $Z'$ gauge bosons, extended Higgs/Higgsino sectors, and quasi-chiral exotics are extremely common. They motivate alternative cosmological paradigms and could lead to observable signatures at the LHC. Similar features can emerge in other standard model extensions, but in the stringy case they are more likely to occur in isolation and not as part of a more complete TeV-scale structure. Conversely, some common aspects of the infinite ``landscape'' of field theories, such as large representations, are expected to be very rare in the string landscape, and observation of features definitively in the swampland could lead to falsification. In this article, common stringy remnants and their phenomenology are surveyed, and implications for indirectly supporting or casting doubt on string theory are discussed.
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