If there is a single underlying "theory of everything" which in some limits of its "moduli space" reduces to the five weakly coupled string theories in 10D, and 11D SUGRA, then it is possible that all six of them have some common domain of validity, and that they are in the same universality class, in the sense that the 4D low-energy physics of the different theories is the same. We call this notion string universality. This suggests that the true vacuum of string theory is in a region of moduli space equally far (in some sense) from all perturbative theories, most likely around the self-dual point with respect to duality symmetries connecting them. We estimate stringy nonperturbative effects from wrapped brane instantons in each perturbative theory, show how they are related by dualities, and argue that they are likely to lead to moduli stabilization only around the self-dual point. We argue that moduli stabilization should occur near the string scale, and SUSY breaking should occur at a much lower intermediate scale, and that it originates from different sources. We discuss the problems of moduli stabilization and SUSY breaking in currently popular scenarios, explain why these problems are generic, and discuss how our scenario can evade them. We show that string universality is not inconsistent with phenomenology, but that it is in conflict with some popular versions of brane world scenarios.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)