Dark energy in string theory

Susha Parameswaran (University of Liverpool)

27 February 2019

Recently, Vafa et al. made the bold conjecture that de Sitter Universes cannot be consistently embedded into a theory of quantum gravity. I will review this and other 'swampland conjectures', and summarise the current status of de Sitter vacua in string theory. I will then present a simple, well-motivated and robust alternative to a de Sitter vacuum – a string candidate for quintessence – that is consistent with current observations of dark energy and naturally satisfies conjectured swampland constraints.

This talk is based on the paper 'Runaway quintessence, out of the swampland' with Gianmassimo Tasinato and Ivonne Zavala.