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Discussion Session at STRINGS 2021
Daniel Baumann and Eva Silverstein
Cosmology and String Theory
Cosmology String Theory
tests
informs
• Inflationary models are UV sensitive
• String theory motivates novel EFTs
• Signatures: B-modes, non-Gaussianity
• Requires de Sitter vacua
• Time as an emergent dimension
• Precision data: CMB, LSS
The Standard Model
A simple 5 parameter model fits all observations:
⌦b
⌦m
⌦⇤
As , ns
It is a strange model because none of these parameters are well understood.
• Dark energy and inflation are UV sensitive (see de Sitter discussion).
• Quantum gravity is the conceptual foundation of cosmology.
An opportunity for string theory.
The Hubble Tension
There is a persistent disagreement in measurements of the Hubble constant:
New physics or systematic errors?
74.0 ± 1.4
H0 = 67.4 ± 0.5
CMB Supernovae
“Any theory that can account for all the facts is wrong,
because some of the facts are always wrong.” Francis Crick
The Hubble Tension
Hard to explain with new physics:
✓ =
rs
D
Angular separation of peaks
in the CMB spectrum
Sound horizon at recombination
Distance to last-scattering
D =
Z z⇤
0
dz
H0
p
⌦m(1 + z)3 + ⌦⇤
rs
✓
D
• Needed: 10% reduction of the sound horizon.
• Hard to achieve without messing up the CMB.
High Energies and Weak Couplings
Standard
Model
Neutrinos
EM
Strong
Weak
Gravity
Energy [eV]
Coupling
1020
1010
1
10 10
10 20
Particle colliders
High-energy
frontier
Weak coupling
frontier
The early universe probes high energies and weak couplings:
String theory is relevant in both regimes.
Cosmological Correlations
• What is the space of consistent correlations?
• What does string theory predict for these correlations?
• What is natural in string theory? (but maybe surprising in EFT?)
High-energy physics is encoded in cosmological correlations:
?
?
Unique Challenges of Cosmology
under-
standing
nonperturbative
? tree-level
(some loops)
• Time (not space) may be emergent.
• Boundary theory is not Lorentz-invariant.
• Boundary theory is not unitary.
• Interactions are scale, but not conformally invariant.
• Lack of rigorous nonperturbative observables.
Recent Progress
Ep
=
lim
E!0
lim
EL!0
=
Eq
L
Arkani-Hamed and Maldacena [2015]
Arkani-Hamed, Benincasa and Postnikov [2017]
Arkani-Hamed, DB, Lee and Pimentel [2018]
Sleight and Taronna [2019]
Goodhew, Jazayeri and Pajer [2020]
DB, Chen, Duaso Pueyo, Joyce, Lee and Pimentel [2021]
Improved understanding of the analytic structure of cosmological correlators:
• Correlators can be built from scattering amplitudes.
• Singularities are connected by differential equations and unitarity constraints.
Unique Opportunities of Cosmology
Atacama Desert South Pole
CMB Stage 4
Euclid
Many upcoming CMB and LSS observations:
SphereX
Observational Phenomenological
• What are the prospects of future observations?
• What are the main observational challenges?
Amenable to theoretical contributions (EFT, ML, …)?
• What are key targets for future observations?
• Is the Hubble tension real?
• What are important effects of the UV completion?
• How do we systematically study non-Gaussianity?
• How to make the most of B-mode measurements?
• How do we further test inflation?
Conceptual
• Do insights from the S-matrix / conformal bootstrap have implications for cosmology?
• How does string theory behave in generic (time-dependent) backgrounds?
• Can insights from cosmological holography impact real observables in cosmology?
• Do insights into the BH information paradox have implications for cosmology? 
• …
Questions and Discussion Topics

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Cosmology and String Theory

  • 1. Discussion Session at STRINGS 2021 Daniel Baumann and Eva Silverstein Cosmology and String Theory
  • 2. Cosmology String Theory tests informs • Inflationary models are UV sensitive • String theory motivates novel EFTs • Signatures: B-modes, non-Gaussianity • Requires de Sitter vacua • Time as an emergent dimension • Precision data: CMB, LSS
  • 3. The Standard Model A simple 5 parameter model fits all observations: ⌦b ⌦m ⌦⇤ As , ns It is a strange model because none of these parameters are well understood. • Dark energy and inflation are UV sensitive (see de Sitter discussion). • Quantum gravity is the conceptual foundation of cosmology. An opportunity for string theory.
  • 4. The Hubble Tension There is a persistent disagreement in measurements of the Hubble constant: New physics or systematic errors? 74.0 ± 1.4 H0 = 67.4 ± 0.5 CMB Supernovae “Any theory that can account for all the facts is wrong, because some of the facts are always wrong.” Francis Crick
  • 5. The Hubble Tension Hard to explain with new physics: ✓ = rs D Angular separation of peaks in the CMB spectrum Sound horizon at recombination Distance to last-scattering D = Z z⇤ 0 dz H0 p ⌦m(1 + z)3 + ⌦⇤ rs ✓ D • Needed: 10% reduction of the sound horizon. • Hard to achieve without messing up the CMB.
  • 6. High Energies and Weak Couplings Standard Model Neutrinos EM Strong Weak Gravity Energy [eV] Coupling 1020 1010 1 10 10 10 20 Particle colliders High-energy frontier Weak coupling frontier The early universe probes high energies and weak couplings: String theory is relevant in both regimes.
  • 7. Cosmological Correlations • What is the space of consistent correlations? • What does string theory predict for these correlations? • What is natural in string theory? (but maybe surprising in EFT?) High-energy physics is encoded in cosmological correlations: ? ?
  • 8. Unique Challenges of Cosmology under- standing nonperturbative ? tree-level (some loops) • Time (not space) may be emergent. • Boundary theory is not Lorentz-invariant. • Boundary theory is not unitary. • Interactions are scale, but not conformally invariant. • Lack of rigorous nonperturbative observables.
  • 9. Recent Progress Ep = lim E!0 lim EL!0 = Eq L Arkani-Hamed and Maldacena [2015] Arkani-Hamed, Benincasa and Postnikov [2017] Arkani-Hamed, DB, Lee and Pimentel [2018] Sleight and Taronna [2019] Goodhew, Jazayeri and Pajer [2020] DB, Chen, Duaso Pueyo, Joyce, Lee and Pimentel [2021] Improved understanding of the analytic structure of cosmological correlators: • Correlators can be built from scattering amplitudes. • Singularities are connected by differential equations and unitarity constraints.
  • 10. Unique Opportunities of Cosmology Atacama Desert South Pole CMB Stage 4 Euclid Many upcoming CMB and LSS observations: SphereX
  • 11. Observational Phenomenological • What are the prospects of future observations? • What are the main observational challenges? Amenable to theoretical contributions (EFT, ML, …)? • What are key targets for future observations? • Is the Hubble tension real? • What are important effects of the UV completion? • How do we systematically study non-Gaussianity? • How to make the most of B-mode measurements? • How do we further test inflation? Conceptual • Do insights from the S-matrix / conformal bootstrap have implications for cosmology? • How does string theory behave in generic (time-dependent) backgrounds? • Can insights from cosmological holography impact real observables in cosmology? • Do insights into the BH information paradox have implications for cosmology?  • … Questions and Discussion Topics