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The Wasteland of Random Supergravities

McAllister, L (Cornell University)
Wednesday 27 June 2012, 10:10-10:45

Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute


We show that in a general N=1 supergravity with N >> 1 scalar fields, an exponentially small fraction of the de Sitter critical points are metastable vacua. Taking the superpotential and Kahler potential to be random functions, we construct a random matrix model for the Hessian matrix, which is well-approximated by the sum of a Wigner matrix and two Wishart matrices. We compute the eigenvalue spectrum analytically from the free convolution of the constituent spectra and find that in typical configurations, a significant fraction of the eigenvalues are negative. Using Coulomb gas techniques, we then determine the probability P of a large fluctuation in which all the eigenvalues become positive. Strong eigenvalue repulsion makes this extremely unlikely: we find P \propto exp(-c N^2), with c a constant, for generic critical points. Our results have significant implications for the counting of de Sitter vacua in string theory, but the number of vacua remains vast.


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