The aim of this book is to explain why "string theory" may provide the comprehensive underlying theory that describes and explains our world, perhaps fairly soon. Although such a claim might seem controversial to many, I hope to convince the reader that after progress in recent years this is now a defendable goal, and one deserving of broad encouragement. And I hope to convince the reader that not only are string theories about our world testable, but data will be essential to making the role of string theories compelling.
This book is not a systematic review, or a pedagogical explication. It is an enthusiastic, somewhat speculative, somewhat personal view of how compactified string/M-theories - plus data that may be reachable - seem to have the possibilities of leading to a comprehensive underlying theory of particle physics and cosmology, perhaps soon. The book is well founded on three decades of compactification research, and over two decades of compactifying M-theory, which is used as the main example because it is where my own work has focused. I'll explain "compactification" below. If string/M-theory is to be of any value in understanding our world it will be through compactified string/M-theories - the book is about them.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: the Standard Models
2. The Planck scale - compactification
3. Testing theories in physics, including string theories
4. The mass-energy scales of particle physics and cosmology - the 'hierarchy' problem - supersymmetry - hidden sectors
5. The scales we need to explain
6. How would we decide we had a good theory to describe and explain our world
7. Brief topics: views from our perspective
About the Author(s)Gordon Kane
, University of Michigan
Gordon Kane is the Victor Weisskopf Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan and Director Emeritus at the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics (MCTP), a leading center for the advancement of theoretical physics. He was director of the MCTP from 2005 to 2011 and Victor Weisskopf Collegiate Professor of Physics from 2002 - 2011. He received the Lilienfeld Prize from the American Physical Society in 2012, and the J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics in 2017.
Kane is an internationally recognized scientific leader in theoretical and phenomenological particle physics, and theories for physics beyond the Standard Model. In recent years he has been a leader in string phenomenology. Kane has been with the University of Michigan since 1965.