De Sitter vs Quintessence in String Theory

M. Cicoli, S. de Alwis, A. Maharana, F. Muia, F. Quevedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


De Sitter solutions have been recently conjectured to be incompatible with quantum gravity. In this paper we critically assess the progress and challenges of different mechanisms to obtain de Sitter vacua in string compactifications and compare them to quintessence models. We argue that, despite recent criticisms, de Sitter models reached a level of concreteness and calculational control which has been improving over time. On the other hand, building string models of quintessence appears to be more challenging and requires additional fine-tuning. We discuss the tension between the swampland conjecture and the Higgs potential and find examples which can evade fifth-force bounds even if they seem very hard to realise in string theory. We also comment on the tension with low-redshift data and explore ultra-light axions from string theory as dark energy candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1800079
JournalFortschritte der Physik
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • de Sitter
  • quintessence
  • string Landscape
  • swampland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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