Title:

CalabiYau manifolds, discrete symmetries and string theory

In this thesis we explore various aspects of CalabiYau (CY) manifolds and com pactifications of the heterotic string over them. At first we focus on classifying symmetries and computing Hodge numbers of smooth CY quotients. Being non simply connected, these quotients are an integral part of CY compactifications of the heterotic string, aimed at producing realistic string vacua. Discrete symmetries of such spaces that are generically present in the moduli space, are phenomenologically important since they may appear as symmetries of the associated low energy theory. We classify such symmetries for the class of smooth Complete Intersection CY (CICY) quotients, resulting in a large number of regular and Rsymmetry examples. Our results strongly suggest that generic, nonfreely acting symmetries for CY quotients arise relatively frequently. A large number of string derived Standard Models (SM) were recently obtained over this class of CY manifolds indicating that our results could be phenomenologically important. We also specialise to certain loci in the moduli space of a quintic quotient to produce highly symmetric CY quotients. Our computations thus far are the first steps towards constructing a sizeable class of highly symmetric smooth CY quotients. Knowledge of the topological properties of the internal space is vital in determining the suitability of the space for realistic string compactifications. Employing the tools of polynomial deformation and counting of invariant Kähler classes, we compute the Hodge numbers of a large number of smooth CICY quotients. These were later verified by independent cohomology computations. We go on to develop the machinery to understand the geometry of CY manifolds embedded as hypersurfaces in a product of del Pezzo surfaces. This led to an interesting account of the quotient space geometry, enabling the computation of Hodge numbers of such CY quotients. Until recently only a handful of CY compactifications were known that yielded low energy theories with desirable MSSM features. The recent construction of rank 5 line bundle sums over smooth CY quotients has led to several SU(5) GUTs with the exact MSSM spectrum. We derive semianalytic results on the finiteness of the number of such line bundle models, and study the relationship between the volume of the CY and the number of line bundle models over them. We also imply a possible correlation between the observed number of generations and the value of the gauge coupling constants of the corresponding GUTs. String compactifications with underlying SO(10) GUTs are theoretically attractive especially since the discovery that neutrinos have nonzero mass. With this in mind, we construct tens of thousands of rank 4 stable line bundle sums over smooth CY quotients leading to SO(10) GUTs.
