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**ABSTRACT:**This is a pedagogical review article surveying the various approaches towards understanding gauge coupling unification within string theory. As is well known, one of the major problems confronting string phenomenology has been an apparent discrepancy between the scale of gauge coupling unification predicted within string theory, and the unification scale expected within the framework of the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM). In this article, I provide an overview of the different approaches that have been taken in recent years towards reconciling these two scales, and outline some of the major recent developments in each. These approaches include string GUT models; higher affine levels and non-standard hypercharge normalizations; heavy string threshold corrections; light supersymmetric thresholds; effects from intermediate-scale gauge and matter structure beyond the MSSM; strings without supersymmetry; and strings at strong coupling.Physics Reports 01/1997; · 22.93 Impact Factor - [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]

**ABSTRACT:**We study L-point couplings between twisted sector fields in heterotic orbifold compactifications, using conformal field theory. Selection rules provide an easy way to identify which couplings are non-vanishing. Those used in the current literature are gauge invariance, R-charge conservation and the space group selection rule, but they are not the whole story. We revive and refine a fourth selection rule, due to symmetries in the underlying torus lattice, and introduce a fifth one, due to the existence or not of classical worldsheet instanton solutions to mediate the couplings. We consider briefly the phenomenological consequences of the additional rules, in particular for recent orbifold constructions whose field content correspond to that of the MSSM. The structure of the exotic mass matrices is unaltered and many dimension-5 proton-decay operators vanish.Journal of High Energy Physics 07/2011; · 5.62 Impact Factor - [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]

**ABSTRACT:**We review the mechanism of gaugino condensation in the framework of the $d=10$ heterotic string and its $d=11$ extension of Horava and Witten. In particular we emphasize the relation between the gaugino condensate and the flux of the antisymmetric tensor fields of higher dimensional supergravity. Its potential role for supersymmetry breakdown and moduli stabilization is investigated.03/2004;

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