# Emergence of Weak Coupling at Large Distance in Quantum Gravity

## Abstract

The Ooguri-Vafa swampland conjectures claim that in any consistent theory of quantum gravity, when venturing to large distances in scalar field space, a tower of particles will become light at a rate that is exponential in the field-space distance. We provide a novel viewpoint on this claim: If we assume that a tower of states becomes light near a particular point in field space, and we further demand that loop corrections drive both gravity and the scalar to strong coupling at a common energy scale, then the requirement that the particles become light exponentially fast in the field-space distance in Planck units follows automatically. Furthermore, the same assumption of a common strong-coupling scale for scalar fields and gravitons implies that, when a scalar field evolves over a super-Planckian distance, the average particle mass changes by an amount of the order of the cutoff energy. This supports earlier suggestions that significantly super-Planckian excursions in field space cannot be described within a single effective field theory. We comment on the relationship of our results to the weak gravity conjecture.

- Authors:

- Perimeter Inst. for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, ON (Canada)
- Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Physics
- School of Natural Sciences, Princeton, NJ (United States). Inst. for Advanced Study

- Publication Date:

- Research Org.:
- Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)

- Sponsoring Org.:
- USDOE

- OSTI Identifier:
- 1462782

- Alternate Identifier(s):
- OSTI ID: 1498972

- Grant/Contract Number:
- SC0013607

- Resource Type:
- Published Article

- Journal Name:
- Physical Review Letters

- Additional Journal Information:
- Journal Volume: 121; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007

- Publisher:
- American Physical Society (APS)

- Country of Publication:
- United States

- Language:
- English

- Subject:
- 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

### Citation Formats

```
Heidenreich, Ben, Reece, Matthew, and Rudelius, Tom. Emergence of Weak Coupling at Large Distance in Quantum Gravity. United States: N. p., 2018.
Web. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.121.051601.
```

```
Heidenreich, Ben, Reece, Matthew, & Rudelius, Tom. Emergence of Weak Coupling at Large Distance in Quantum Gravity. United States. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.121.051601.
```

```
Heidenreich, Ben, Reece, Matthew, and Rudelius, Tom. Fri .
"Emergence of Weak Coupling at Large Distance in Quantum Gravity". United States. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.121.051601.
```

```
@article{osti_1462782,
```

title = {Emergence of Weak Coupling at Large Distance in Quantum Gravity},

author = {Heidenreich, Ben and Reece, Matthew and Rudelius, Tom},

abstractNote = {The Ooguri-Vafa swampland conjectures claim that in any consistent theory of quantum gravity, when venturing to large distances in scalar field space, a tower of particles will become light at a rate that is exponential in the field-space distance. We provide a novel viewpoint on this claim: If we assume that a tower of states becomes light near a particular point in field space, and we further demand that loop corrections drive both gravity and the scalar to strong coupling at a common energy scale, then the requirement that the particles become light exponentially fast in the field-space distance in Planck units follows automatically. Furthermore, the same assumption of a common strong-coupling scale for scalar fields and gravitons implies that, when a scalar field evolves over a super-Planckian distance, the average particle mass changes by an amount of the order of the cutoff energy. This supports earlier suggestions that significantly super-Planckian excursions in field space cannot be described within a single effective field theory. We comment on the relationship of our results to the weak gravity conjecture.},

doi = {10.1103/physrevlett.121.051601},

journal = {Physical Review Letters},

number = 5,

volume = 121,

place = {United States},

year = {2018},

month = {8}

}

DOI: 10.1103/physrevlett.121.051601

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