In algebraic geometry and superstring theory, a Calabi–Yau manifold, sometimes called a Calabi–Yau space, is a compact, complex Kähler manifold whose first Chern class (over the real field) is trivial. Calabi-Yau threefolds are important in superstring theory.
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- ... when non-perturbative phenomena are included, there is no problem from the string theory point of view in effecting continuous transitions between Calabi-Yau spaces of different topology. This shows that stringy ideas about geometry are really more general than those found in classical Riemannian geometry. The moduli space of Calabi-Yau manifolds should thus be regarded as a continuously connected whole, rather than a series of different ones individually associated with different topological objects ... Thus, questions about the topology of Calabi-Yau spaces must be treated on the same footing as questions about the metric on the spaces. That is, the issue of topology is another aspect of the the moduli fields. These considerations are relevant to understanding the ground state of the universe.
- Calabi-Yau manifolds admit Kähler metrics with vanishing Ricci curvatures. They are solutions of the Einstein field equation with no matter. The theory of motions of circles inside of a Calabi-Yau manifold provide a model of a conformal field theory. (It is called a σ-model in physics.) Because of this, Calabi-Yau manifolds are pivotal in superstring theory. ... It has long been argued that, in order to solve certain classic problems of unified gauge theories such as the gauge hierarchy problem, the 4-dimensional effective theory should admit an N = 1 supersymmetry. In a fundamental paper, Candelas-Horowitz-Strominger-Witten ... analyzed what the constraint of that N = 1 supersymmetry would mean for the geometry of the internal space X. They found that, for the most basic product models with N = 1 supersymmetry, the space X must be a Calabi-Yau manifold of complex dimension 3. Shortly afterwards, Strominger ... considered slightly more general models, allowing warped products. For these models, the N = 1 supersymmetry constraint results in a modification of the Ricci-flat equation of the earlier model.
- Shing-Tung Yau: (2008). "A survey of Calabi-Yau manifolds". Surveys in Differential Geometry XIII: 277–318.