We discuss general features of models in which the E8 × E′8 heterotic superstring is compactified on a specific Calabi-Yau manifold. The gauge group of rank-6 in four dimensions is supposed to be broken down at an intermediate scale mI to the standard model group SU(3)C × SU(2)L × U(1)Y, as a result of two neutral scalar fields acquiring large vacuum expectations (vev's) in one of many flat directions of the effective potential. We find that it is difficult to generate such an intermediate scale by radiative symmetry breaking, whilst such models have prima facie problems with baryon decay mediated by massive particles and with non-perturbative behaviour of the gauge couplings, unless mI ≳ 1016 GeV. Rapid baryon decay mediated by light particles, large neutrino masses, other Δ L ≠ 0 processes and flavour-changing neutral currents are generic features of these models. We illustrate these observations with explicit calculations in a number of different models given by vev's in different flat directions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thankS . Kalara for discussionsa,n dG. Ross for sendingu s an advanceco py of ref. \[4\]T.h e work of K.E. and D.V.N. was supportedin part by DOE grant DE-AC02-76ER0081a ndin part by the Universityo f WisconsinR esearchC ommit-tee with fundsg rantedb y the WisconsinA lumniR esearchF oundationT.h e work of K.A.O. was supporteidn part by DOE grantD E-AC02-83ER-40105.