I was in a local Barnes and Noble today, and noticed that there’s a new, second edition out of Barton Zwiebach’s A First Course in String Theory, which is the textbook for MIT’s course 8.251 String Theory for Undergraduates. The new addition includes a 10 page section explaining the details of how to compute numbers of vacua in the landscape based on flux compactifications, and arguing that this provides an explanation of the value of the cosmological constant. Landscape ideology has now made it to the undergraduate level.
However, this only seems to be the case at MIT. A couple years ago I wrote about undergraduate string theory courses here, noting that there was an increasing trend to offer them, with MIT, Caltech, Stanford and Carnegie-Mellon providing examples. Recently this seems to have turned around, with Caltech, Stanford and Carnegie-Mellon not offering such a course this year. Somehow I don’t thinking adding coverage of the landscape to the textbook is going to encourage physics departments to teach this material to undergraduates.