Publications by Joseph Conlon


Projected bounds on ALPs from Athena

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Blackwell Publishing Inc. (0)

JP Conlon, F Day, N Jennings, S Krippendorf, F Muia

Galaxy clusters represent excellent laboratories to search for Axion-Like Particles (ALPs). They contain magnetic fields which can induce quasi-sinusoidal oscillations in the X-ray spectra of AGNs situated in or behind them. Due to its excellent energy resolution, the X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) instrument onboard the Athena X-ray Observatory will be far more sensitive to ALP-induced modulations than current detectors. As a first analysis of the sensitivity of Athena to the ALP-photon coupling $g_{a \gamma \gamma}$, we simulate observations of the Seyfert galaxy NGC1275 in the Perseus cluster using the SIXTE simulation software. We estimate that for a 200ks exposure, a non-observation of spectral modulations will constrain ${g_{a\gamma\gamma}\lesssim1.5\times10^{-13}\rm{GeV}^{-1}}$ for $m_a \lesssim 10^{-12} \rm{eV}$, representing an order of magnitude improvement over constraints derived using the current generation of satellites.


Loop corrections to Delta N_eff in large volume models

ArXiv (0)

S Angus, JP Conlon, U Haisch, AJ Powell

In large volume models reheating is driven by the decays of the volume modulus to the visible sector, while the decays to its axion partners result in dark radiation. In this article we discuss the impact of loop corrections on the only model-independent visible decay channel: the decay into Higgs pairs via a Giudice-Masiero term. Including such radiative effects leads to a more precise determination of the relative fraction of dark radiation, since by contrast all loop corrections to the volume axion decay mode are Planck suppressed. Assuming an MSSM spectrum and that the Giudice-Masiero coupling is fixed at the string scale by a shift symmetry in the Higgs sector, we arrive at a prediction for the effective number of neutrinos. The result turns out to be too large to be consistent with data, highly disfavouring the minimal model.


Dark radiation in LARGE volume models

PHYSICAL REVIEW D 87 (2013) ARTN 043520

M Cicoli, JP Conlon, F Quevedo


Cosmological natural selection and the purpose of the universe

Complexity 18 (2013) 48-56

A Gardner, JP Conlon

The cosmological natural selection (CNS) hypothesis holds that the fundamental constants of nature have been fine-tuned by an evolutionary process in which universes produce daughter universes via the formation of black holes. Here, we formulate the CNS hypothesis using standard mathematical tools of evolutionary biology. Specifically, we capture the dynamics of CNS using Price's equation, and we capture the adaptive purpose of the universe using an optimization program. We establish mathematical correspondences between the dynamics and optimization formalisms, confirming that CNS acts according to a formal design objective, with successive generations of universes appearing designed to produce black holes. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Supersymmetric Radiative Flavour

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon, FG Pedro

We examine possibilities for the radiative generation of the Yukawa couplings and flavour structure in supersymmetric models in the supersymmetric phase. Not withstanding the non-renormalisation of the Wilsonian superpotential, this can occur through the 2-loop vertex renormalisation of the physical 1PI couplings. We describe this effect and construct models in which this occurs. For models attempting to reproduce the full flavour structure of the Standard Model, we analyse the tension between such models and constraints from low-energy flavour observables. We note that the tension is weakest for the case of generating Dirac neutrino masses.


Scattering and Sequestering of Blow-Up Moduli in Local String Models

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon, LT Witkowski

We study the scattering and sequestering of blow-up fields - either local to or distant from a visible matter sector - through a CFT computation of the dependence of physical Yukawa couplings on the blow-up moduli. For a visible sector of D3-branes on orbifold singularities we compute the disk correlator < \tau_s^{(1)} \tau_s^{(2)} ... \tau_s^{(n)} \psi \psi \phi > between orbifold blow-up moduli and matter Yukawa couplings. For n = 1 we determine the full quantum and classical correlator. This result has the correct factorisation onto lower 3-point functions and also passes numerous other consistency checks. For n > 1 we show that the structure of picture-changing applied to the twist operators establishes the sequestering of distant blow-up moduli at disk level to all orders in \alpha'. We explain how these results are relevant to suppressing soft terms to scales parametrically below the gravitino mass. By giving vevs to the blow-up fields we can move into the smooth limit and thereby derive CFT results for the smooth Swiss-cheese Calabi-Yaus that appear in the Large Volume Scenario.


Moduli redefinitions and moduli stabilisation

Journal of High Energy Physics 2010 (2010)

JP Conlon, FG Pedro

Field redefinitions occur in string compactifications at the one loop level. We review arguments for why such redefinitions occur and study their effect on moduli stabilisation and supersymmetry breaking in the LARGE volume scenario. For small moduli, although the effect of such redefinitions can be larger than that of the α' corrections in both the Kähler and scalar potentials, they do not alter the structure of the scalar potential. For the less well motivated case of large moduli, the redefinitions can dominate all other terms in the scalar potential. We also study the effect of redefinitions on the structure of supersymmetry breaking and soft terms. © SISSA 2010.


Gauge threshold corrections for local type-IIB/F-theory GUTs

PHYSICAL REVIEW D 80 (2009) ARTN 106004

JP Conlon, E Palti


Gauge Threshold Corrections for Local Orientifolds

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon, E Palti

We study gauge threshold corrections for systems of fractional branes at local orientifold singularities and compare with the general Kaplunovsky-Louis expression for locally supersymmetric N=1 gauge theories. We focus on branes at orientifolds of the C^3/Z_4, C^3/Z_6 and C^3/Z_6' singularities. We provide a CFT construction of these theories and compute the threshold corrections. Gauge coupling running undergoes two phases: one phase running from the bulk winding scale to the string scale, and a second phase running from the string scale to the infrared. The first phase is associated to the contribution of N=2 sectors to the IR beta functions and the second phase to the contribution of both N=1 and N=2 sectors. In contrast, naive application of the Kaplunovsky-Louis formula gives single running from the bulk winding mode scale. The discrepancy is resolved through 1-loop non-universality of the holomorphic gauge couplings at the singularity, induced by a 1-loop redefinition of the twisted blow-up moduli which couple differently to different gauge nodes. We also study the physics of anomalous and non-anomalous U(1)s and give a CFT description of how masses for non-anomalous U(1)s depend on the global properties of cycles.


Hierarchy problems in string theory and large volume models

MODERN PHYSICS LETTERS A 23 (2008) 1-16

JP Conlon


Continuous Global Symmetries and Hyperweak Interactions in String Compactifications

ArXiv (0)

CP Burgess, JP Conlon, L-Y Hung, CH Kom, A Maharana, F Quevedo

We revisit general arguments for the absence of exact continuous global symmetries in string compactifications and extend them to D-brane models. We elucidate the various ways approximate continuous global symmetries arise in the 4-dimensional effective action. In addition to two familiar methods - axionic Peccei-Quinn symmetries and remnant global abelian symmetries from Green-Schwarz gauge symmetry breaking - we identify new ways to generate approximate continuous global symmetries. Two methods stand out, both of which occur for local brane constructions within the LARGE volume scenario of moduli stabilisation. The first is the generic existence of continuous non-abelian global symmetries associated with local Calabi-Yau isometries. These symmetries are exact in the non-compact limit and are spontaneously broken by the LARGE volume, with breaking effects having phenomenologically interesting sizes \sim 0.01 for plausible choices for underlying parameters. Such approximate flavour symmetries are phenomenologically attractive and may allow the fermion mass hierarchies to be connected to the electroweak hierarchy via the large volume. The second is the possible existence of new hyper-weak gauge interactions under which Standard Model matter is charged, with \alpha_{HW} \sim 10^{-9}. Such groups arise from branes wrapping bulk cycles and intersecting the local (resolved) singularity on which the Standard Model is supported. We discuss experimental bounds for these new gauge bosons and their interactions with the Standard Model particles.


Volume Modulus Inflation and the Gravitino Mass Problem

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon, R Kallosh, A Linde, F Quevedo

The Hubble constant during the last stages of inflation in a broad class of models based on the KKLT mechanism should be smaller than the gravitino mass, H <~ m_{3/2}. We point out that in the models with large volume of compactification the corresponding constraint typically is even stronger, H <~ m_{3/2}^{3/2}, in Planck units. In order to address this problem, we propose a class of models with large volume of compactification where inflation may occur exponentially far away from the present vacuum state. In these models, the Hubble constant during inflation can be many orders of magnitude greater than the gravitino mass. We introduce a toy model describing this scenario, and discuss its strengths and weaknesses.


Sparticle spectra from large-volume string compactifications

PARTICLES, STRINGS, AND COSMOLOGY 957 (2007) 201-204

JP Conlon


Sparticle Spectra and LHC Signatures for Large Volume String Compactifications

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon, CH Kom, K Suruliz, BC Allanach, F Quevedo

We study the supersymmetric particle spectra and LHC collider observables for the large-volume string models with a fundamental scale of 10^{11} GeV that arise in moduli-fixed string compactifications with branes and fluxes. The presence of magnetic fluxes on the brane world volume, required for chirality, perturb the soft terms away from those previously computed in the dilute-flux limit. We use the difference in high-scale gauge couplings to estimate the magnitude of this perturbation and study the potential effects of the magnetic fluxes by generating many random spectra with the soft terms perturbed around the dilute flux limit. Even with a 40% variation in the high-scale soft terms the low-energy spectra take a clear and predictive form. The resulting spectra are broadly similar to those arising on the SPS1a slope, but more degenerate. In their minimal version the models predict the ratios of gaugino masses to be M_1 : M_2 : M_3=(1.5 - 2) : 2 : 6, different to both mSUGRA and mirage mediation. Among the scalars, the squarks tend to be lighter and the sleptons heavier than for comparable mSUGRA models. We generate 10 fb^{-1} of sample LHC data for the random spectra in order to study the range of collider phenomenology that can occur. We perform a detailed mass reconstruction on one example large-volume string model spectrum. 100 fb^{-1} of integrated luminosity is sufficient to discriminate the model from mSUGRA and aspects of the sparticle spectrum can be accurately reconstructed.


The Neutrino Suppression Scale from Large Volumes

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon, D Cremades

We present an argument in which the scale ~ 0.1 eV associated with neutrino masses naturally appears in a a class of (very) large volume compactifications, being tied to a supersymmetry scale of 10^3 GeV and a string scale of 10^11 GeV. The masses are of Majorana type and there is no right-handed neutrino within the low-energy field theory. The suppression scale 10^14 GeV is independent of the masses of the heavy states that are integrated out. These kind of constructions appear naturally in Type IIB flux compactifications. However, the arguments that lead to this result rely only on a few geometrical features of the compactification manifold, and hence can be used independently of string theory.


Soft SUSY Breaking Terms for Chiral Matter in IIB String Compactifications

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon, SS Abdussalam, F Quevedo, K Suruliz

This paper develops the computation of soft supersymmetry breaking terms for chiral D7 matter fields in IIB Calabi-Yau flux compactifications with stabilised moduli. We determine explicit expressions for soft terms for the single-modulus KKLT scenario and the multiple-moduli large volume scenario. In particular we use the chiral matter metrics for Calabi-Yau backgrounds recently computed in hep-th/0609180. These differ from the better understood metrics for non-chiral matter and therefore give a different structure of soft terms. The soft terms take a simple form depending explicitly on the modular weights of the corresponding matter fields. For the large-volume case we find that in the simplest D7 brane configuration, scalar masses, gaugino masses and A-terms are very similar to the dilaton-dominated scenario. Although all soft masses are suppressed by ln(M_P/m_{3/2}) compared to the gravitino mass, the anomaly-mediated contributions do not compete, being doubly suppressed and thus subdominant to the gravity-mediated tree-level terms. Soft terms are flavour-universal to leading order in an expansion in inverse Kahler moduli. They also do not introduce extra CP violating phases to the effective action. We argue that soft term flavour universality should be a property of the large-volume compactifications, and more generally IIB flux models, in which flavour is determined by the complex structure moduli while supersymmetry is broken by the Kahler moduli. For the simplest large-volume case we run the soft terms to low energies and present some sample spectra and a basic phenomenological analysis.


Moduli Stabilisation and Applications in IIB String Theory

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon

This article represents the author's PhD thesis. It describes moduli stabilisation in IIB string theory and applications to phenomenological topics. The first half of the thesis starts with an introductory review. It continues with an account of the statistics of complex structure moduli stabilisation before moving to Kahler moduli stabilisation. It describes in detail the large-volumes models and justifies the assumptions used in their construction. The second half of the thesis is concerned with applications to phenomenological topics. These include supersymmetry breaking and soft terms, inflationary model building and axions.


The string theory landscape: a tale of two hydras

CONTEMPORARY PHYSICS 47 (2006) 119-129

JP Conlon


Seeing the Invisible Axion in the Sparticle Spectrum

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon

I describe how under favourable circumstances the invisible axion may manifest its existence at the LHC through the sparticle spectrum; in particular through a gluino \sim \ln (M_P/m_{3/2}) times heavier than other gauginos.


Large-Volume Flux Compactifications: Moduli Spectrum and D3/D7 Soft Supersymmetry Breaking

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon, F Quevedo, K Suruliz

We present an explicit calculation of the spectrum of a general class of string models, corresponding to Calabi-Yau flux compactifications with h_{1,2}>h_{1,1}>1 with leading perturbative and non-perturbative corrections, in which all geometric moduli are stabilised as in hep-th/0502058. The volume is exponentially large, leading to a range of string scales from the Planck mass to the TeV scale, realising for the first time the large extra dimensions scenario in string theory. We provide a general analysis of the relevance of perturbative and non-perturbative effects and the regime of validity of the effective field theory. We compute the spectrum in the moduli sector finding a hierarchy of masses depending on inverse powers of the volume. We also compute soft supersymmetry breaking terms for particles living on D3 and D7 branes. We find a hierarchy of soft terms corresponding to `volume dominated' F-term supersymmetry breaking. F-terms for Kahler moduli dominate both those for dilaton and complex structure moduli and D-terms or other de Sitter lifting terms. This is the first class of string models in which soft supersymmetry breaking terms are computed after fixing all geometric moduli. We outline several possible applications of our results, both for cosmology and phenomenology and point out the differences with the less generic KKLT vacua.

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