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.


Searches for 3.5 keV Absorption Features in Cluster AGN Spectra

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

JP Conlon

We investigate possible evidence for a spectral dip around 3.5 keV in central cluster AGNs, motivated by previous results for archival Chandra observations of the Perseus cluster and the general interest in novel spectral features around 3.5 keV that may arise from dark matter physics. We use two deep Chandra observations of the Perseus and Virgo clusters that have recently been made public. In both cases, mild improvements in the fit ($\Delta \chi^2 = 4.2$ and $\Delta \chi^2 = 2.5$) are found by including such a dip at 3.5 keV into the spectrum. A comparable result ($\Delta \chi^2 = 6.5$) is found re-analysing archival on-axis Chandra ACIS-S observations of the centre of the Perseus cluster.


The Cosmophenomenology of Axionic Dark Radiation

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon, MCD Marsh

Relativistic axions are good candidates for the dark radiation for which there are mounting observational hints. The primordial decays of heavy fields produce axions which are ultra-energetic compared to thermalised matter and inelastic axion-matter scattering can occur with $E_{CoM} \gg T_{\gamma}$, thus accessing many interesting processes which are otherwise kinematically forbidden in standard cosmology. Axion-photon scattering into quarks and leptons during BBN affects the light element abundances, and bounds on overproduction of $^4$He constrain a combination of the axion decay constant and the reheating temperature. For supersymmetric models, axion scattering into visible sector superpartners can give direct non-thermal production of dark matter at $T_{\gamma} \ll T_{freezeout}$. Most axions --- or any other dark radiation candidate from modulus decay --- still linger today as a Cosmic Axion Background with $E_{axion} \sim \mathcal{O}(100) eV$, and a flux of $\sim 10^6 cm^{-2} s^{-1}$.


Soft supersymmetry breaking in anisotropic LARGE volume compactifications

JOURNAL OF HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS (2013) ARTN 071

S Angus, JP Conlon


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.


Brane-Antibrane Backreaction in Axion Monodromy Inflation

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon

We calculate the interaction potential between D5 and anti-D5 branes wrapping distant but homologous 2-cycles. The interaction potential is logarithmic in the separation radius and does not decouple at infinity. We show that logarithmic backreaction is generic for 5-branes wrapping distant but homologous 2-cycles, and we argue that this destabilises models of axion monodromy inflation involving NS5 brane-antibrane pairs in separate warped throats towards an uncontrolled region.


Moduli-Induced Vacuum Destabilisation

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon, FG Pedro

We look for ways to destabilise the vacuum. We describe how dense matter environments source a contribution to moduli potentials and analyse the conditions required to initiate either decompactification or a local shift in moduli vevs. We consider astrophysical objects such as neutron stars as well as cosmological and black hole singularities. Regrettably neutron stars cannot destabilise realistic Planck coupled moduli, which would require objects many orders of magnitude denser. However gravitational collapse, either in matter-dominated universes or in black hole formation, inevitably leads to a destabilisation of the compact volume causing a super-inflationary expansion of the extra dimensions.


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.


Kinetic mixing of U(1)s for local string models

ArXiv (0)

M Bullimore, JP Conlon, LT Witkowski

We study kinetic mixing between massless U(1)s in toroidal orbifolds with D3-branes at orbifold singularities. We focus in particular on C^3/Z_4 singularities but also study C^3/Z_6 and C^3/Z'_6 singularities. We find kinetic mixing can be present and describe the conditions for it to occur. Kinetic mixing comes from winding modes in the N=2 sector of the orbifold. If kinetic mixing is present its size depends only on the complex structure modulus of the torus and is independent of the K\"ahler moduli. We also study gauge threshold corrections for local Z_M x Z_N orbifold models finding that, consistent with previous studies, gauge couplings run from the bulk winding scale rather than the string scale.


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 String Models

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon

We study gauge threshold corrections for local brane models embedded in a large compact space. A large bulk volume gives important contributions to the Konishi and super-Weyl anomalies and the effective field theory analysis implies the unification scale should be enhanced in a model-independent way from M_s to R M_s. For local D3/D3 models this result is supported by the explicit string computations. In this case the scale R M_s comes from the necessity of global cancellation of RR tadpoles sourced by the local model. We also study D3/D7 models and discuss discrepancies with the effective field theory analysis. We comment on phenomenological implications for gauge coupling unification and for the GUT scale.


SUSY Breaking in Local String/F-Theory Models

ArXiv (0)

R Blumenhagen, JP Conlon, S Krippendorf, S Moster, F Quevedo

We investigate bulk moduli stabilisation and supersymmetry breaking in local string/F-theory models where the Standard Model is supported on a del Pezzo surface or singularity. Computing the gravity mediated soft terms on the Standard Model brane induced by bulk supersymmetry breaking in the LARGE volume scenario, we explicitly find suppressions by M_s/M_P ~ V^{-1/2} compared to M_{3/2}. This gives rise to several phenomenological scenarios, depending on the strength of perturbative corrections to the effective action and the source of de Sitter lifting, in which the soft terms are suppressed by at least M_P/V^{3/2} and may be as small as M_P/V^2. Since the gravitino mass is of order M_{3/2} ~ M_P/V, for TeV soft terms all these scenarios give a very heavy gravitino (M_{3/2} >= 10^8 GeV) and generically the lightest moduli field is also heavy enough (m >= 10 TeV) to avoid the cosmological moduli problem. For TeV soft terms, these scenarios predict a minimal value of the volume to be V ~ 10^{6-7} in string units, which would give a unification scale of order M_{GUT} ~ M_s V^{1/6} ~ 10^{16} GeV. The strong suppression of gravity mediated soft terms could also possibly allow a scenario of dominant gauge mediation in the visible sector but with a very heavy gravitino M_{3/2} > 1 TeV.


On Gauge Threshold Corrections for Local IIB/F-theory GUTs

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon, E Palti

We study gauge threshold corrections for local GUT models in IIB/F-theory. Consistency with holomorphy requirements of supergravity and the Kaplunovsky-Louis formula implies that the unification scale is enhanced by the bulk radius R from the string scale to M_X =RM_S. We argue that the stringy interpretation of this is via a locally uncancelled tadpole sourced by the hypercharge flux. This sources closed string modes propagating into the bulk; equivalently open string gauge coupling running up to the winding scale M_X. The enhancement to R M_s is tied to GUT breaking by a globally trivial hypercharge flux and will occur in all models realising this mechanism.


General Analysis of LARGE Volume Scenarios with String Loop Moduli Stabilisation

ArXiv (0)

M Cicoli, JP Conlon, F Quevedo

We study the topological conditions for general Calabi-Yaus to get a non-supersymmetric AdS exponentially large volume minimum of the scalar potential in flux compactifications of IIB string theory. We show that negative Euler number and the existence of at least one blow-up mode resolving point-like singularities are necessary and sufficient conditions for moduli stabilisation with exponentially large volumes. We also analyse the general effects of string loop corrections on this scenario. While the combination of alpha' and nonperturbative corrections are sufficient to stabilise blow-up modes and the overall volume, quantum corrections are needed to stabilise other directions transverse to the overall volume. This allows exponentially large volume minima to be realised for fibration Calabi-Yaus, with the various moduli of the fibration all being stabilised at exponentially large values. String loop corrections may also play a role in stabilising 4-cycles which support chiral matter and cannot enter directly into the non-perturbative superpotential. We illustrate these ideas by studying the scalar potential for various Calabi-Yau three-folds including K3 fibrations and briefly discuss the potential phenomenological and cosmological implications of our results.


Systematics of String Loop Corrections in Type IIB Calabi-Yau Flux Compactifications

ArXiv (0)

M Cicoli, JP Conlon, F Quevedo

We study the behaviour of the string loop corrections to the N=1 4D supergravity Kaehler potential that occur in flux compactifications of IIB string theory on general Calabi-Yau three-folds. We give a low energy interpretation for the conjecture of Berg, Haack and Pajer for the form of the loop corrections to the Kaehler potential. We check the consistency of this interpretation in several examples. We show that for arbitrary Calabi-Yaus, the leading contribution of these corrections to the scalar potential is always vanishing, giving an "extended no-scale structure". This result holds as long as the corrections are homogeneous functions of degree -2 in the 2-cycle volumes. We use the Coleman-Weinberg potential to motivate this cancellation from the viewpoint of low-energy field theory. Finally we give a simple formula for the 1-loop correction to the scalar potential in terms of the tree-level Kaehler metric and the correction to the Kaehler potential. We illustrate our ideas with several examples. A companion paper will use these results in the study of Kaehler moduli stabilisation.


Hierarchy problems in string theory and large volume models

MODERN PHYSICS LETTERS A 23 (2008) 1-16

JP Conlon


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


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

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