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.


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 $\sim 10^6 cm^{-2} s^{-1}$.


Searching for a 0.1-1 keV Cosmic Axion Background

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon, MCD Marsh

Primordial decays of string theory moduli at z \sim 10^{12} naturally generate a dark radiation Cosmic Axion Background (CAB) with 0.1 - 1 keV energies. This CAB can be detected through axion-photon conversion in astrophysical magnetic fields to give quasi-thermal excesses in the extreme ultraviolet and soft X-ray bands. Substantial and observable luminosities may be generated even for axion-photon couplings \ll 10^{-11} GeV^{-1}. We propose that axion-photon conversion may explain the observed excess emission of soft X-rays from galaxy clusters, and may also contribute to the diffuse unresolved cosmic X-ray background. We list a number of correlated predictions of the scenario.


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.


Quantum Gravity Constraints on Inflation

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon

We study quantum gravity constraints on inflationary model building. Our approach is based on requiring the entropy associated to a given inflationary model to be less than that of the de Sitter entropy. We give two prescriptions for determining the inflationary entropy, based on either `bits per unit area' or entanglement entropy. The existence of transPlanckian flat directions, necessary for large tensor modes in the CMB, correlates with an inflationary entropy greater than that allowed by de Sitter space. Independently these techniques also constrain or exclude de Sitter models with large-rank gauge groups and high UV cutoffs, such as racetrack inflation or the KKLT construction.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


Astrophysical and Cosmological Implications of Large Volume String Compactifications

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon, F Quevedo

We study the spectrum, couplings and cosmological and astrophysical implications of the moduli fields for the class of Calabi-Yau IIB string compactifications for which moduli stabilisation leads to an exponentially large volume V ~ 10^{15} l_s^6 and an intermediate string scale m_s ~ 10^{11}GeV, with TeV-scale observable supersymmetry breaking. All K\"ahler moduli except for the overall volume are heavier than the susy breaking scale, with m ~ ln(M_P/m_{3/2}) m_{3/2} ~ (\ln(M_P/m_{3/2}))^2 m_{susy} ~ 500 TeV and, contrary to standard expectations, have matter couplings suppressed only by the string scale rather than the Planck scale. These decay to matter early in the history of the universe, with a reheat temperature T ~ 10^7 GeV, and are free from the cosmological moduli problem (CMP). The heavy moduli have a branching ratio to gravitino pairs of 10^{-30} and do not suffer from the gravitino overproduction problem. The overall volume modulus is a distinctive feature of these models and is an M_{planck}-coupled scalar of mass m ~ 1 MeV and subject to the CMP. A period of thermal inflation can help relax this problem. This field has a lifetime ~ 10^{24}s and can contribute to dark matter. It may be detected through its decays to 2\gamma or e^+e^-. If accessible the e^+e^- decay mode dominates, with Br(\chi \to 2 \gamma) suppressed by a factor (ln(M_P/m_{3/2}))^2. We consider the potential for detection of this field through different astrophysical sources and find that the observed gamma-ray background constrains \Omega_{\chi} <~ 10^{-4}. The decays of this field may generate the 511 keV emission line from the galactic centre observed by INTEGRAL/SPI.


Scanning the Landscape of Flux Compactifications: Vacuum Structure and Soft Supersymmetry Breaking

ArXiv (0)

SS AbdusSalam, JP Conlon, F Quevedo, K Suruliz

We scan the landscape of flux compactifications for the Calabi-Yau manifold $\mathbb{P}^4_{[1,1,1,6,9]}$ with two K\" ahler moduli by varying the value of the flux superpotential $W_0$ over a large range of values. We do not include uplift terms. We find a rich phase structure of AdS and dS vacua. Starting with $W_0\sim 1$ we reproduce the exponentially large volume scenario, but as $W_0$ is reduced new classes of minima appear. One of them corresponds to the supersymmetric KKLT vacuum while the other is a new, deeper non-supersymmetric minimum. We study how the bare cosmological constant and the soft supersymmetry breaking parameters for matter on D7 branes depend on $W_0$, for these classes of minima. We discuss potential applications of our results.


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.


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 QCD Axion and Moduli Stabilisation

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon

We investigate the conditions for a QCD axion to coexist with stabilised moduli in string compactifications. We show how the simplest approaches to moduli stabilisation give unacceptably large masses to the axions. We observe that solving the F-term equations is insufficient for realistic moduli stabilisation and give a no-go theorem on supersymmetric moduli stabilisation with unfixed axions applicable to all string compactifications and relevant to much current work. We demonstrate how nonsupersymmetric moduli stabilisation with unfixed axions can be realised. We finally outline how to stabilise the moduli such that f_a is within the allowed window 10^9 GeV < f_a < 10^{12} GeV, with f_a ~ \sqrt{M_{SUSY} M_P}.


Field Identifications for Interacting Bosonic Models in N=2 Superconformal Field Theory

ArXiv (0)

J Conlon, D Gepner

We study a family of interacting bosonic representations of the N=2 superconformal algebra. These models can be tensored with a conjugate theory to give the free theory. We explain how to use free fields to study interacting fields and their dimensions, and how we may identify different free fields as representing the same interacting field. We show how a lattice of identifying fields may be built up and how every free field may be reduced to a standard form, thus permitting the resolution of the spectrum. We explain how to build the extended algebra and show that there are a finite number of primary fields for this algebra for any of the models. We illustrate this by studying an example.


A Note on Brane Inflation

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon

This short note emphasises a potential tension between string models of inflation based on systems of branes and antibranes and the spectrum of strings in curved space, in particular the requirement that the leading Regge trajectory extends to the Planck scale allowing for the conventional string theory UV completion of gravity.


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.


Kahler Moduli Inflation

ArXiv (0)

JP Conlon, F Quevedo

We show that under general conditions there is at least one natural inflationary direction for the Kahler moduli of type IIB flux compactifications. This requires a Calabi-Yau which has h^{2,1}>h^{1,1}>2 and for which the structure of the scalar potential is as in the recently found exponentially large volume compactifications. We also need - although these conditions may be relaxed - at least one Kahler modulus whose only non-vanishing triple-intersection is with itself and which appears by itself in the non-perturbative superpotential. Slow-roll inflation then occurs without a fine tuning of parameters, evading the eta problem of F-term inflation. In order to obtain COBE-normalised density perturbations, the stabilised volume of the Calabi-Yau must be O(10^5-10^7) in string units, and the inflationary scale M_{infl} ~ 10^{13} GeV. We find a robust model independent prediction for the spectral index of 1 - 2/N_e = 0.960 - 0.967, depending on the number of efoldings.

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