Apostolos Pilaftsis - Manchester University

Apostolos Pilaftsis
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Name
Apostolos Pilaftsis
Affiliation
Manchester University
City
Manchester
Country
United Kingdom

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High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (50)
 
High Energy Physics - Theory (16)
 
High Energy Physics - Experiment (8)
 
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (8)
 
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (2)
 
Mathematics - Differential Geometry (1)
 
Mathematics - Optimization and Control (1)
 
Nuclear Theory (1)

Publications Authored By Apostolos Pilaftsis

As the LHC Higgs data persistently suggest the couplings of the observed 125 GeV Higgs boson to be consistent with the Standard Model (SM) expectations, any extended Higgs sector must lead to the so-called SM alignment limit, where one of the Higgs bosons behaves exactly like that of the SM. In the context of the Two Higgs Doublet Model (2HDM), this alignment is often associated with either decoupling of the heavy Higgs sector or accidental cancellations in the 2HDM potential. We present a novel symmetry justification for `natural' alignment without necessarily decoupling or fine-tuning. Read More

The Symmetry Improved Two-Particle-Irreducible (SI2PI) formalism is a powerful tool to calculate the effective potential beyond perturbation theory, whereby infinite sets of selective loop-graph topologies can be resummed in a systematic and consistent manner. In this paper we study the Renormalization-Group (RG) properties of this formalism, by proving for the first time a number of new field-theoretic results. First, the RG runnings of all proper 2PI couplings are found to be UV finite, in the Hartree-Fock and sunset approximations of the 2PI effective action. Read More

We propose a simple mechanism for copiously producing heavy Higgs bosons with enhanced decay rates to two photons at the LHC, within the context of the Minimal Supersymmetric extension of the Standard Model (MSSM). In the CP-conserving limit of the theory, such a diphoton resonance may be identified with the heavier CP-even $H$ boson, whose gluon-fusion production and decay into two photons are enhanced by loops of the lightest supersymmetric partner of the top quark $\tilde{t}_1$ when its mass $m_{\tilde{t}_1}$ happens to be near the $\tilde{t}^*_1\tilde{t}_1$ threshold, i.e. Read More

We develop a frame-covariant formulation of inflation in the slow-roll approximation by generalizing the inflationary attractor solution for scalar-curvature theories. Our formulation gives rise to new generalized forms for the potential slow-roll parameters, which enable us to examine the effect of conformal transformations and inflaton reparameterizations in scalar-curvature theories. We find that cosmological observables, such as the power spectrum, the spectral indices and their runnings, can be expressed in a concise manner in terms of the generalized potential slow-roll parameters which depend on the scalar-curvature coupling function, the inflaton wavefunction, and the inflaton potential. Read More

We derive the complete set of continuous maximal symmetries for Standard Model (SM) alignment that may occur in the tree-level scalar potential of multi-Higgs Doublet Models, with $n > 2$ Higgs doublets. Our results generalize the symmetries of SM alignment, without decoupling of large mass scales or fine-tuning, previously obtained in the context of two-Higgs Doublet Models. Read More

Recently, the LHC collaborations, ATLAS and CMS, have announced an excess in the diphoton channel with local significance of about $3\,\sigma$ around an invariant mass distribution of $\sim 750$ GeV, after analyzing new data collected at centre-of-mass energies of $\sqrt{s} = 13~{\rm TeV}$. We present a possible physical interpretation of such a signature, within the framework of a minimal UV-complete model with a massive singlet pseudo-scalar state $a$ that couples to a new TeV-scale coloured vector-like fermion $F$, whose hypercharge quantum number is a non-zero integer. The pseudo-scalar state $a$ might be a heavy pseudo-Goldstone boson, such as a heavy axion, which decays into two photons and whose mass lies around the excess region. Read More

The effective potential of the Standard Model (SM), from three loop order and higher, suffers from infra-red (IR) divergences arising from quantum effects due to massless would-be Goldstone bosons associated with the longitudinal polarizations of the W and Z bosons. Such IR pathologies also hinder accurate evaluation of the two-loop threshold corrections to electroweak quantities, such as the vacuum expectation value of the Higgs field. However, these divergences are an artifact of perturbation theory, and therefore need to be consistently resummed in order to obtain a IR-safe effective potential. Read More

Since the current LHC Higgs data suggest the couplings of the observed 125 GeV Higgs boson to be close to the Standard Model (SM) expectations, any extended Higgs sector must lead to the so-called SM alignment limit, where one of the Higgs bosons behaves exactly like that of the SM. In the context of the Two Higgs Doublet Model (2HDM), this alignment is often associated with either decoupling of the heavy Higgs sector or accidental cancellations in the 2HDM potential. We present a novel symmetry justification for 'natural' alignment without necessarily decoupling or fine-tuning. Read More

We derive novel limits on the masses of the light and heavy Majorana neutrinos by requiring successful leptogenesis in seesaw models of minimal flavour violation (MFV). Taking properly into account radiative flavour effects and avoiding the limitations due to a no-go theorem on leptonic asymmetries, we find that the mass of the lightest of the observable neutrinos must be smaller than $\sim 0.05$ eV, whilst the Majorana scale of lepton number violation should be higher than $\sim 10^{12}$ GeV. Read More

2015Apr

This paper describes the physics case for a new fixed target facility at CERN SPS. The SHiP (Search for Hidden Particles) experiment is intended to hunt for new physics in the largely unexplored domain of very weakly interacting particles with masses below the Fermi scale, inaccessible to the LHC experiments, and to study tau neutrino physics. The same proton beam setup can be used later to look for decays of tau-leptons with lepton flavour number non-conservation, $\tau\to 3\mu$ and to search for weakly-interacting sub-GeV dark matter candidates. Read More

The current LHC Higgs data provide strong constraints on possible deviations of the couplings of the observed 125 GeV Higgs boson from the Standard Model (SM) expectations. Therefore, it now becomes compelling that any extended Higgs sector must comply with the so-called SM alignment limit. In the context of the Two Higgs Doublet Model (2HDM), this alignment is often associated with either decoupling of the heavy Higgs sector or accidental cancellations in the 2HDM potential. Read More

Resummations of infinite sets of higher-order perturbative contributions are often needed both in thermal field theory and at zero temperature. For instance, the behaviour of the Standard Model (SM) effective potential extrapolated to very high energies is known to be extremely sensitive to higher-order effects. The 2PI effective action provides a systematic approach to consistently perform such resummations. Read More

Flavour effects play an important role in the statistical evolution of particle number densities in several particle physics phenomena. We present a fully flavour-covariant formalism for transport phenomena, in order to consistently capture all flavour effects in the system. We explicitly study the scenario of Resonant Leptogenesis (RL), and show that flavour covariance requires one to consider generically off-diagonal number densities, rank-4 rate tensors in flavour space, and non-trivial generalization of the discrete symmetries C, P and T. Read More

We review the collider phenomenology of neutrino physics and the synergetic aspects at energy, intensity and cosmic frontiers to test the new physics behind the neutrino mass mechanism. In particular, we focus on seesaw models within the minimal setup as well as with extended gauge and/or Higgs sectors, and on supersymmetric neutrino mass models with seesaw mechanism and with $R$-parity violation. In the simplest Type-I seesaw scenario with sterile neutrinos, we summarize and update the current experimental constraints on the sterile neutrino mass and its mixing with the active neutrinos. Read More

We revisit the calculation of matter quantum effects on the graviton self-energy on a flat Minkowski background, with the aim to acquire a deeper understanding of the mechanism that renders the graviton massless. To this end, we derive a low-energy theorem which directly relates the radiative corrections of the cosmological constant to those of the graviton mass to all orders in perturbation theory. As an illustrative example, we consider an Abelian Higgs model with minimal coupling to gravity and show explicitly how a suitable renormalization of the cosmological constant leads to the vanishing of the graviton mass at the one-loop level. Read More

We describe a loopwise perturbative truncation scheme for quantum transport equations in the Kadanoff-Baym formalism, which does not necessitate the use of the so-called Kadanoff-Baym or quasi-particle ansaetze for dressed propagators. This truncation scheme is used to study flavour effects in the context of Resonant Leptogenesis (RL), showing explicitly that, in the weakly-resonant regime, there exist two distinct and pertinent flavour effects in the heavy-neutrino sector: (i) the resonant mixing and (ii) the oscillations between different heavy-neutrino flavours. Moreover, we illustrate that Kadanoff-Baym and quasi-particle ansaetze, whilst appropriate for the flavour-singlet dressed charged-lepton and Higgs propagators of the RL scenario, should not be applied to the dressed heavy-neutrino propagators. Read More

We present a fully flavour-covariant formalism for transport phenomena and apply it to study the flavour-dynamics of Resonant Leptogenesis (RL). We show that this formalism provides a complete and unified description of RL, consistently accounting for three distinct physical phenomena: (i) resonant mixing and (ii) coherent oscillations between different heavy-neutrino flavours, as well as (iii) quantum decoherence effects in the charged-lepton sector. We describe the necessary emergence of higher-rank tensors in flavour space, arising from the unitarity cuts of partial self-energies. Read More

We study the Higgs mass spectrum as predicted by a Maximally Symmetric Two Higgs Doublet Model (MS-2HDM) potential based on the SO(5) group, softly broken by bilinear Higgs mass terms. We show that the lightest Higgs sector resulting from this MS-2HDM becomes naturally aligned with that of the Standard Model (SM), independently of the charged Higgs boson mass and $\tan \beta$. In the context of Type-II 2HDM, SO(5) is the simplest of the three possible symmetry realizations of the scalar potential that can naturally lead to the SM alignment. Read More

We present a fully flavour-covariant formalism for transport phenomena, by deriving Markovian master equations that describe the time-evolution of particle number densities in a statistical ensemble with arbitrary flavour content. As an application of this general formalism, we study flavour effects in a scenario of resonant leptogenesis (RL) and obtain the flavour-covariant evolution equations for heavy-neutrino and lepton number densities. This provides a complete and unified description of RL, capturing three distinct physical phenomena: (i) the resonant mixing between the heavy-neutrino states, (ii) coherent oscillations between different heavy-neutrino flavours, and (iii) quantum decoherence effects in the charged-lepton sector. Read More

The authors of a recent communication [arXiv:1312.5318] claim to have traced an error in the existing literature regarding the evaluation of the one-loop right-handed sneutrino contributions to lepton-flavour-violating observables in supersymmetric low-scale seesaw models. In this short note, we emphasize that contrary to those authors' claim, our paper [arXiv:1212. Read More

We study the anomalous magnetic and electric dipole moments of charged leptons in supersymmetric low-scale seesaw models with right-handed neutrino superfields. We consider a minimally extended framework of minimal supergravity, by assuming that CP violation originates from complex soft SUSY-breaking bilinear and trilinear couplings associated with the right-handed sneutrino sector. We present numerical estimates of the muon anomalous magnetic moment and the electron electric dipole moment (EDM), as functions of key model parameters, such as the Majorana mass scale mN and tan(\beta). Read More

We study a new production mechanism for heavy neutrinos at the LHC, which dominates over the usually considered $s$-channel $W$-exchange diagram for heavy-neutrino masses larger than 100 - 200 GeV. The new mechanism is infrared-enhanced by $t$-channel $W\gamma$-fusion processes. This has important implications for experimental tests of the seesaw mechanism of neutrino masses, and in particular, for the ongoing heavy neutrino searches at the LHC. Read More

The formalism introduced by Cornwall, Jackiw and Tomboulis (CJT) provides a systematic approach to consistently resumming non-perturbative effects in Quantum Thermal Field Theory. One major limitation of the CJT effective action is that its loopwise expansion introduces residual violations of possible global symmetries, thus giving rise to massive Goldstone bosons in the spontaneously broken phase of the theory. In this paper we develop a novel symmetry-improved CJT formalism for consistently encoding global symmetries in a loopwise expansion. Read More

We present a new perturbative formulation of non-equilibrium thermal field theory, based upon non-homogeneous free propagators and time-dependent vertices. The resulting time-dependent diagrammatic perturbation series are free of pinch singularities without the need for quasi-particle approximation or effective resummation of finite widths. After arriving at a physically meaningful definition of particle number densities, we derive master time evolution equations for statistical distribution functions, which are valid to all orders in perturbation theory and to all orders in a gradient expansion. Read More

We present a new perturbative formulation of non-equilibrium thermal field theory, based upon non-homogeneous free propagators and time-dependent vertices. The resulting time-dependent diagrammatic perturbation series are free of pinch singularities without the need for quasi-particle approximation or effective resummation of finite widths. After arriving at a physically meaningful definition of particle number densities, we derive master time evolution equations for statistical distribution functions, which are valid to all orders in perturbation theory and all orders in a gradient expansion. Read More

We study charged lepton flavour violation in low-scale seesaw models of minimal supergravity, which realize large neutrino Yukawa couplings thanks to approximate lepton-number symmetries. There are two dominant sources of lepton flavour violation in such models. The first source originates from the usual soft supersymmetry-breaking sector, whilst the second one is entirely supersymmetric and comes from the supersymmetric neutrino Yukawa sector. Read More

We explore the possibility of light and superlight sterile neutrinos in the recently proposed Minimal Radiative Inverse Seesaw extension of the Standard Model for neutrino masses, in which all existing neutrino data can be explained. In particular, we discuss two benchmark scenarios with one of the three sterile neutrino states in the keV-range, having very small mixing with the active neutrinos to account for the Dark Matter in the Universe, while (i) the other two light sterile neutrino states could be in the eV-range, possessing a nonzero mixing with the active states as required to explain the LSND+MiniBooNE+reactor neutrino data, or (ii) one of the light sterile states is in the eV-range, whereas the second one could be superlight and almost mass-degenerate with the solar neutrinos. Such superlight sterile neutrinos could give rise to potentially observable effects in future neutrino oscillation experiments and may also offer a possible explanation for the extra radiation observed in the Universe. Read More

We present a new perturbative formulation of non-equilibrium thermal field theory, based upon non-homogeneous free propagators and time-dependent vertices. Our approach to non-equilibrium dynamics yields time-dependent diagrammatic perturbation series that are free of pinch singularities, without the need to resort to quasi-particle approximation or effective resummations of finite widths. In our formalism, the avoidance of pinch singularities is a consequence of the consistent inclusion of finite-time effects and the proper consideration of the time of observation. Read More

The effect of quantum torsion in theories of quantum gravity is usually described by an axion-like field which couples to matter and to gravitation and radiation gauge fields. In perturbation theory, the couplings of this torsion-descent axion field are of derivative type and so preserve a shift symmetry. This shift symmetry may be broken, if the torsion-descent axion field mixes with other axions, which could be related to moduli fields in string-inspired effective theories. Read More

We study a minimal one-loop radiative mechanism for generating small Majorana neutrino masses in inverse seesaw extensions of the Standard Model with two singlet fermions per family. The new feature of this radiative mechanism is that the one-loop induced left-handed neutrino mass matrix is directly proportional to the Majorana mass matrix of the right-handed neutrinos. This is a very economical scenario without necessitating the existence of non-standard scalar or gauge fields. Read More

We present a novel mechanism for generating gauge-invariant fermion masses through global anomalies at the three loop level. In a gauge theory, global anomalies are triggered by the possible existence of scalar or pseudoscalar states and heavy fermions, whose masses may not necessarily result from spontaneous symmetry breaking. The implications of this mass-generating mechanism for model building are discussed, including the possibility of creating low-scale fermion masses by quantum gravity effects. Read More

We discuss minimal non-supersymmetric models of resonant leptogenesis, based on an approximate flavour symmetries. As an illustrative example, we consider a resonant tau-leptogenesis model, compatible with universal right-handed neutrino masses at the GUT scale, where the required heavy-neutrino mass splittings are generated radiatively. In particular, we explicitly demonstrate, how a minimum number of three heavy Majorana neutrinos is needed, in order to obtain successful leptogenesis and experimentally testable rates for processes of lepton flavour violation, such as mu --> e gamma and mu --> e conversion in nuclei. Read More

We study the Higgs-boson mass spectrum of a classical scale-invariant realization of the two-Higgs-doublet model (SI-2HDM). The classical scale symmetry of the theory is explicitly broken by quantum loop effects due to gauge interactions, Higgs self-couplings and top-quark Yukawa couplings. We determine the allowed parameter space compatible with perturbative unitarity and electroweak precision data. Read More

Recently, it has been shown [arXiv:1106.3482] that the two-Higgs-doublet-model potential may exhibit a maximum of 13 distinct accidental symmetries. Such a classification is based on a six-dimensional bilinear scalar field formalism realizing the SO(1,5) symmetry group. Read More

We study resonant CP-violating Einstein--Podolsky--Rosen correlations that may take place in the production and decay of unstable scalar particles at high-energy colliders. We show that as a consequence of unitarity and CPT invariance of the S-matrix, in 2 --> 2 scatterings mediated by mixed scalar particles, at least three linearly independent decay matrices associated with the unstable scalar states are needed to obtain non-zero CP-odd observables that are also odd under C-conjugation. Instead, for the correlated production and decay of two unstable particle systems in 2 --> 4 processes, we find that only two independent decay matrices are sufficient to induce a net non-vanishing CP-violating phenomenon. Read More

We perform a systematic study of generic accidental Higgs-family and CP symmetries that could occur in the two-Higgs-doublet-model potential, based on a Majorana scalar-field formalism which realizes a subgroup of GL(8,C). We derive the general conditions of convexity and stability of the scalar potential and present analytical solutions for two non-zero neutral vacuum expectation values of the Higgs doublets for a typical set of six symmetries, in terms of the gauge-invariant parameters of the theory. By means of a homotopy-group analysis, we identify the topological defects associated with the spontaneous symmetry breaking of each symmetry, as well as the massless Goldstone bosons emerging from the breaking of the continuous symmetries. Read More

The electric dipole moments (EDMs) of heavy nuclei, such as 199Hg, 225Ra and 211Rn, can be enhanced by the Schiff moments induced by the presence of nearby parity-doublet states. Working within the framework of the maximally CP-violating and minimally flavour-violating (MCPMFV) version of the MSSM, we discuss the maximal values that such EDMs might attain, given the existing experimental constraints on the Thallium, neutron and Mercury EDMs. The maximal EDM values of the heavy nuclei are obtained with the help of a differential-geometrical approach proposed recently that enables the maxima of new CP-violating observables to be calculated exactly in the linear approximation. Read More

We investigate the influence of the boundary conditions of minimal supergravity (mSUGRA) on the supersymmetric mechanism for lepton flavour violation (LFV) proposed recently [1], within the framework of the MSSM extended by TeV-scale singlet heavy neutrinos. We find that the consideration of the mSUGRA boundary condition may increase the branching ratios of the muon and tauon decaying into three charged leptons by up to a factor of 5, whereas the corresponding branching ratio for their photonic decays remains almost unchanged. Read More

We study the impact of minimal non-supersymmetric models of resonant leptogenesis on charged lepton flavour violation and the neutrino mixing angle theta(13). Possible low-scale flavour realisations of resonant tau-, mu- and e-leptogenesis provide very distinct and predictive frameworks to explain the observed baryon asymmetry in the Universe by sphaleron conversion of an individual tau-, mu- and e-lepton-number asymmetry which gets resonantly enhanced via out-of-equilibrium decays of nearly degenerate heavy Majorana neutrinos. Based on approximate flavour symmetries, we construct viable scenarios of resonant tau-, mu- and e-leptogenesis compatible with universal right-handed neutrino masses at the GUT scale, where the required heavy-neutrino mass splittings are generated radiatively. Read More

This note presents an analytic construction of the optimal unit-norm direction hat(x) = x/|x| that maximizes or minimizes the objective linear expression, B . hat(x), subject to a system of linear constraints of the form [A] . x = 0, where x is an unknown n-dimensional real vector to be determined up to an overall normalization constant, 0 is an m-dimensional null vector, and the n-dimensional real vector B and the m\times n-dimensional real matrix [A] (with 0 =< m < n) are given. Read More

We perform a systematic analysis of an extension of the Standard Model that includes a complex singlet scalar field and is scale invariant at the tree level. We call such a model the Minimal Scale Invariant extension of the Standard Model (MSISM). The tree-level scale invariance of the model is explicitly broken by quantum corrections, which can trigger electroweak symmetry breaking and potentially provide a mechanism for solving the gauge hierarchy problem. Read More

We analyze the constraints imposed by experimental upper limits on electric dipole moments (EDMs) within the Maximally CP- and Minimally Flavour-Violating (MCPMFV) version of the MSSM. Since the MCPMFV scenario has 6 non-standard CP-violating phases, in addition to the CP-odd QCD vacuum phase \theta_QCD, cancellations may occur among the CP-violating contributions to the three measured EDMs, those of the Thallium, neutron and Mercury, leaving open the possibility of relatively large values of the other CP-violating observables. We develop a novel geometric method that uses the small-phase approximation as a starting point, takes the existing EDM constraints into account, and enables us to find maximal values of other CP-violating observables, such as the EDMs of the Deuteron and muon, the CP-violating asymmetry in b --> s \gamma decay, and the B_s mixing phase. Read More

We present a new geometric approach to the flavour decomposition of an arbitrary soft supersymmetry-breaking sector in the MSSM. Our approach is based on the geometry that results from the quark and lepton Yukawa couplings, and enables us to derive the necessary and sufficient conditions for a linearly-independent basis of matrices related to the completeness of the internal [SU(3) x U(1)]^5 flavour space. In a second step, we calculate the effective Yukawa couplings that are enhanced at large values of tan(beta) for general soft supersymmetry-breaking mass parameters. Read More

We study a new supersymmetric mechanism for lepton flavor violation in a minimal extension of the MSSM with low-mass heavy singlet neutrinos, which is fully independent of the flavor structure of the soft SUSY breaking sector. We find that l -> l' gamma processes are forbidden in the SUSY limit, whilst the processes l -> l'l1 l2 and mu -> e conversion in nuclei can be enhanced well above the observable level, via large neutrino Yukawa-coupling effects. Read More

We study a new supersymmetric mechanism for lepton flavour violation in muon and tau decays and muon -> e conversion in nuclei, within a minimal extension of the MSSM with low-mass heavy singlet neutrinos and sneutrinos. We find that the decays mu -> e gamma, tau -> e gamma and tau -> mu gamma are forbidden in the supersymmetric limit of the theory, whereas other processes, such as mu -> eee, mu -> e conversion, tau -> eee and tau -> e mu mu, are allowed and can be dramatically enhanced several orders of magnitude above the observable level by potentially large neutrino Yukawa coupling effects. The profound implications of supersymmetric lepton flavour violation for present and future experiments are discussed. Read More

This is a brief review on the scenario of baryogenesis through leptogenesis. Leptogenesis is an appealing scenario that may relate the observed baryon asymmetry in the Universe to the low-energy neutrino data. In this review talk, particular emphasis is put on recent developments on the field, such as the flavourdynamics of leptogenesis and resonant leptogenesis near the electroweak phase transition. Read More

We discuss the relic abundance of the right-handed sneutrinos in the supersymmetric F_D-term model of hybrid inflation. As well as providing a natural solution to the mu- and gravitino overabundance problems, the model offers the lightest right-handed sneutrino as a candidate for thermal dark matter. The F_D-term model predicts a new quartic coupling of purely right-handed sneutrinos to the Higgs doublets that thermalizes the sneutrinos and makes them annihilate sufficiently fast to a level compatible with the current cosmic microwave background data. Read More

We calculate the 1-loop effective potential of an Abelian Higgs model within the R_{\xi/\sigma} class of non-linear gauges that preserves the Higgs-boson low-energy theorem. The R_{\xi/\sigma} gauge involves two gauge-fixing parameters \xi and \sigma, and is a renormalizable extension of the Feynman--'t Hooft R_\xi set of gauges beyond the 1-loop level. By taking consistently into account Goldstone--gauge-boson mixing effects, we show how the 1-loop effective potential evaluated at its extrema is independent of both \xi and \sigma, in agreement with the Nielsen identity. Read More

We present a detailed study of the Thallium, neutron, Mercury and deuteron electric dipole moments (EDMs) in the CP-violating Minimal Supersymmetric extension of the Standard Model (MSSM). We take into account the complete set of one-loop graphs, the dominant Higgs-mediated two-loop diagrams, the complete CP-odd dimension-six Weinberg operator and the Higgs-mediated four-fermion operators. We improve upon earlier calculations by including the resummation effects due to CP-violating Higgs-boson mixing and to threshold corrections to the Yukawa couplings of all up- and down-type quarks and charged leptons. Read More