F. Quevedo - DAMTP, University of Cambridge

F. Quevedo
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F. Quevedo
DAMTP, University of Cambridge
United Kingdom

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High Energy Physics - Theory (48)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (27)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (10)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (4)
High Energy Physics - Experiment (2)
Astrophysics (1)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (1)

Publications Authored By F. Quevedo

A brief discussion is presented assessing the achievements and challenges of string phenomenology: the subfield dedicated to study the potential for string theory to make contact with particle physics and cosmology. Building from the well understood case of the standard model as a very particular example within quantum field theory we highlight the very few generic observable implications of string theory, most of them inaccessible to low-energy experiments, and indicate the need to extract concrete scenarios and classes of models that could eventually be contrasted with searches in collider physics and other particle experiments as well as in cosmological observations. The impact that this subfield has had in mathematics and in a better understanding of string theory is emphasised as spin-offs of string phenomenology. Read More

We study the scenario of higgsino dark matter in the context of a non-standard cosmology with a period of matter-domination prior to Big-Bang nucleosynthesis. Matter-domination changes the dark matter relic abundance if it ends via reheating to a temperature below the higgsino thermal freeze-out temperature. We perform a model independent analysis of the higgsino dark matter production in such scenario. Read More

The predictions for all the cosmological observables of any inflationary model depend on the number of e-foldings which is sensitive to the post-inflationary history of the universe. In string models the generic presence of light moduli leads to a late-time period of matter domination which lowers the required number of e-foldings and, in turn, modifies the exact predictions of any inflationary model. In this paper we compute exactly the shift of the number of e-foldings in Kaehler moduli inflation which is determined by the magnitude of the moduli initial displacement caused by vacuum misalignment and the moduli decay rates. Read More

Successful inflationary models should (i) describe the data well; (ii) arise generically from sensible UV completions; (iii) be insensitive to detailed fine-tunings of parameters and (iv) make interesting new predictions. We argue that a class of models with these properties is characterized by relatively simple potentials with a constant term and negative exponentials. We here continue earlier work exploring UV completions for these models, including the key (though often ignored) issue of modulus stabilisation, to assess the robustness of their predictions. Read More

We discuss techniques for embedding a nilpotent Goldstino sector both in weakly coupled type IIB compactifications and F-theory models at arbitrary coupling, providing examples of both scenarios in semi-realistic compactifications. We start by showing how to construct a local embedding for the nilpotent Goldstino in terms of an anti D3-brane in a local conifold throat, and then discuss how to engineer the required local structure in globally consistent compact models. We present two explicit examples, the last one supporting also chiral matter and K\"ahler moduli stabilisation. Read More

Hidden sector D7-branes with non-zero gauge flux are a generic feature of type IIB compactifications. A non-vanishing Fayet-Iliopoulos term induced by non-zero gauge flux leads to a T-brane configuration. Expanding the D7-brane action around this T-brane background in the presence of three-form supersymmetry breaking fluxes, we obtain a positive definite contribution to the moduli scalar potential which can be used as an uplifting source for de Sitter vacua. Read More

We study the effective field theory of KKLT and LVS moduli stabilisation scenarios coupled to an anti-D3-brane at the tip of a warped throat. We describe the presence of the anti-brane in terms of a nilpotent goldstino superfield in a supersymmetric effective field theory. The introduction of this superfield produces a term that can lead to a de Sitter minimum. Read More

Using an explicit path integral approach we derive non-abelian bosonization and duality of 3D systems in the large $N$ limit. We first consider a fermionic $U(N)$ vector model coupled to level $k$ Chern-Simons theory, following standard techniques we gauge the original global symmetry and impose the corresponding field strength $F_{\mu\nu}$ to vanish introducing a Lagrange multiplier $\Lambda$. Exchanging the order of integrations we obtain the bosonized theory with $\Lambda$ as the propagating field using the large $N$ rather than the previously used large mass limit. Read More

We describe in detail how the spectrum of a single anti-D3-brane in four-dimensional orientifolded IIB string models reproduces precisely the field content of a nilpotent chiral superfield with the only physical component corresponding to the fermionic goldstino. In particular we explicitly consider a single anti-D3-brane on top of an O3-plane in warped throats, induced by $(2,1)$ fluxes. More general systems including several anti-branes and other orientifold planes are also discussed. Read More

We study the phenomenology of the CMSSM/mSUGRA with non-thermal neutralino dark matter. Besides the standard parameters of the CMSSM we include the reheating temperature as an extra parameter. Imposing radiative electroweak symmetry breaking with a Higgs mass around 125 GeV and no dark matter overproduction, we contrast the scenario with different experimental bounds from colliders (LEP, LHC), cosmic microwave background (Planck), direct (LUX, XENON100, CDMS, IceCube) and indirect (Fermi) dark matter searches. Read More

We present a general discussion of the properties of three dimensional CFT duals to the AdS string theory vacua coming from type IIB Calabi-Yau flux compactifications. Both KKLT and Large Volume Scenario (LVS) minima are considered. In both cases we identify the large `central charge', find a separation of scales between the radius of AdS and the size of the extra dimensions and show that the dual CFT has only a limited number of operators with small conformal dimension. Read More

The 100+ free parameters of the minimal supersymmetric standard model (MSSM) make it computationally difficult to compare systematically with data, motivating the study of specific parameter reductions such as the cMSSM and pMSSM. Here we instead study the reductions of parameter space implied by using minimal flavour violation (MFV) to organise the R-parity conserving MSSM, with a view towards systematically building in constraints on flavour-violating physics. Within this framework the space of parameters is reduced by expanding soft supersymmetry-breaking terms in powers of the Cabibbo angle, leading to a 24-, 30- or 42-parameter framework (which we call MSSM-24, MSSM-30, and MSSM-42 respectively), depending on the order kept in the expansion. Read More

We analyse soft supersymmetry breaking in type IIB de Sitter string vacua after moduli stabilisation, focussing on models in which the Standard Model is sequestered from the supersymmetry breaking sources and the spectrum of soft-terms is hierarchically smaller than the gravitino mass $m_{3/2}$. Due to this feature, these models are compatible with gauge coupling unification and TeV scale supersymmetry with no cosmological moduli problem. We determine the influence on soft-terms of concrete realisations of de Sitter vacua constructed from supersymmetric effective actions. Read More

We re-examine large scalar fields within effective field theory, in particular focussing on the issues raised by their use in inflationary models (as suggested by BICEP2 to obtain primordial tensor modes). We argue that when the large-field and low-energy regimes coincide the scalar dynamics is most effectively described in terms of an asymptotic large-field expansion whose form can be dictated by approximate symmetries, which also help control the size of quantum corrections. We discuss several possible symmetries that can achieve this, including pseudo-Goldstone inflatons characterized by a coset $G/H$ (based on abelian and non-abelian, compact and non-compact symmetries), as well as symmetries that are intrinsically higher dimensional. Read More

A brief overview is presented of the progress made during the past few years on the general structure of local models of particle physics from string theory including: moduli stabilisation, supersymmetry breaking, global embedding in compact Calabi-Yau compactifications and potential cosmological implications. Type IIB D-brane constructions and the Large Volume Scenario (LVS) are discussed in some detail emphasising the recent achievements and the main open questions. Read More

We address the open question of performing an explicit stabilisation of all closed string moduli (including dilaton, complex structure and Kaehler moduli) in fluxed type IIB Calabi-Yau compactifications with chiral matter. Using toric geometry we construct Calabi-Yau manifolds with del Pezzo singularities. D-branes located at such singularities can support the Standard Model gauge group and matter content. Read More

The magnitude of the flux superpotential $W_{flux}$ plays a crucial role in determining the scales of IIB string compactifications after moduli stabilisation. It has been argued that values of $W_{flux}$ much less than one are preferred, and even required for physical and consistency reasons. This note revisits these arguments. Read More

We study the non-perturbative stability of the Large Volume Scenario (LVS) of IIB string compactifications, by analysing transitions mediated by the Brown-Teitelboim (BT) brane nucleations and by Coleman De Luccia tunneling (CDL). We find that, as long as the effective field theory description holds, the LVS AdS minima are stable despite being non-supersymmetric. This opens the possibility of having a CFT dual. Read More

We briefly summarize the impact of the recent Planck measurements for string inflationary models, and outline what might be expected to be learned in the near future from the expected improvement in sensitivity to the primordial tensor-to-scalar ratio. We comment on whether these models provide sufficient added value to compensate for their complexity, and ask how they fare in the face of the new constraints on non-gaussianity and dark radiation. We argue that as a group the predictions made before Planck agree well with what has been seen, and draw conclusions from this about what is likely to mean as sensitivity to primordial gravitational waves improves. Read More

We present novel continuous supersymmetric transitions which take place among different chiral configurations of D3/D7 branes at singularities in the context of type IIB Calabi-Yau compactifications. We find that distinct local models which admit a consistent global embedding can actually be connected to each other along flat directions by means of transitions of bulk-to-flavour branes. This has interesting interpretations in terms of brane recombination/splitting and brane/anti-brane creation/annihilation. Read More

In the framework of type IIB string compactifications on Calabi-Yau orientifolds we describe how to construct consistent global embeddings of models with fractional D3-branes and connected `flavour' D7-branes at del Pezzo singularities with moduli stabilisation. Our results are applied to build an explicit compact example with a left-right symmetric model at a dP_0 singularity which features three families of chiral matter and gauge coupling unification at the intermediate scale. We show how to stabilise the moduli obtaining a controlled de Sitter minimum and spontaneous supersymmetry breaking. Read More

We make a simple observation that the massless continuous spin representations of the Poincar\'e group are not present in perturbative string theory constructions. This represents one of the very few model-independent low-energy consequences of these models. Read More

We consider reheating driven by volume modulus decays in the LARGE Volume Scenario. Such reheating always generates non-zero dark radiation through the decays to the axion partner, while the only competitive visible sector decays are Higgs pairs via the Giudice-Masiero term. In the framework of sequestered models where the cosmological moduli problem is absent, the simplest model with a shift-symmetric Higgs sector generates 1. Read More

In the context of type IIB string theory we combine moduli stabilisation and model building on branes at del Pezzo singularities in a fully consistent global compactification. By means of toric geometry, we classify all the CY manifolds with 3 < h11 < 6 which admit two identical del Pezzo singularities mapped into each other under the orientifold involution. This effective singularity hosts the visible sector containing the Standard Model while the Kaehler moduli are stabilised via a combination of D-terms, perturbative and non-perturbative effects supported on hidden sectors. Read More

We consider a novel scenario for modulus stabilisation in IIB string compactifications in which the Kahler moduli are stabilised by a general set-up with two kinds of non-perturbative effects: (i) standard Kahler moduli-dependent non-perturbative effects from gaugino condensation on D7-branes or E3-instantons wrapping four-cycles in the geometric regime; (ii) dilaton-dependent non-perturbative effects from gaugino condensation on space-time filling D3-branes or E(-1)-instantons at singularities. For the LARGE Volume Scenario (LVS), the new dilaton-dependent non-perturbative effects provide a positive definite contribution to the scalar potential that can be arbitrarily tuned from fluxes to give rise to de Sitter vacua. Contrary to anti D3-branes at warped throats, this term arises from a manifestly supersymmetric effective action. Read More

A generic feature of the known string inflationary models is that the same physics that makes the inflaton lighter than the Hubble scale during inflation often also makes other scalars this light. These scalars can acquire isocurvature fluctuations during inflation, and given that their VEVs determine the mass spectrum and the coupling constants of the effective low-energy field theory, these fluctuations give rise to couplings and masses that are modulated from one Hubble patch to another. These seem just what is required to obtain primordial adiabatic fluctuations through conversion into density perturbations through the `modulation mechanism', wherein reheating takes place with different efficiency in different regions of our Universe. Read More

We argue that the problem of finding lower-dimensional de Sitter solutions to the classical field equations of higher-dimensional supergravity necessarily requires understanding the back-reaction of whatever localized objects source the bulk fields. However, we also find that most of the details of the back-reacted solutions are not important for determining the lower-dimensional curvature. We find, in particular, a classically exact expression that, for a broad class of geometries, directly relates the curvature of the lower-dimensional geometry to asymptotic properties of various bulk fields near the sources. Read More

We present an overview of inflationary models derived from string theory focusing mostly on closed string moduli as inflatons. After a detailed discussion of the eta-problem and different approaches to address it, we describe possible ways to obtain a de Sitter vacuum with all closed string moduli stabilised. We then look for inflationary directions and present some of the most promising scenarios where the inflatons are either the real or the imaginary part of Kaehler moduli. Read More

A systematic approach is followed in order to identify realistic D-brane models at toric del Pezzo singularities. Requiring quark and lepton spectrum and Yukawas from D3 branes and massless hypercharge, we are led to Pati-Salam extensions of the Standard Model. Hierarchies of masses, flavour mixings and control of couplings select higher order del Pezzo singularities, minimising the Higgs sector prefers toric del Pezzos with dP3 providing the most successful compromise. Read More

We construct flux-stabilised IIB compactifications whose extra dimensions (EDs) have very different sizes, and use these to describe several vacua with a TeV string scale. Because we can access regimes where 2 dimensions are hierarchically larger than the other 4, we find examples where 2 dimensions are micron-sized while the other 4 are at the weak scale in addition to standard examples with all 6 EDs equally large. Besides providing UV completeness, the phenomenology of these models is richer than vanilla large-dimensional models in several ways: (i) they are supersymmetric, with SUSY broken at sub-eV scales in the bulk but only nonlinearly realised in the SM sector, leading to no MSSM superpartners and many more bulk missing-energy channels, as in supersymmetric large extra dimensions (SLED); (ii) small cycles in the complicated extra-dimensional geometry allow some KK states to reside at TeV scales even if all 6 EDs are much larger; (iii) a rich spectrum of string and KK states at TeV scales; and (iv) an equally rich spectrum of light moduli having unusually small (but technically natural) masses, with potentially interesting implications for cosmology and astrophysics that nonetheless evade new-force constraints. Read More

We survey the phenomenological constraints on abelian gauge bosons having masses in the MeV to multi-GeV mass range (using precision electroweak measurements, neutrino-electron and neutrino-nucleon scattering, electron and muon anomalous magnetic moments, upsilon decay, beam dump experiments, atomic parity violation, low-energy neutron scattering and primordial nucleosynthesis). We compute their implications for the three parameters that in general describe the low-energy properties of such bosons: their mass and their two possible types of dimensionless couplings (direct couplings to ordinary fermions and kinetic mixing with Standard Model hypercharge). We argue that gauge bosons with very small couplings to ordinary fermions in this mass range are natural in string compactifications and are likely to be generic in theories for which the gravity scale is systematically smaller than the Planck mass - such as in extra-dimensional models - because of the necessity to suppress proton decay. Read More

In the context of D-brane model building, we present a realistic framework for generating fermion masses that are forbidden by global symmetries. We show that the string theoretical Large volume scenario circumvents the standard lore that fermion masses generated by loop effects are too small in generic gravity mediated scenarios. We argue that the fact that in toric singularity models, the up quark masses have always a zero eigenvalue, corresponding to the lightest generation, is due to the presence of approximate global symmetries that we explicitly identify in del Pezzo singularities. Read More

These lectures on supersymmetry and extra dimensions are aimed at finishing undergraduate and beginning postgraduate students with a background in quantum field theory and group theory. Basic knowledge in general relativity might be advantageous for the discussion of extra dimensions. This course was taught as a 24+1 lecture course in Part III of the Mathematical Tripos in recent years. Read More

We perform a Bayesian model selection analysis in the the R-parity conserving MSSM to compare two different assumptions: whether the lightest neutralinos make all or only part of the cold dark matter. This corresponds to either imposing full WMAP relic density limits or just its upper bound for constraining the MSSM parameters. We consider several realisations of the MSSM, namely, three GUT-scale SUSY breaking scenarios with a handful of parameters corresponding to the CMSSM, anomaly mediation and the large volume string scenarios as well as the weak-scale 25-parameter phenomenological MSSM (pMSSM). Read More

Inflationary scenarios in string theory often involve a large number of light scalar fields, whose presence can enrich the post-inflationary evolution of primordial fluctuations generated during the inflationary epoch. We provide a simple example of such post-inflationary processing within an explicit string-inflationary construction, using a Kahler modulus as the inflaton within the framework of LARGE Volume Type-IIB string flux compactifications. We argue that inflationary models within this broad category often have a selection of scalars that are light enough to be cosmologically relevant, whose contributions to the primordial fluctuation spectrum can compete with those generated in the standard way by the inflaton. Read More

Standard lore asserts that quantum effects generically forbid the occurrence of light (non-pseudo-Goldstone) scalars having masses smaller than the Kaluza Klein scale, M_KK, in extra-dimensional models, or the gravitino mass, M_3/2, in supersymmetric situations. We argue that a hidden assumption underlies this lore: that the scale of gravitational physics, M_g, (e.g. Read More

We discuss general properties of D-brane model building at toric singularities. Using dimer techniques to obtain the gauge theory from the structure of the singularity, we extract results on the matter sector and superpotential of the corresponding gauge theory. We show that the number of families in toric phases is always less than or equal to three, with a unique exception being the zeroth Hirzebruch surface. Read More

The Large Hadron Collider presents an unprecedented opportunity to probe the realm of new physics in the TeV region and shed light on some of the core unresolved issues of particle physics. These include the nature of electroweak symmetry breaking, the origin of mass, the possible constituent of cold dark matter, new sources of CP violation needed to explain the baryon excess in the universe, the possible existence of extra gauge groups and extra matter, and importantly the path Nature chooses to resolve the hierarchy problem - is it supersymmetry or extra dimensions. Many models of new physics beyond the standard model contain a hidden sector which can be probed at the LHC. Read More

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. Read More

We perform a global Bayesian fit of the phenomenological minimal supersymmetric standard model (pMSSM) to current indirect collider and dark matter data. The pMSSM contains the most relevant 25 weak-scale MSSM parameters, which are simultaneously fit using `nested sampling' Monte Carlo techniques in more than 15 years of CPU time. We calculate the Bayesian evidence for the pMSSM and constrain its parameters and observables in the context of two widely different, but reasonable, priors to determine which inferences are robust. Read More

We study the influence of anomalous U(1) symmetries and their associated D-terms on the vacuum structure of global field theories once they are coupled to N=1 supergravity and in the context of string compactifications with moduli stabilisation. In particular, we focus on a IIB string motivated construction of the ISS scenario and examine the influence of one additional U(1) symmetry on the vacuum structure. We point out that in the simplest one-Kahler modulus compactification, the original ISS vacuum gets generically destabilised by a runaway behaviour of the potential in the modulus direction. Read More

We report on progress towards constructing string models incorporating both realistic D-brane matter content and moduli stabilisation with dynamical low-scale supersymmetry breaking. The general framework is that of local D-brane models embedded into the LARGE volume approach to moduli stabilisation. We review quiver theories on del Pezzo $n$ ($dP_n$) singularities including both D3 and D7 branes. Read More

We introduce a simple string model of inflation, in which the inflaton field can take trans-Planckian values while driving a period of slow-roll inflation. This leads naturally to a realisation of large field inflation, inasmuch as the inflationary epoch is well described by the single-field scalar potential $V = V_0 (3-4 e^{-\hat\varphi/\sqrt{3}})$. Remarkably, for a broad class of vacua all adjustable parameters enter only through the overall coefficient $V_0$, and in particular do not enter into the slow-roll parameters. Read More

We consider local models of magnetised D7 branes in IIB string compactifications, focussing on cases where an explicit metric can be written for the local 4-cycle. The presence of an explicit metric allows analytic expressions for the gauge bundle and for the chiral matter wavefunctions through solving the Dirac and Laplace equations. The triple overlap of the normalised matter wavefunctions generates the physical Yukawa couplings. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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). Read More