Irene Valenzuela

Irene Valenzuela
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Irene Valenzuela

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High Energy Physics - Theory (15)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (12)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (4)

Publications Authored By Irene Valenzuela

We continue the investigation of F-term axion monodromy inflation in string theory, while seriously taking the issue of moduli stabilization into account. For a number of closed and open string models, we show that they suffer from serious control issues once one is trying to realize trans-Planckian field excursions. More precisely, the flux tuning required to delay the logarithmic scaling of the field distance to a trans-Planckian value cannot be done without leaving the regime where the employed effective supergravity theory is under control. Read More

In this paper we study the consistency of generalized global symmetries in theories of quantum gravity, in particular string theory. Such global symmetries arise in theories with $(p+1)$-form gauge fields, and for spacetime dimension $d\leq p+3$ there are obstructions to their breaking even by quantum effects of charged objects. In 4d theories with a 2-form gauge field (or with an axion scalar), these fields endow Schwarzschild black holes with quantum hair, a global charge leading to usual trouble with remnants. Read More

We study closed-string moduli stabilization in Higgs-otic inflation in Type IIB orientifold backgrounds with fluxes. In this setup large-field inflation is driven by the vacuum energy of mobile D7-branes. Imaginary selfdual (ISD) three-form fluxes in the background source a $\mu$-term and the necessary monodromy for large field excursions while imaginary anti-selfdual (IASD) three-form fluxes are sourced by non-perturbative contributions to the superpotential necessary for moduli stabilization. Read More

We clarify the differences between the usual Kaloper-Sorbo description of axion monodromy and the effective axionic potential in terms of Minkowski 4-forms derived in string compactifications. The fact that the metric of the 3-form fields coming from string theory is field dependent (unlike in Kaloper-Sorbo) leads to the backreaction issues recently studied in axion monodromy models within string theory. We reanalyse these problems in terms of the 4-forms focusing on the case in which the non-periodic scalars backreact on the Kahler metric of the inflaton reducing the physical field range. Read More

In string theory compactifications it is common to find an effective Lagrangian for the scalar fields with a non-canonical kinetic term. We study the effective action of the scalar position moduli of Type II D$p$-branes. In many instances the kinetic terms are in fact modified by a term proportional to the scalar potential itself. Read More

The recently proposed relaxion models require extremely large trans-Planckian axion excursions as well as a potential explicitly violating the axion shift symmetry. The latter property is however inconsistent with the axion periodicity, which corresponds to a gauged discrete shift symmetry. A way to make things consistent is to use monodromy, i. Read More

We discuss the role of Minkowski 3-forms in flux string vacua. In these vacua all internal closed string fluxes are in one to one correspondence with quantized Minkowski 4-forms. By performing a dimensional reduction of the $D=10$ Type II supergravity actions we find that the 4-forms act as auxiliary fields of the Kahler and complex structure moduli in the effective action. Read More

We discuss quantum gravitational effects in Einstein theory coupled to periodic axion scalars to analyze the viability of several proposals to achieve superplanckian axion periods (aka decay constants) and their possible application to large field inflation models. The effects we study correspond to the nucleation of euclidean gravitational instantons charged under the axion, and our results are essentially compatible with (but independent of) the Weak Gravity Conjecture, as follows: Single axion theories with superplanckian periods contain gravitational instantons inducing sizable higher harmonics in the axion potential, which spoil superplanckian inflaton field range. A similar result holds for multi-axion models with lattice alignment (like the Kim-Nilles-Peloso model). Read More

We study the realisation of axion inflation models in the complex structure moduli spaces of Calabi-Yau threefolds and fourfolds. The axions arise close to special points of these moduli spaces that admit discrete monodromy symmetries of infinite order. Examples include the large complex structure point and conifold point, but can be of more general nature. Read More

We propose that inflation is driven by a (complex) neutral Higgs of the MSSM extension of the SM, in a chaotic-like inflation setting. The SUSY breaking soft term masses are of order $10^{12}-10^{13}$ GeV, which is identified with the inflaton mass scale and is just enough to stabilise the SM Higgs potential. The fine-tuned SM Higgs has then a mass around 126 GeV, in agreement with LHC results. Read More

It has been recently pointed out that the polarization BICEP2 results are consistent with the identification of an inflaton mass m \simeq 10^{13} GeV with the SUSY breaking scale in an MSSM with a fine-tuned SM Higgs. This identification leads to a Higgs mass m_h \simeq 126 GeV, consistent with LHC measurements. Here we propose that this naturally suggests to identify the inflaton with the heavy MSSM Higgs system. Read More

Closed string fluxes induce generically SUSY-breaking soft terms on supersymmetric type IIB orientifold compactifications with D3/D7 branes. This was studied in the past by inserting those fluxes on the DBI+CS actions for adjoint D3/D7 fields, where D7-branes had no magnetic fluxes. In the present work we generalise those computations to the phenomenologically more relevant case of chiral bi-fundamental fields laying at 7-brane intersections and F-theory local matter curves. Read More

Recent BICEP2 results on CMB polarisation B-modes suggest a high value for the inflation scale $V_0^{1/4} \simeq 10^{16}$ GeV, giving experimental evidence for a physical scale in between the EW scale and the Planck mass. We propose that this new high scale could be interpreted as evidence for a high SUSY breaking scale $M_{ss}\simeq 10^{12}-10^{13}$ GeV. We show that such a large value for $M_{ss}$ is consistent with a Higgs mass around 126 GeV. Read More

We argue that in large classes of string compactifications with a MSSM-like structure substantial flavor violating SUSY-breaking soft terms are generically induced. We specify to the case of flavor dependent soft-terms in type IIB/F-theory SU(5) unified models, although our results can be easily extended to other settings. The Standard Model (SM) degrees of freedom reside in a local system of 7-branes wrapping a 4-fold S in the extra dimensions. Read More

We compute the mass of the Higgs particle in a scheme in which SUSY is broken at a large scale M_{SS} well above the electroweak scale M_{EW}. Below M_{SS} one assumes one is just left with the SM with a fine-tuned Higgs potential. Under standard unification assumptions one can compute the mass of the Higgs particle as a function of the SUSY breaking scale M_{SS}. Read More

Even if SUSY is not present at the Electro-Weak scale, string theory suggests its presence at some scale M_{SS} below the string scale M_s to guarantee the absence of tachyons. We explore the possible value of M_{SS} consistent with gauge coupling unification and known sources of SUSY breaking in string theory. Within F-theory SU(5) unification these two requirements fix M_{SS} ~ 5 x 10^{10} GeV at an intermediate scale and a unification scale M_c ~ 3 x 10^{14} GeV. Read More