The Axion Quality Problem: Global Symmetry Breaking and Wormholes

8 Sep 2020  ·  James Alvey, Miguel Escudero ·

Continuous global symmetries are expected to be broken by gravity, which can lead to important phenomenological consequences. A prime example is the threat that this poses to the viability of the Peccei-Quinn solution to the strong CP problem... In this paper, we explore the impact of wormholes as a source of global symmetry breaking by gravity. We review the current status of wormholes and global symmetries and note that, surprisingly, the axion has a quality problem within non-perturbative Einstein gravity. Although these wormholes lead to a large breaking of global symmetries, we show that their effect is nonetheless relevant for the model building of gauge protected axions. We also find wormhole solutions within two scenarios: (i) an extended global symmetry group within Einstein gravity, and (ii) U(1) wormholes within the low-energy limit of an open String Theory. The former allows us to show that the concept of a global symmetry in General Relativity is somewhat ill-defined. The latter illustrates that for motivated values of the string coupling constant, axions appear to have a quality problem within the open String Theory we consider. read more

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High Energy Physics - Phenomenology High Energy Physics - Theory