A wide variety of vacua, and their cosmological realization, may provide an explanation for the apparently anthropic choices of some parameters of particle physics and cosmology. If the probability on various parameters is weighted by volume, a flat potential for slow-roll inflation is also naturally understood, since the flatter the potential the larger the volume of the sub-universe. However, such inflationary landscapes have a serious problem, predicting an environment that makes it exponentially hard for observers to exist and giving an exponentially small probability for a moderate universe like ours. A general solution to this problem is proposed, and is illustrated in the context of inflaton decay and leptogenesis, leading to an upper bound on the reheating temperature in our sub-universe. In a particular scenario of chaotic inflation and non-thermal leptogenesis, predictions can be made for the size of CP violating phases, the rate of neutrinoless double beta decay and, in the case of theories with gauge-mediated weak scale supersymmetry, for the fundamental scale of supersymmetry breaking.

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## Scholarly Works (72 results)

A novel method for extracting cosmological evolution parameters is proposed, using a probe other than light: future observations of the diffuse anti-neutrino flux emitted from core-collapse supernovae (SNe), combined with the SN rate extracted from future SN surveys. The relic SN neutrino differential flux can be extracted by using future neutrino detectors such as Gadolinium-enriched, megaton, water detectors or 100-kiloton detectors of liquid Argon or liquid scintillator. The core-collapse SN rate can be reconstructed from direct observation of SN explosions using future precision observatories. Our method, by itself, cannot compete with the accuracy of the optical-based measurements but may serve as an important consistency check as well as a source of complementary information. The proposal does not require construction of a dedicated experiment, but rather relies on future experiments proposed for other purposes.

Explicit supersymmetry breaking is studied in higher dimensional theories by having boundaries respect only a subgroup of the bulk symmetry. If the boundary symmetry is the maximal subgroup allowed by the boundary conditions imposed on the fields, then the symmetry can be consistently gauged; otherwise gauging leads to an inconsistent theory. In a warped fifth dimension, an explicit breaking of all bulk supersymmetries by the boundaries is found to be inconsistent with gauging; unlike the case of flat 5D, complete supersymmetry breaking by boundary conditions is not consistent with supergravity. Despite this result, the low energy effective theory resulting from boundary supersymmetry breaking becomes consistent in the limit where gravity decouples, and such models are explored in the hope that some way of successfully incorporating gravity can be found. A warped constrained standard model leads to a theory with one Higgs boson with mass expected close to the experimental limit. A unified theory in a warped fifth dimension is studied with boundary breaking of both SU(5) gauge symmetry and supersymmetry. The usual supersymmetric prediction for gauge coupling unification holds even though the TeV spectrum is quite unlike the MSSM. Such a theory may unify matter and Higgs in the same SU(5) hypermultiplet.

Theories of evolving quintessence are constructed that generically lead to deviations from the w = -1 prediction of non-evolving dark energy. The small mass scale that governs evolution, m_\phi \approx 10^-33 eV, is radiatively stable, and the "Why Now?'' problem is solved. These results rest crucially on seesaw cosmology: in broad outline, fundamental physics and cosmology can be understood from only two mass scales, the weak scale, v, and the Planck scale, M. Requiring a scale of dark energy \rho_DE^1/4 governed by v^2/M, and a radiatively stable evolution rate m_\phi given by v^4/M^3, leads to a distinctive form for the equation of state w(z) that follows from a cosine quintessence potential. An explicit hidden axion model is constructed. Dark energy resides in the potential of the axion field which is generated by a new QCD-like force that gets strong at the scale \Lambda \approx v^2/M \approx \rho_DE^1/4. The evolution rate is given by a second seesaw that leads to the axion mass, m_\phi \approx \Lambda^2/f, with f \approx M.

We review the recent proposal that neutrinos are light because their masses are proportional to a low scale, f, of lepton flavor symmetry breaking. This mechanism is testable because the resulting pseudo-Goldstone bosons, of mass m_G, couple strongly with the neutrinos, affecting the acoustic oscillations during the eV era of the early universe that generate the peaks in the CMB radiation. Characteristic signals result over a very wide range of (f, m_G) because of a change in the total relativistic energy density and because the neutrinos scatter rather than free-stream. Thermodynamics allows a precise calculation of the signal, so that observations would not only confirm the late-time neutrino mass mechanism, but could also determine whether the neutrino spectrum is degenerate, inverted or hierarchical and whether the neutrinos are Dirac or Majorana. The flavor symmetries could also give light sterile states. If the masses of the sterile neutrinos turn on after the MeV era, the LSND oscillations can be explained without upsetting big bang nucleosynthesis, and, since the sterile states decay to lighter neutrinos and pseudo-Goldstones, without giving too much hot dark matter.