A Clockwork Axion

Thursday, 5 November, 2015

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We present a renormalizable theory of scalars in which the low energy effective theory contains a pseudo-Goldstone Boson with a compact field space of 2{\pi} F and an approximate discrete shift symmetry Z_Q with Q>>1, yet the number of fields in the theory goes as log(Q). Such a model can serve as a UV completion to models of relaxions and is a new source of exponential scale separation in field theory. While the model is local in `theory space', it appears to not have a continuum generalization (i.e., it cannot be a deconstructed extra dimension). Our framework shows that super-Planckian field excursions can be mimicked while sticking to renormalizable four-dimensional quantum field theory. We show that a supersymmetric extension is straightforwardly obtained and we illustrate possible UV completions based on a compact extra-dimension, where all global symmetries arise accidentally as a consequence of gauge invariance and 5D locality.


David E. Kaplan
Riccardo Rattazzi