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Publication# Effective field theory for acoustic and pseudoacoustic phonons in solids

Abstract

We present a relativistic effective field theory for the interaction between acoustic and gapped phonons in the limit of a small gap. We show that, while the former are the Goldstone modes associated with the spontaneous breaking of spacetime symmetries, the latter are pseudo-Goldstones associated with some (small) explicit breaking. We hence dub them "pseudoacoustic" phonons. In this first investigation, we build our effective theory for the cases of one and two spatial dimensions, two atomic species, and assuming large distance isotropy. As an illustrative example, we show how the theory can be applied to compute the total lifetime of both acoustic and pseudoacoustic phonons. This construction can find applications that range from the physics of bilayer graphene to sub-GeV dark matter detectors.

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Effective field theory

In physics, an effective field theory is a type of approximation, or effective theory, for an underlying physical theory, such as a quantum field theory or a statistical mechanics model. An effective

Phonon

In physics, a phonon is a collective excitation in a periodic, elastic arrangement of atoms or molecules in condensed matter, specifically in solids and some liquids. A type of quasiparticle, a phono

Spontaneous symmetry breaking

Spontaneous symmetry breaking is a spontaneous process of symmetry breaking, by which a physical system in a symmetric state spontaneously ends up in an asymmetric state. In particular, it can describ

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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 not to 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 five-dimensional locality.

Currently, the best theoretical description of fundamental matter and its gravitational interaction is given by the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics and Einstein's theory of General Relativity (GR). These theories contain a number of seemingly unrelated scales. While Newton's gravitational constant and the mass of the Higgs boson are parameters in the classical action, the masses of other elementary particles are due to the electroweak symmetry breaking. Yet other scales, like ΛQCD associated to the strong interaction, only appear after the quantization of the theory. We reevaluate the idea that the fundamental theory of nature may contain no fixed scales and that all observed scales could have a common origin in the spontaneous break-down of exact scale invariance. To this end, we consider a few minimal scale-invariant extensions of GR and the SM, focusing especially on their cosmological phenomenology. In the simplest considered model, scale invariance is achieved through the introduction of a dilaton field. We find that for a large class of potentials, scale invariance is spontaneously broken, leading to induced scales at the classical level. The dilaton is exactly massless and practically decouples from all SM fields. The dynamical break-down of scale invariance automatically provides a mechanism for inflation. Despite exact scale invariance, the theory generally contains a cosmological constant, or, put in other words, flat spacetime need not be a solution. We next replace standard gravity by Unimodular Gravity (UG). This results in the appearance of an arbitrary integration constant in the equations of motion, inducing a run-away potential for the dilaton. As a consequence, the dilaton can play the role of a dynamical dark-energy component. The cosmological phenomenology of the model combining scale invariance and unimodular gravity is studied in detail. We find that the equation of state of the dilaton condensate has to be very close to the one of a cosmological constant. If the spacetime symmetry group of the gravitational action is reduced from the group of all diffeomorphisms (Diff) to the subgroup of transverse diffeomorphisms (TDiff), the metric in general contains a propagating scalar degree of freedom. We show that the replacement of Diff by TDiff makes it possible to construct a scale-invariant theory of gravity and particle physics in which the dilaton appears as a part of the metric. We find the conditions under which such a theory is a viable description of particle physics and in particular reproduces the SM phenomenology. The minimal theory with scale invariance and UG is found to be a particular case of a theory with scale and TDiff invariance. Moreover, cosmological solutions in models based on scale and TDiff invariance turn out to generically be similar to the solutions of the model with UG. In usual quantum field theories, scale invariance is anomalous. This might suggest that results based on classical scale invariance are necessarily spoiled by quantum corrections. We show that this conclusion is not true. Namely, we propose a new renormalization scheme which allows to construct a class of quantum field theories that are scale-invariant to all orders of perturbation theory and where the scale symmetry is spontaneously broken. In this type of theory, all scales, including those related to dimensional transmutation, like ΛQCD, appear as a consequence of the spontaneous break-down of the scale symmetry. The proposed theories are not renormalizable. Nonetheless, they are valid effective theories below a field-dependent cut-off scale. If the scale-invariant renormalization scheme is applied to the presented minimal scale-invariant extensions of GR and the SM, the goal of having a common origin of all scales, spontaneous breaking of scale invariance, is achieved.

Jan Mrazek, Riccardo Rattazzi, Andrea Wulzer

We characterize models where electroweak symmetry breaking is driven by two light Higgs doublets arising as pseudo-Nambu-Goldstone bosons of new dynamics above the weak scale. They represent the simplest natural two Higgs doublet alternative to supersymmetry. We construct their low-energy effective Lagrangian making only few specific assumptions about the strong sector. These concern their global symmetries, their patterns of spontaneous breaking and the sources of explicit breaking. In particular we assume that all the explicit breaking is associated with the couplings of the strong sector to the Standard determined at lowest order by very few free parameters associated to the top sector. Another crucial property of our scenarios is the presence of a discrete symmetry, in addition to custodial SO(4), that controls Model fields, that is gauge and (proto)-Yukawa interactions. Under those assumptions the scalar potential is the T-parameter. That can either be simple CP or a Z(2) that distinguishes the two Higgs doublets. Among various possibilities we study in detail models based on SO(6)/S0(4) x SO(2), focussing on their predictions for the structure of the scalar spectrum and the deviations of their couplings from those of a generic renormalizable two Higgs doublet model. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

2011