Repository logo

UV and IR effects in axion quality control

Published version

Repository DOI

Change log


Burgess, CP 
Quevedo, F 


jats:titleAjats:scbstract</jats:sc> </jats:title>jats:pMotivated by recent discussions and the absence of exact global symmetries in UV completions of gravity we re-examine the axion quality problem (and naturalness issues more generally) using antisymmetric Kalb-Ramond (KR) fields rather than their pseudoscalar duals, as suggested by string and higher dimensional theories. Two types of axions can be identified: a model independent jats:italicS</jats:italic>-type axion dual to a two form jats:italicB</jats:italic>jats:subjats:italicμν</jats:italic></jats:sub> in 4D and a jats:italicT</jats:italic>-type axion coming directly as 4D scalar Kaluza-Klein (KK) components of higher-dimensional tensor fields. For jats:italicT</jats:italic>-type axions our conclusions largely agree with earlier workers for the axion quality problem, but we also reconcile why jats:italicT</jats:italic>-type axions can couple to matter localized on 3-branes with Planck suppressed strength even when the axion decay constants are of order the KK scale. For jats:italicS</jats:italic>-type axions, we review the duality between form fields and massive scalars and show how duality impacts naturalness arguments about the UV sensitivity of the scalar potential. In particular UV contributions on the KR side suppress contributions on the scalar side by powers of jats:italicm/M</jats:italic> with jats:italicm</jats:italic> the axion mass and jats:italicM</jats:italic> the UV scale. We re-examine how the axion quality problem is formulated on the dual side and compare to recent treatments. We study how axion quality is affected by the ubiquity of jats:italicp</jats:italic>-form gauge potentials (for both jats:italicp</jats:italic> = 2 and jats:italicp</jats:italic> = 3) in string vacua and identify two criteria that can potentially lead to a problem. We also show why most fields do not satisfy these criteria, but when they do the existence of multiple fields also provides mechanisms for resolving it. We conclude that the quality problem is easily evaded.</jats:p>


Acknowledgements: We thank Philippe Brax and Junwu Huang for helpful conversations. CB’s research was partially supported by funds from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. Research at the Perimeter Institute is supported in part by the Government of Canada through NSERC and by the Province of Ontario through MRI. The work of FQ has been partially supported by STFC consolidated grants ST/P000681/1, ST/T000694/1.


5106 Nuclear and Plasma Physics, 5107 Particle and High Energy Physics, 4902 Mathematical Physics, 49 Mathematical Sciences, 51 Physical Sciences

Journal Title

Journal of High Energy Physics

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



Springer Science and Business Media LLC