Research Fellows Directory
Dr Joseph Conlon
University of Oxford
My research aims at addressing the question: is string theory connected to the physics we can observe? More specifically, my research aims at using the ideas and techniques of string theory to address the open problems in the Standard Model of particle physics, which is our best current description of nature. Although the Standard Model describes nature very well, it has unexplained structure in it: for example there are parameters in it which are in principle arbitrary but are in fact zero to one part in a hundred million. There is clearly a deeper underlying structure, but it is not clear what this structure is.
This year one problem I have been working on involves cosmology. There are tentative hints for a relativistic counterpart of dark matter called dark radiation. I have shown how this naturally arises in string theory models of the early universe, and how these can give rise to an amount of dark radiation roughly comparable to the observational hints. I have also showed how this dark radiation can manifest itself through interactions with ordinary matter, and made a prediction of the existence of a non-thermal Cosmic Axion Background with typical energies of 0.1 to 1 keV.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)