I am just reading at the beginnin of this nice article, that axions could be responsible for spontaneously breaking of a symmetry in the early universe.

Does anybody know which symmetry is alluded to and how the mechanism of spontaneous symmetry breaking exactly works in this particular case?

I'd like to learn in some more detail about this.

  • $\begingroup$ I apologize for not being able to better define the question, without having the answer ... :-/ $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Jul 3, 2013 at 11:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The original axion model has a global $U(1)$ Peccei-Quinn symmetry which is spontaneously broken, but this has been ruled out. Nowadays people look at elaborated versions of the basic idea. A quick look at the Pospelov et al. preprint mentioned in the article shows they study a $Z_n$ invariant scalar. I'm really not very familiar with the details of these models though. PDG has a nice review. $\endgroup$
    – Michael
    Jul 3, 2013 at 11:50
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for these interesting links @MichaelBrown :-), the second one seems to adress another question I have concerning the article I linked too, namely how the domain walls separating areas with different values of the axion field can contribut to dark energy. $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Jul 3, 2013 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelBrown I guess, I would +1 your nice comment in the format of an answer too, just to say ;-) $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Jul 3, 2013 at 13:51


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