Reflections on Parity Breaking

February 9, 2023
12:00pm to 1:15pm

Grey Room 1

Specialist level
Ignacio Ruiz

Grey Room 1


Ignacio will present the following paper (

Reflections on Parity Breaking, Jacob McNamara, Matthew Reece

Abstract: Parity and CP symmetries are broken in the world around us. Nonetheless, parity (or CP) may be a gauge symmetry which is higgsed in our universe. This is assumed in many scenarios for physics beyond the Standard Model, including the classic Nelson--Barr proposal for the Strong CP problem. Gauged parity can only arise in quantum gravity, where it corresponds to a path integral over both orientable and non-orientable spacetime manifolds. We show that spontaneous breaking of gauged parity leads to exactly stable domain walls, and describe the implications for the cosmology of models with gauged parity. These domain walls carry an unusual sort of charge, which superficially has features in common with both gauge charges and global charges. We show that these unusual charges are consistent with the expected absence of global symmetries in quantum gravity when there exists a complete spectrum of dynamical objects required by the Swampland Cobordism Conjecture, including end-of-the-world branes.