Axion monodromy and the weak gravity conjecture

  • Arthur Hebecker
  • Fabrizio RompineveEmail author
  • Alexander Westphal
Open Access
Regular Article - Theoretical Physics


Axions with broken discrete shift symmetry (axion monodromy) have recently played a central role both in the discussion of inflation and the ‘relaxion’ approach to the hierarchy problem. We suggest a very minimalist way to constrain such models by the weak gravity conjecture for domain walls: while the electric side of the conjecture is always satisfied if the cosine-oscillations of the axion potential are sufficiently small, the magnetic side imposes a cutoff, Λ3 ∼ mf M pl, independent of the height of these ‘wiggles’. We compare our approach with the recent related proposal by Ibanez, Montero, Uranga and Valenzuela. We also discuss the non-trivial question which version, if any, of the weak gravity conjecture for domain walls should hold. In particular, we show that string compactifications with branes of different dimensions wrapped on different cycles lead to a ‘geometric weak gravity conjecture’ relating volumes of cycles, norms of corresponding forms and the volume of the compact space. Imposing this ‘geometric conjecture’, e.g. on the basis of the more widely accepted weak gravity conjecture for particles, provides at least some support for the (electric and magnetic) conjecture for domain walls.


Strings and branes phenomenology 


Open Access

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur Hebecker
    • 1
  • Fabrizio Rompineve
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexander Westphal
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Theoretical PhysicsUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.DESY, Theory GroupHamburgGermany

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