[PAST EVENT] Raymundo Alberto Ramos, Physics - Oral Exam for the Ph.D.

May 20, 2016
10am - 1pm
Small Hall, Room 122
300 Ukrop Way
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Despite the success of the standard model, a number of facts remain a mystery. In my thesis, I address the hierarchy problem, the nature of dark matter, mechanisms for inflation and the origin of the pattern of fermion masses. The hierarchy problem is approached through classically scale-invariant models. These models require the introduction of a new sector of particles that includes dark matter candidates. Inflation in the early universe is a consequence of accidental global symmetries that result in slowly rolling scalar fields. Finally, the origin of the hierarchy of masses for the fermions is explained through flavor symmetry breaking.

This talk will describe models that account for both inflation and the hierarchy of fermion masses. The breaking of a flavor-symmetric potential provides an origin for the pattern of the Yukawa couplings of fermions. This potential may contain accidental global symmetries that break spontaneously, leading to pseudo-Goldstone bosons with the appropriate axion-monodromy potential for inflation. In the particular model presented, a linear combination of two fields is identified with a slow-rolling inflaton. The way in which inflation ends will depend on the initial conditions and the parameters of the potential.

Raymundo A. Ramos was born in Colima, Colima, Mexico in 1988. His interest in science but particularly in physics guided him to the School of Sciences of the University of Colima, where he was awarded his Bachelor degree in 2010. He attended graduate school at the Department of Physics of William & Mary, where he achieved the grade of Master in Sciences in 2013. In the same year, he started research work with Dr. Christopher Carone, developing extensions of the standard model. Currently he is part of the High-Energy Physics Theory group in the same institution.