Joseph Conlon

what its all about really...

I am a theoretical physicist. My particular interest is in exploring the implications of fundamental theories of physics, such as string theory, for observable physics. Up to a few years ago I would have classified what I did as string phenomenology, but my current work has too little direct connection to string theory to justify that name. I try to be broad, and over the years have enjoyed working on a variety of topics across string theory, particle physics, cosmology and astrophysics.

My current work mostly involves exploring the physics of axions and axion-like particles. These particles arise quite generally in string compactifications, and lead to lots of interesting physics due to their ability to turn into photons within coherent magnetic fields.

I am now quite involved in what is very much the nitty-gritty of observational signals of ALPs: working with X-ray data to search for and constrain ALPs, as well as looking to the future in terms of what other telescopes may be able to bring. This has been a novel and enjoyable change from earlier, much more theoretical, work involving string compactifications.

My previous work (3-5 years ago) mostly explored the phenomenology of dark radiation. Dark radiation is a relativistic counterpart of dark matter. It is not known definitively to exist, but there were a number of experimental hints (sadly now reduced in significance!). I studied the origin of dark radiation in string theory, and how if it exists it can be detected.

Previously (> 5 years ago) I worked extensively on supersymmetry breaking and moduli stabilisation in string theory, with more of an eye on particle physics applications to gravity-mediated supersymmetry breaking. I worked on these topics both using string worldsheet and effective field theory techniques.

The links describe my work in more detail, including the papers I have written and the talks that I have given.